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Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000

This is a major new, five-year project, funded by a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award, and led by co-PIs Associate Professor Catherine Cox (UCD) and Professor Hilary Marland (University of Warwick).

Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000’ undertakes research into topics that resonate with current concerns in the prison service, including the very high incidence of mental health problems amongst prisoners, the health of women and maternity services in prison, and responses to addiction and HIV/AIDS. All the different strands of research will straddle the period from the start of the modern prison system in the mid-nineteenth century up to the current day, and compare the provision of medical services and notions of the entitlement of prisoners to health in both England and Ireland.

The research team seeks to answer the overarching questions of who advocates for prisoners’ health; to what extent are prisoners deemed entitled to health care; how do debates on human rights influence the provision of medical care for prisoners; and to what extent are prison doctors constrained by dual loyalty to the prison service and to prisoners themselves, their patients? The project will engage with policy makers and prison reform organisations, and involve several policy workshops. It will also result in several public outreach projects, including a commissioned theatrical production and artwork.


Find out more about the project themes here.