Ms Lucy Baldwin

Job: Senior Lecturer in Community and Criminal Justice

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 207 8358




Personal profile

Lucy Baldwin is a Senior lecturer in Criminology based in the Community & Criminal Justice Division, located within the Health and Life Sciences faculty of De Montfort University. Prior to entering the world of Academia full time   in 2004 Lucy had worked as both a Social Worker and a Probation Officer  across a broad range of social and criminal justice settings. (In both custodial and community based environments).

Lucy has been at DMU since the inception of the criminology programme and was part of the team developing the programme from scratch and taking it right through to validation. Lucy has taught on many of the modules throughout the various manifestations of the programme; including Introduction to Criminology, Multi Agency Working and Risk, Working with Offenders and Preparation for Professional Practice.  Lucy currently leads Modules on the UG Criminology programme, namely a 1st year module ‘Research, Equality & Diversity’ and a 2 nd year elective module on Mental Health.

Lucy has experience teaching Undergraduate, post graduate and vocational students - having taught on the Policing, Probation and Social Work courses based at DMU. In addition Lucy has been asked to contribute to the development of training and training materials in relation to working emotionally and positively with women and mothers in the criminal justice system. Lucy‘s areas of expertise in relation to teaching are, mothers & criminal Justice, Mothers &Sentencing , mental health & criminal Justice, Equality & Diversity ( specifically women &  mothers) ,sex offending behaviour and working with Domestic Abuse.

Lucy is a Year Coordinator for years 2& 3 of the Criminology programmes, a Module Leader, Personal Tutor and Dissertation Supervisor. Lucy Has the Certificate in research Supervision and has experience of supervising UG, PG and ‘subject’ expert supervision of PhD students.

Lucy is currently involved in Joint Research with Rona Epstein; Honory Research Fellow at Coventry University related the sentencing of women – more specifically the use of short sentences and their impact – particularly in relation to mothers and grandmothers. Lucy’s PhD ‘Mothers Confined’ explores emotional impact and emotional management in relation to the incarceration of mothers and grandmothers.

Lucy has published a number of journal articles  and her book 'Mothering Justice'

Baldwin. L (auth /ed)(2015) ‘Mothering Justice :Working with Motheris in Criminal and Social Justice Settings. Sherfield-on-Loddon. Waterside Press.

