Personal profile

Research interests

Yvonne Jewkes studied for her PhD at the Prisons Research Centre, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Prof Alison Liebling. She has been Professor of Criminology since 2007 (and at the University of Bath since Sept 2018). She has held research grants totalling approximately £1.5million, including two funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and will shortly be starting work on a £1.2m project looking at prison health and ‘healthy prisons’, led by Prof Thomas Ugelvik at the University of Oslo. She is Founder and Editor-in-Chief (with Profs Ben Crewe and Thomas Ugelvik) of the new journal Incarceration: An International Journal of Imprisonment, Detention and Coercive Confinement (launches April 2020).

Prof Jewkes’ main research interests are prison architecture, design and technology (ADT) and how they can assist in rehabilitating offenders, enhancing prisoners' quality of life and wellbeing, reducing trauma, increasing perceptions of penal legitimacy, encouraging compliance with the regime, improving prisoner-staff relations, and making prison staff feel like a professionalised and valued workforce. Her personal website on this is 

She has undertaken a significant programme of work on: the rehabilitative potential of prisons (with Dr Kate Gooch, University of Bath); the commissioning, planning and design of prisons in England and Wales, Scotland, Norway and Denark, and the 'lived experience' of prison architecture for prisoners, prison staff, prison visitors, neighbours and other stakeholder groups in those jurisdictions (with Prof Dominique Moran, University of Birmingham); and the incorporation of Trauma-Informed Care and Practice (TICP) into prison planning and design in the UK and Republic of Ireland (with Dr Mel Jordan, University of Nottingham and Dr Serena Wright, Royal Holloway).

In addition to this empirical research, she has done extensive consultancy and advisory work on prison planning and design, including:

  • Consultant to Irish Prison Service (IPS) as member of Quality Assessment Panel on Design & Build team for new women’s prison at Limerick; and on prison modernisation and expansion programmes including refurbishments of the Dóchas Centre, Wheatfield and Clover Hill prisons in Dublin and Limerick men’s prison.
  • Guest of New Zealand Department of Corrections, leading workshops and presentations with Deputy Chief Executive and senior managers, plus visit to Auckland East maximum-security prison (on which she served on the Design & Build team in 2013-2015).
  • Advisor to NZ Dept of Corrections on design of adult male medium-high security prison in Waikeria.
  • Consultant to FMSA Architects, Melbourne, on Dame Phyllis Frost Centre women’s prison, Victoria.
  • Consultant to UK Ministry of Justice Prison Estates Transformation Programme (PETP) Board and their appointed architects Bryden Wood on design planning for new men’s prisons in England & Wales. 
  • Advisor to UK National Offender Management Service (NOMS) on interior design of HMP Berwyn, a 2106-bed prison in Wrexham, North Wales, opened Feb 2017. 
  • Advisor to Executive Governors of six ’Early Adopter’ reform prisons in England & Wales, 2017.
  • Advisor to Corrections Victoria Youth Justice Review Board on planned juvenile facilities in wake of riots at Parkville Youth Justice Centre; and submitted written evidence to Parliamentary Inquiry into Youth Justice Centres in Victoria, Feb 2017.
  • Advisor to Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) on their design for new women’s prison in Belfast.
  • Advisor to International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva, on prison design in developing nations.
  • Consultant to Next Step Partners consortium, led by Fletcher Construction, awarded PPP contract to design and build new Auckland East maximum-security prison for adult males, New Zealand, 2013-15.
  • Over this period, she has conducted research in prisons in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, Catalonia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. 

Research interests

Examples of major presentations and publications in the area of prison architecture, design and technology are listed below:

  • Keynote speaker 'What works least worst? Designing for something other than rehabilitation' at 'What Works in Custodial Design?' workshop, University of Birmingham, 30-31 March 2020
  • Plenary speaker 'Exporting the "fantasy prison": the risks inherent in imaginary Nordic penalities' at 'Nordic Punishment at a Crossroads?' conference, University of Oslo, 10-13 March 2020
  • Plenary speaker at inaugural EuroPris Real Estate conference, Ljubljana, hosted by Slovenian Prison Service and supported by the Justice Programme of the European Union, Oct 2019. 
  • Speaker at International Corrections & Prisons Association (ICPA) annual conference, ‘Prioritising Innovation in the Design of a New Prison in Ireland’, with Ciarán Nevin, Senior Projects Manager, Irish Prison Service, and ‘Designing “healthy” prisons for women: incorporating trauma-informed care and practice into prison planning and design’, London, Nov 2017.
  • Invited speaker at Prisons Research Centre annual meeting, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, ‘Designing humanity into prison architecture’, Oct 2019.
  • Presented research to Guymer Bailey Architects, Melbourne, Dec 2018.
  • Invited speaker, ‘Designing Deep-End Imprisonment’, panel with Prof Ben Crewe and Prof Alison Liebling, Mannheim Centre, LSE, May 2018.
  • Invited speaker, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, ‘Recent developments in prison planning and design across Europe: What constitutes a "well-designed" prison?’  Symposium on Transformations in European Prisons, March 2017.
  • Organised and hosted a symposium at RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) in London ‘Prison Architecture and Design in the Context of Reform’, bringing together academics, architects, HMPPS and MoJ personnel, policy-makers and other key stakeholders to discuss and debate prison modernisation/expansion, June 2017.
  • Lead author on ‘Rehabilitation by Design’ report (with Gleeds Architects and The Nehemiah Project), launched in the Palace of Westminster, 10thOct 2016.
  • Invited speaker, HMP Guy’s Marsh ‘Innovations in prison operation, culture and design: Can prisons be ‘healthy’ and can they rehabilitate?’, lecture to senior management, staff and prisoners, Nov 2016.
  • Keynote speaker, Australian & New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC) annual conference, Hobart, Tasmania, ‘No Brave New World: Limiting prisoners’ horizons in the name of public acceptability’, Dec 2016.
  • Invited speaker, John Barry Annual Memorial Lecture, University of Melbourne, Australia, ‘Designs on punishment: the architecture of incarceration and the architecture of hope’, Nov 2016.
  • Keynote speaker, London Drug & Policy Forum, ‘New perspectives on offender rehabilitation: Promoting behavioural change through prison planning and design’, Sept 2016.
  • Plenary speaker, International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) Melbourne, Australia, ‘Designing punishment: balancing security, creativity and humanity in contemporary correctional systems’, Oct 2015.
  • Invited speaker, Griffith University, Brisbane QLD, Australia, ‘Prison architects as moral agents: is it possible to design a ‘healthy’ high-security prison?’, Oct 2014.
  • Keynote speaker, Informa Prison Planning & Design conference, Melbourne, Australia, ‘The new architecture of incarceration: humane punishment, hidden pain?’ Dec 2013.


Selected recent publications

  • Jewkes, Y. (2020) ‘“An Iron Fist in a Silk Glove”: The Pains of Halden Prison’ in B. Crewe et al. (eds) Power and Authority in the Modern Prison, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Jewkes, Y., Jordan, M., Wright, S. and Bendelow, G. (2019) Designing “Healthy” Prisons for Women: Incorporating Trauma-Informed Care and Practice (TICP) into Prison Planning and DesignInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Available OnlineFirst.
  • Moran, D., Jewkes, Y. and Lorne, C. (2019) ‘Designing for Imprisonment: Architectural ethics and prison design, Architecture Philosophy vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 67-81.
  • Jewkes, Y. (2018) ‘Just Design: Healthy Prisons and the Architecture of Hope’, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology 51(3): 319-33.
  • Jewkes, Y. and Gooch, K. (2019) ‘The “Rehabilitation Prison”’, in P. Ugwudike et al. (eds)The Routledge Companion to Rehabilitative Work in Criminal Justice, Routledge.
  • Jewkes, Y. (2017) ‘Rehabilitation by Design: Taking Prison Reform Seriously’ Nature Human Behaviour 1: 846-848.
  • Jewkes, Y. (2017) ‘Prison Planning and Design: Learning from the Past and Looking to the Future’, Prison Service Journal 231: 15-21.
  • Jewkes, Y. (2016) ‘Designing Punishment in England & Wales: What Can Be Learned from Other Countries about Balancing Security, Creativity and Humanity in Correctional Systems?’, Advancing Corrections 1(2):25-37.
  • Lulham, R., Grant, L., Jewkes, Y. and Tomkin, D. (2016) “The Risk of “a Cold Conservatism” in Correctional Facility Design: The Case for Design Innovation’, in Advancing Corrections 1(1): 12-25.
  • Grant, E. and Jewkes, Y. (2015) ‘Designs on Punishment: Evolving Models of Spatial Confinement in Australia and the USA’, The Prison Journal 95(2): 223-243.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Criminology, Doctor of Philosophy, Captive Audiences: Media, Masculinity and Power in Prisons, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge , University of Cambridge

31 Aug 19971 Sept 1999

Award Date: 1 Jan 2000

Mass Communications Research, Master of Arts, University of Leicester

Award Date: 1 Sept 1989

English Literature, Bachelor of Arts, University of Gloucestershire

External positions

Honorary Visiting Professor, University of Melbourne

Jan 2014 → …


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