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'Five years’ penal servitude’ – The Inaugural Lecture of Professor Helen Johnston

About 'Five years’ penal servitude’ – The Inaugural Lecture of Professor Helen Johnston

‘Five years’ penal servitude’: Experiences of criminal justice and narrating the criminal past

Most people’s interactions with the criminal justice system in the past, and today, are minor ones.

This lecture explores what we know about those people who were sentenced to periods of imprisonment and penal servitude in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a smaller group who found their interaction with the criminal justice system to be more significant yet relatively fleeting.

Professor Johnston will discuss the ways in which people experienced penal servitude and release mechanisms in the past and the impact this had on their lives and on whether or not they reoffended.

Helen Johnston is an expert in the history of crime and punishment from 1750. She is the first female Professor of Criminology at the University of Hull. She has undertaken extensive research on local prisons, convict prisons and licensing/early release mechanisms.
She has researched the experiences of both prisoners and staff and the evolution of prison architecture.

She is also interested in crime and criminal justice heritage and the preservation, presentation and dissemination of crime heritage in museums, archives and heritage sites.

She has been Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator on a range of funded research projects supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust.

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