Research group affiliations

  • Emotions & Criminal Justice Cluster DMU
  • Reproduction Research Cluster DMU

Publications and outputs 

  • ‘A Life Sentence’: The long-term impact of maternal imprisonment
    ‘A Life Sentence’: The long-term impact of maternal imprisonment Baldwin, Lucy In the last decade research surrounding ‘maternal imprisonment’, has become more visible, the topic has garnered interest and attention in the UK in a way it had not previously enjoyed. For example, existing UK research includes; explored maternal imprisonment and the rights of the child in sentencing (Epstein, 2012; Minson 2014; Prison Reform Trust, 2015), young motherhood, stigma and prison, (Sharpe, 2015), maternal imprisonment and the wider impact on the family (Booth, 2017; Masson, 2014), and maternal identity and maternal emotion Baldwin, 2015, 2017, 2018; Lockwood, 2013; Rowe, 2011). However, except for Baldwin, 2017, 2018, less well documented, are the long-term effects of maternal imprisonment, both in relation to the wider family and for mothers themselves. This paper, drawing on the authors own research, seeks to explore the longer-term impact for post-release mothers. The chapter, drawing on interviews, questionnaires, letters from across several research projects, will explore particularly, the long-term impact of imprisonment on maternal identity and emotions. Mothers in the research described how they assumed that release from prison would mean a ‘return to normal’, that life would carry on much as it has prior to their sentence. The reality was however that mothers felt forever ‘tainted’ (Baldwin, 2017), by their prison experience, they felt like ‘failures’’ as mothers, and this pervading sense of now being a ‘bad mother’ affected their relationships with their children and families and their own self-worth. These post-prison mothers and grandmothers described struggling to reintegrate into their families, to re-establish themselves in their previous roles. They described amongst other things, feeling ‘judged’, ‘powerless’, ‘suicidal’, ‘invisible’ in their own homes. The longed-for release had brought with it many issues the women had not anticipated nor prepared for, and this had an impact on their ability to cope, and sometimes on their desistance. If we are to continue to send mothers to prison, and arguably the preferred option is wherever possible we don’t; then more must be done to support mothers and children affected by the criminal justice system. This paper highlights the relevance and importance of emotionally supporting mothers both during the custodial period and importantly, post-release in the community. Working with mothers via a matricentric criminological approach, assisting them to maintain an active mothering role during their sentence will prove beneficial in terms of maintaining relationships. Supporting mothers and families in the often-challenging period of re-integration will assist successful resettlement. Failure to do so may impact negatively, not only positive outcomes for mothers themselves but also on the mothers’ ability to engage in sentence planning/supervision and therefore resistance. Which ultimately will further impact on the children and wider society. The chapter provides the post-prison context in an edited collection focussing on issues related to mothers in prison. It is an original contribution to knowledge based on my research findings.
  • Presence, Voice and Reflexivity in Feminist and Creative Research: A personal and professional reflection
    Presence, Voice and Reflexivity in Feminist and Creative Research: A personal and professional reflection Baldwin, Lucy Abstract Feminist research seeks to authenticate, substantiate and illuminate women's thoughts, feelings and experiences (Oakley, 2016; Renzetti, 2013; Maynard and Purvis, 1994). Trusting the memories, accounts and assimilated experiences of participants, and their authentic reproduction is an essential aspect to feminist research principles, whether those memories and experiences are recent or distant. This is particularly important concerning a population who are so often mistrusted, silenced, unheard or muted, i.e. prisoners, criminalised women, and children (Baldwin in Lockwood, forthcoming, Bozkurt and Aresti 2019, O'Malley 2018, Wahidin 2004). Aresti et al (2016), argue that lack of visibility and voice in academic criminological research results in prisoners and criminalised individuals often being excluded from the processes of research, furthermore, often being entirely invisible in the products of research, (i.e. research reports, theses, dissertations). Feminist researchers Oakley (1981, 2016), Finch (1984), and Maynard and Purvis (1994) highlight the importance of increased and evidenced reflexivity, alongside a minimisation of power imbalance. Which, they argue can be achieved at least in part, by not viewing research participants as simply being done to as opposed to researched with. Thus, in feminist research, reflexivity is essential, as are the presence and voices of research participants as evident in the process and products of research. This chapter explored the research dynamic between researcher and researched in feminist studies, highlighting and arguing for greater involvement of participants in research, and more creative means of generating knowledge and understanding. The chapter has a global reach in terms of its application. It will identify examples of particularly interactive and creative research and conclude with recommendations for good practice internationally.
  • Andrea Yates; An 'Unspeakable Crime'
    Andrea Yates; An 'Unspeakable Crime' Baldwin, Lucy On June 20, 2001, Andrea Yates took the lives of all five of her children, drowning them in the bathtub of their home in Houston, Texas. The children, Noah, John, Paul, Luke, and Mary were aged from seven years to 6 months. At the time of the murders Andrea Yates stated she had killed her children to “save them from the devil and to punish herself as a bad mother”(Denno2003). The public reaction to her crime polarised America, with some painting her as a cruel and heartless woman who had committed “an act of evil” so against nature and biology that it was both incomprehensible and irredeemable. Yet to others Andrea Yates was a loving mother of faith – who also happened to be a vulnerable, depressed mother with a long history of mental illness. The most comprehensive and up-to-date reference on contemporary, historical, and global concerns about women, crime, and criminal justice The Encyclopedia of Women and Crime is a comprehensive reference work on the pioneers and practitioners in the field of criminal justice, and expert analysis of both female offenders and victims of crime.
  • Motherhood Judged: Social Exclusion, Mothers and Prison.
    Motherhood Judged: Social Exclusion, Mothers and Prison. Baldwin, Lucy Women, girls, mothers and grandmothers arguably all experience exclusion at some point in their lives – just by the very nature of being female in the first instance. Girls talk of being excluded from ‘grown women’ conversations, women are excluded in a man’s world daily, older women describe feeling ‘invisible ‘as they age – but arguably few women are as genuinely and completely socially excluded as the imprisoned mother. (Baldwin 2015, Enos 2001,). Fear is often a relevant factor in relation to why people may become ‘othered’ or excluded, and Feinman (1994) suggests throughout history fear of the non-conforming woman, i.e. the criminal woman has always run high – never more so when that woman is also a mother. Mothering, particularly ‘good mothering’ law breaking and prison are deemed incompatible: “Many women [in prison] still define themselves and are defined by others - by their role in the family. It is an important component in our self-identity and self-esteem. To become a prisoner is almost by definition to become a bad mother.” (Corston 2007:2.17:20). Being located in prison simply magnifies the social exclusion most mothers entering custody already feel, long felt through class, poverty, victimization and inequality. Therefore, mothers in custody are often