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Dr Abigail Stark

Lecturer in Criminology
School of Justice
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Abigail is a Lecturer in Criminology at the School of Law & Social Science, where she specialises in the study of imprisonment and comparative penology. Abigail is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and teaches across a range of subjects on our foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate criminology programmes, as well as supervising postgraduate research in criminology.

Abigail is a prison researcher and has experience of undertaking qualitative research in prisons in England and the Republic of Ireland. Her particular research interests focus on lived experiences of imprisonment, the rights and citizenship of people with convictions, and the role of national context in shaping experiences of punishment. Abigail is enthusiastic about research-led teaching, and her research informs her teaching on imprisonment and comparative penology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Since joining the School of Law & Social Science in August 2018, Abigail has taught across both the law and criminology undergraduate and foundation programmes, as well as being involved in the development of the MA Criminology for which she was Course Leader in 2019-20. Abigail has also been involved in facilitation of the Debating Differences programme, developed by her colleague Dr Laura Kelly-Corless, where students take part in structured debating alongside men serving sentences at HMP Kirkham. Prior to joining The University of Central Lancashire, Abigail taught at the University of Sheffield where she received funding from the Economic & Social Research Council to complete her doctoral research, titled “‘Lived Citizenship’ from the perspectives of men imprisoned in the Republic of Ireland & England”, under the supervision of Dr Cormac Behan and Professor Stephen Farrall. Prior to this, Abigail was a Research Assistant for the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth, where she worked on a number of qualitative and quantitative research projects.

  • PhD, University of Sheffield, 2019
  • MA International Criminology, University of Sheffield, 2013
  • LLB (Hons) Law and Criminology, University of Sheffield, 2012
  • Shortlisted for Howard League for Penal Reform John Sunley Prize, 2014
  • University of Sheffield Sir Anthony Bottoms Prize in Criminology, 2014

Modules Taught

  • CJ4012 - Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • CJ4015 - The Politics of Prison and Punishment
  • CJ1010 - Crime and Justice in Society
  • CJ1012 - Key Approaches in Criminology: Socio-Cultural Perspectives
  • CJ2029 - Controversial Issues in Prisons
  • CJ3024 - Why Prison?
  • Imprisonment
  • Comparative Penology
  • Citizenship and Imprisonment
  • Prisoners’ Rights
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy