Academics from RHUL to study further HMI Prisons' prisoner survey data

For more than two decades, HM Inspectorate of Prisons has conducted surveys of prisoners and other detainees as an integral part of its inspections. This has generated a unique database of historic survey data from at least 100,000 respondents, with more than 10 million analysable responses.

These have been collected from prisons, young offender institutions, secure training centres, immigration detention facilities and military detention establishments.

Surveys cover a wide range of topics – from views on food to concerns about safety – and provide invaluable insights into the experiences and perceptions of treatment and conditions for prisoners and detainees since 2000.

HMI Prisons has always published findings, drawn from its analysis of survey material, but has not made the full raw data more widely available for further research purposes.

Now, however, with the support of HMI Prisons, a research team from the Department of Law and Criminology at Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL), has obtained a £240,000 grant from the ESRC’s Secondary Data Analysis Initiative to study this raw data for the first time.

The project will begin in September 2021 and will focus initially on data from adult prisons, though data from other places of detention will also be prepared for potential wider use. The overall project will inform and enrich the Inspectorate’s thematic and other inspection work, and the information it provides to other bodies. It will also be of wide benefit to practitioners, policy makers and academic researchers.

Read more about the project on the university’s website.