dealing with the pain of mothering from a physically excluded position whilst also ‘managing’ the emotional fallout of already pain filled lives (Carlen 1983, Baldwin 2015). To be separated from one’s children and families whilst managing the additional burden of guilt, judgement and social exclusion (Sharp 2015) can feel unsurprisingly overwhelming. How do mothers themselves experience such feelings, how does the judgement of others affect mothers in prison? How does it affect their view of themselves and of each other? Do they as a socially excluded group themselves exclude others within prison walls and why? This paper seeks to explore such issues and provide answer to some of these questions – both from the literature available and from the authors own research. The paper will explore the emotional experiences alongside the sense of exclusion felt by incarcerated mothers. In addition, it will discuss the value of understanding more about incarcerated mothers lived experiences and offer recommendations in relation to working practices with such mothers which will seek to minimise and compensate for the impact and effect of social exclusion of mothers who go to prison. The effects of which are very self-evident and eloquently described by one mother in my ongoing research. ‘’ I didn’t just feel disconnected from my kids, I felt disconnected from everything – from the world even – I was so scared to come out of prison – I knew I’d have friends and even family who wouldn’t want to know me …. How can you feel part of something when you know you are not wanted’’? (Baldwin 2019 – forthcoming) The book is likely to be published in the spring of 2019.
  • Grandmothering in the Context of Criminal Justice: Grandmothers in Prison and Grandmothers as Caregivers When a Parent is Imprisoned
    Grandmothering in the Context of Criminal Justice: Grandmothers in Prison and Grandmothers as Caregivers When a Parent is Imprisoned Baldwin, Lucy When a mother of young children is imprisoned, pain and heartache are perhaps seen as inevitable, and have been relatively well documented. What is less well reported are the effects on grandmother carers, or the adult ‘children’ and grandchildren of imprisoned mothers; and indeed, the experiences of those older imprisoned mothers and grandmothers themselves. This essay will explore the experiences of grandmothers, both as prisoners, and as the cornerstone of families in despair, when they take the role of caregiver for imprisoned mothers’ children. It seeks to highlight the physical and emotional challenges that occur when grandmothering and incarceration collide. Edited collection will be published 2019 - no permission to upload copy of chapter given.
  • Promises, promises: can the female offender strategy deliver?
    Promises, promises: can the female offender strategy deliver? Booth, Natalie; Masson, Isla; Baldwin, Lucy Following a number of postponements, the long awaited and much needed female offender strategy for England and Wales was finally published in June 2018. The strategy reflects the strong agreement across the sector of the need for a ‘distinct’ or ‘gender-specific’ approach to respond to the vulnerabilities of women in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Despite this, the strategy lacks clarity and offers little assurance that the direction taken will result in actual change and positive reform. It is vital that the government’s implementation of the female offender strategy provides and demonstrates a genuine commitment to appropriate provision for females in the CJS through ring-fenced permanent funding as well as top-down accountability. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link
  • Mothering Interrupted: Mother-child separation via incarceration in England and Ireland.
    Mothering Interrupted: Mother-child separation via incarceration in England and Ireland. O'Malley, S.; Baldwin, Lucy This chapter explore the pains of imprisonment as a mother. The chapter, using the reflections of mothers, who via the authors' research in England and Ireland, highlights the common experience of imprisoned mothers. The chapter explores the broader cultural context in which the mothers are imprisoned, and how their locations can shape their experiences.
  • Within these Walls: Reflections of women in and after prison: an insight into the experience of women’s imprisonment in Britain and Ireland.
    Within these Walls: Reflections of women in and after prison: an insight into the experience of women’s imprisonment in Britain and Ireland. Baldwin, Lucy; Quinlan, Christina This paper, based on the authors’ continuing work with women in custody in Ireland and Britain over a period of 6 years, poignantly reminds us of the women in our prisons and the extraordinarily punitive sanction, that imprisonment often is for such women. The Corston Report was regarded as a revolutionary beacon of light for activists and academics working in the field of women’s imprisonment. Baroness Corston, in a powerful way, drew the attention of the British government to the plight of women in prison, to the injustice of adding criminal sanctions to social disadvantage for some of the most vulnerable in society. The report enlivened activists, sparking ideas and opening up new possibilities regarding radical change for women in criminal justice systems. The question now, 11 years on, is whether all that promise was realised. By way of a contribution to answering that question, this article reflects on the reality of women’s imprisonment in Britain and Ireland today. This article contains images of women's prison cells and poetry written by women in and after prison.
  • Tainted Love: The Impact of Prison on Mothering Identity Explored via Mothers’ Post Prison Reflections
    Tainted Love: The Impact of Prison on Mothering Identity Explored via Mothers’ Post Prison Reflections Baldwin, Lucy Mothers enter prison already disadvantaged, judged, excluded and most often in pain. Prison magnifies challenges to mothering and mothering identity. This paper reflects on the described experiences of previously incarcerated mothers. The paper focuses particularly on the emotional aspects of the mother’s experience, how being an imprisoned mother challenges her mothering identity and the mothering role; both during incarceration and long after release. The paper draws on the authors ongoing doctoral research, the purpose of which is to ‘understand more about the impact of prison on mothers who experience custody’, as well as the author’s previous research in this important area.2 The data is drawn from indepth interviews which took place with 21 released mothers between January 2016 and October 2016. All participants volunteered to take part and gave appropriate informed consent. The mothers had been out of prison for periods ranging from one to 26 years since their last sentence and were aged between 19 and 66. Open access journal
  • Short But Not Sweet: A study of the impact of short custodial sentences on mothers & their children
    Short But Not Sweet: A study of the impact of short custodial sentences on mothers & their children Baldwin, Lucy; Epstein, Rona This research report is based on a small scale study of 17 post prison mothers, and their fifty children The report serves to highlight the significant harm of short custodial sentences on mothers and their children. The report, heavy with the voices of post prison mothers, identifies mothers' own view of the impact of short custodial sentences on themselves and their children. Mothers described challenges to their physical and mental health, challenges in relation to contact, lack of maternal support and significant impact on children. The report echo's previous research findings in relation to the harm of custodial sentences for mothers, reiterating that previously identified harms occur even when sentences are a matter of weeks as opposed to months. The report makes recommendations for positive change. The report concludes with suggestions for future research. This research was also supported by Coventry University where Rona Epstein, ( joint author), is an Honorary research assistant.

