Prof Julie Parsons: how can wider engagement improve prisoner-community relations?

Following on from the success of her book 'Gender, Class and Food, families, bodies and health' - shortlisted for the SHI Book Prize 2016 - Dr Julie Parson's has been working with LandWorks, a rural land-based resettlement scheme that works with men released on temporary licence and community sentences (referred to as trainees), to research the benefits of preparing, cooking and sharing ‘good’ food with others as a tool for health, well-being, social inclusion and community resilience.  Read her article , 'Eat well together, work well together', published in 'Inside Time'.

Julie's research revealed that community members were keen to know more about the trainees they were meeting, and there was a need to find an appropriate avenue to enable the prisoners to engage more widely with the community. And so the idea of the Photographic Electronic Narrative (PeN) pilot project was born and subsequently enabled by an ISRF Mid-Career Research Fellowship. The main aim of the PeN (Photographic electronic Narrative) project is to give the wider community a window into the lives and experiences of offenders and ex-offenders as they work to turn their lives around.

“There are two inter-related aims of the PeN project. Firstly, it enables trainees to create a visual, self-reflexive narrative of their resettlement journey and secondly, it engages the wider community with this journey."

The Photographic Electronic Narrative (PeN) pilot project

Dr Julie Parsons has been awarded an ISRF Mid-Career Research Fellowship to conduct a pilot project with prisoners and men on community licence

Challenging negative stereotypes of prisoners

Read more about the research project