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HM Prisons and Probation Service commissions our historians


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Lucy Delap (Cambridge), Caroline Lanskey (Cambridge), Louise Jackson (Edinburgh) and Ben Jarman (Cambridge)
PHOTO: From Left to right: Lucy Delap (Cambridge), Caroline Lanskey (Cambridge), Louise Jackson (Edinburgh) and Ben Jarman (Cambridge)

Historians Lucy Delap (Cambridge) and Louise Jackson (Edinburgh) join colleagues in Criminology, Loraine Gelsthorpe, Ben Jarman and Caroline Lanskey (Cambridge), in investigating the historical and contemporary contexts that shaped approaches to child protection in the secure estate in England and Wales between 1960 and 2016.

This work has been commissioned by Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service, and will inform HMPPS submissions to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, as well as their understanding of the needs of child victims and survivors of abuse.

Lucy Delap comments: ‘Partnership between criminologists and historians is key to gaining a fuller understanding of how prisons, secure children’s homes and young offender institutions worked, and feeding this into public debates. It’s really productive to be able to explore the archives in tandem, and track how systems of inspection, complaints, and institutional cultures may have shaped children’s experience of custody.’

Further reading from our policy papers:

Lucy Delap, Child welfare, child protection and sexual abuse, 1918-1990

Louise Jackson, Child sexual abuse in England and Wales: prosecution and prevalence, 1918-1970

Adrian Bingham, Scandals and silences: the British press and child sexual abuse

About Us


With long-established offices in King's College London and the University of Cambridge, H&P is an expanding Partnership currently supported by 6 Higher Education Institutes: King’s College London, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, The University of Edinburgh, University of Leeds, and The University of Sheffield.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

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