 Click here for a full listing of Lucy Baldwin's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Mothers and Prison
  • Mothers and Sentencing
  • Women and the Criminal Justice System
  • Mental Health /Mentally Disordered Offenders
  • Working with Domestic  Abuse
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Sex Offenders
  • Professional Practice /Professionalism
  • Trauma Informed Practice 


  • Masters in Applied Social Studies (Durham University)
  • Dip. Social Work (Durham University)
  • BA (Hons) Applied Social Studies and Psychology (University of Sunderland)
  • Cert RS.(Cerificate in Research Supervision) De Montfort University
  • Ad Cert CTS. Advanced Certificate in Counselling
  • Theory and Skills. (CSCT)NVQ Assessors 

Honours and awards

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 

Membership of external committees

External Examiner Criminology Programmes: University of Bedfordshire. (2008-2012) 

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • BASW (British Association of Social Workers)
  • BSA (British Sociological Association )
  • COPE (children of prisoners Europe)
  • Womens Breakout (national organisation working  for alternatives to custody for women)
  • BSC (British Society of Criminology)


  • Co-facilitator with Victoria Knight for the 1st National ‘Emotions & Criminal Justice Conference ‘18th Feb 2016. 
  • Joint Research with Rona Epstein (Coventry University) Women, Mothers and Short Custodial Sentences.

Forthcoming events

  • Invited Speaker to ‘Women Supporting Women’ at University of Worcester National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Domestic Abuse. 
  • Invited Speaker: Hearing the Hidden Voice: Researching Prisoners' Lives and Perspectives. University of Dundee, 23 October  2015.
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