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Covid-19, the pandemic prison and d/Deaf prisoners

Date and Time22 November 2021 - 12.30pm - 1.30pm GMT
LocationOnline Event
Covid-19, the pandemic prison and d/Deaf prisoners information
Criminal Justice Partnership
Entry Fee: Free
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Comparing the exceptional and the everyday: Covid-19, the pandemic prison, and d/Deaf prisoners

In this presentation, Dan and Laura will explore the parallels between the exceptional lockdown situation in English prisons during Covid-19, and the constant of the experience for d/Deaf prisoners. The lockdown measures in prisons have meant that imprisoned people have been unable to access education, have face-to-face visits, or use facilities such as the gym or libraries. Such restrictions have contributed to experiences of severe isolation, despair, frustration and deteriorating mental health. However, the isolation, exclusion and loneliness this has caused prisoners to feel is not confined to the pandemic for imprisoned d/Deaf people, and rather, characterises their prison realities ordinarily too.

After exploring these overlaps, and using Covid-19 as a framework to highlight the severe and harrowing isolation of d/Deaf prisoners, we go on to argue that there is a value in exploring the ways in which the current exceptional experiences for many during Covid-19 may reflect the constant experiences of particular populations, even outside of the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Daniel McCulloch is a Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy at the Open University, where he is also co-director of the Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC). Daniel's research background is in homelessness, policy responses to rough sleeping, the experiences of d/Deaf prisoners, and critical evaluation of participatory visual research methods.
  • Laura Kelly-Corless, University of Central Lancashire. Laura is a leading UK scholar in the area of d/Deaf prisoners. In 2017, she was awarded Prison Service Journal outstanding article of the year for the article entitled ‘Suffering in Silence: The unmet needs of d/Deaf prisoners’ and received the award at a presentation at HMP Grendon. Since completing her PhD, Laura has sought to raise awareness about the significant issues experienced by d/Deaf people in prison and has presented her work to staff at the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman and the Parole Board. In 2019 she was awarded funding to create a set of 'Think Deaf' documents in conjunction with the School of Design and the Criminal Justice Partnership. This included a leaflet and poster which was sent to all prisons in England and Wales, both of which drew attention to the realities of prison for this population and outlined the adjustments that prisons must make in order to meet the needs of this vulnerable cohort.
  • For further information about the Think Deaf resources that Laura has created, please contact her at

Please register to attend this event and joining instructions will be sent out the day before the event.