Michelle is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Sustainable Health and Justice and Co-director of the Healthy and Sustainable Settings Unit (HSSU) where she leads on Prisons Programmes. Michelle is also the UCLan Prisons Strand Lead for the Criminal Justice Partnership - a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to real world research in the field of criminal justice.
Michelle has provided the North West regional strategic and programme lead on healthy prisons development, alongside co-ordinating the North West Regional Healthy Prisons Partnership Network for over ten years. She is also a member of the HMPPs National and North West Regional Programme Boards for the Rehabilitative Culture of Prisons and National HMPPS Research Group for Care Experience in Prisons. In addition, she is a member of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education’s (IUHPE) Global Working Group for Healthy Settings, Editor of the International Journal of Health Promotion and Education (IJHP&E) and on the Editorial Board for Health Promotion International. Michelle's role broadly comprises research, development, training/CPD, teaching and supervision of research students which draws on her extensive regional, national and international networks and collaborations with prisons, health and justice. to provide research into practice and interlinked knowledge exchange.
Michelle has an extensive health promotion and public health background particularly working with underserved, disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, people in prison and offenders in the wider community and have worked on topics and issues relating to young people, prisoners and wider justice-related partnerships; and, is committed to improving the health of people who are socially excluded or marginalised, and to addressing health inequalities and social injustice. She is a qualitative researcher with specialist interests and specific expertise in prisons as a settings for health and ethnographic, participant observation, narrative/story telling, creative, visual and arts-based methods and approaches. Michelle has worked closely with all HM Public Sector Prisons in the North West since 2008 developing and implementing a sustainable whole system therapeutic horticulture programme, Greener on the Outside for Prisons Programme (GOOP). As a social, therapeutic and educational intervention for prisoners to improve health and wellbeing, GOOP supports the reduction of reoffending rates through connectedness to nature and securing benefits related to: health and wellbeing, with particular improvements in complex and challenging mental health cases; reduced aggression, risk of suicide and self-harm; skills development and employability; improved relationships; enhanced staff morale and wellbeing; and a shift towards a rehabilitative prison culture.
- Professional Doctorate in Research for Professional Practice, University of Central Lancashire 2013
- MA Health Services Management, University of Central Lancashire 2004
- BA (Hons) Health Studies (Community Health), University of Central Lancashire 2001
- Michelle has significant expertise in prisons as a setting for health and wellbeing. She is particularly interested in the duality of governance/prison health systems and sustainable public health and health promotion interventions. Michelle has a specialist interest in the impacts of nature on health and wellbeing in the prison setting which she pioneered through the whole prison horticulture programme, GOOP.
- International Journal of Health Promotion and Education [IJHPE] (Trustee)
- Individual Member of International Union for Health Promotion and Education [IUHPE]
- UK Public Health Association
- International Union for Health Promotion & Education [IUHPE] - Global Working Group on Healthy Settings
- WEPHREN – Worldwide Prison Health Research & Engagement Network
- National HMPPS Rehabilitative Culture Board
- National Children’s Bureau and Youth Justice Board for Healthy Secure Homes
- Healthy Prisons Programme Board
- North West Healthy Prisons Network (Chair)
- North West Region GOOP Network (Chair)
- North West H.M. Prisons Programme Board: Rehabilitative Culture for Prisons
- H.M. Prisons and Probation Service, National Research Group for Care Experience in Prisons