Natalie is currently completing a social policy doctorate on maternal imprisonment in the Department for Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath.
Her doctoral research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and part of a 1+3 studentship from the South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC).
Her research explores the impact of a mother's imprisonment on her family life and relationships in England and Wales. As part of this, she is critically examining the role of operational processes (such as visiting and telephone contact) as means to support the maintenance of family ties between an imprisoned mother and her children. Having conducted qualitative interviews with a group of mothers in prison, and a group of family members looking after children whose mothers’ are in prison, the research aims to better understand family life in this context.
Natalie became interested in this research area during her undergraduate Sociology degree at the University of Bath following a year-long research placement at the Ministry of Justice. This stemmed from her work on a longitudinal research study investigating prisoners’ lives and experiences in England and Wales (Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction (SPCR)).
From this, Natalie was part of a team that produced a report on “Prisoners’ childhood and family backgrounds” (Ministry of Justice, 2012).