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  Carceral Expansion and Private Sector Involvement: The Impact of a Mega Prison on the Local Community


   School of Humanities and Social Sciences

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  Dr Bill Davies, Dr Emily Louise Hart  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project aims to conduct an in-depth analysis of the role and impact of private sector providers involvement in the new mega prisons on local communities. It will focus on a selected site (HMP Berwyn) to develop a schematic account of the impact of private mega-prison providers on the local community of Wrexham, North Wales.

The ‘mega prison’ building program has since 2012, been promoted as a fiscal stimulus opportunity to attract private investment to areas from which the state has divested (Panchami, 2012; Corcoran, 2014). This general principle underpins current plans to continue to create several new ‘mega’ prisons (or 10,000 new prison places).

Local economies reshape around the needs of large public institutions like prisons: e.g., education providers are restructured to take on prison-based contracts and prison labour can drive down local wages. The relationship between the new generation of mega prisons and their sources of funding and operation are complex and it is an analysis of this that will form the critical context to this project.

Research Questions

  1. How do private providers involved in the running of the new mega prisons reshape public service, community provision and the local economy?
  2. What are and how we can we understand the broader, unacknowledged social impacts of private involvement in mega-prisons on the local community?

Methodological Approach

Secondary analysis of documentary data including finding tenders, profiling companies, analysis of contracts and submission and analysis of FOI requests.

Qualitative ‘expert interviews’ with a variety of stakeholders, politicians, public officials, civil servants and service providers.

Please contract Emily Louise Hart by email at [Email Address Removed] for more information.


Sociology (32)

Funding Notes

The bursary includes all UK Fees paid and a stipend of £17,668 per annum (pro-rate into 12 monthly payments) for a period of three years. Funding will be subject to satisfactory progress. The school will expect you to contribute to teaching in an area close to your own research interests.