Dr Victoria Knight

Job: Senior Research Fellow

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

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

T: +44 (0)116 2577720

E: vknight@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

 

Personal profile

Dr Victoria Knight PhD MA BA (Hons) is a senior research fellow for the Community and Criminal Justice Division in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University. She has expertise and research experience across three core areas: 1) digital technologies use in prisons, 2) emotion and criminal justice and 3) offender education.

Victoria employs a range and mix of methodologies including qualitative and quantitative. Victoria has extensive research experience for engaging ‘hard to reach’ groups in a range of settings; both community and prison. She strives to adopt an ‘appreciate approach’, taking on board people’s situations and difficulties.

Victoria has lead and managed a number of research projects and evaluations with respect to basic skills interventions for young offenders. These include an evaluation of the Scratch programme in Leicestershire (2004-7) a subsequent recidivism analysis of this programme (2007-8) and more recently a study into 16+ NEET young offenders for Leicestershire YOS. Another study evaluated the use of  restorative approaches in children’s care home setting (2008-2011).

She has completed a range of prison studies including minority ethnic prisoners’ perceptions of the Prison and Probation Service (2004), mass communication consumption in a closed male young offenders’ institution (2000).Her doctoral thesis explored the role of in-cell TV in male adult prisons. Victoria is a member of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Leicester and the editorial board for the Prison Service Journal. Victoria has recently secured a book contract to publish this work on in-cell television- Remote Control: Television in Prison  Palgrave Macmillian2016. 

Dissemination of all of this work has occurred through a range of outlets for academics and practitioners.

Victoria’s teaching covers tutoring young offenders media and communication studies as well as to Media and Cultural Studies undergraduates, research methods and sociological theory for Probation and Police Officers, and media and cultural studies to Applied Criminology and Youth and Community undergraduates. Victoria currently supervises five PhD students.

Victoria is convenor of the Emotion and Criminal Justice Cluster at De Montfort University.

Research group affiliations

Emotion and Criminal Justice Cluster- Convenor

Publications and outputs 

  • Between Tradition and Modernity: Digital Maturity of Judicial Organisations
    Between Tradition and Modernity: Digital Maturity of Judicial Organisations Knight, Victoria; Van De Steene, Steven We discuss the digital transformation in relation to innovation and digital maturity journeys made by prison services
  • Moral and ethical issues of using technology in corrections
    Moral and ethical issues of using technology in corrections Knight, Victoria; Van De Steene, Steven We discuss a framework for developing ethically and morally sensitive implementation of digital technology in prisons
  • Potential Unlocked: Art in Prison
    Potential Unlocked: Art in Prison Carpenter, Benedict; Knight, Victoria Lecture Title: Potential Unlocked. Participants: Ben Carpenter (ADH) and Victoria Knight (HLS) Description: Potential Unlocked is a collaborative project to deliver visual arts workshops in custodial settings in Leicestershire. Our partners are: Leicester NHS Trust, Soft Touch Arts and HMP Leicester. The project has received c£100k of funding from the Arts Council and others. The aim of the project is to use visual arts workshops to enable the envisioning of alternative futures for inmates suffering poor mental health, as a tool for recovery. Carpenter and Knight are leading the research component. Our method is qualitative research via semi-structured interview. Our research objectives are: • To evaluate the impact of the arts on mental health in custodial and community contexts • To develop appropriate frameworks for gauging mental health recovery in custodial and community contexts The project aligns with UN Goal 3, Good Health and Wellbeing, and UN Goal 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
  • Co-Producing Digitally-Enabled Courses that Promote Desistance in prison and Probation Settings
    Co-Producing Digitally-Enabled Courses that Promote Desistance in prison and Probation Settings Knight, Victoria This paper sets out an approach to innovation in criminaljustice settings that gives service users a ‘voice’ through the co-production of digital content designed for services that promote desistance. The authors describe the benefitsandchallenges of involving service users in co-creating mediated digital content within a co-production framework. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
  • Should the public be listening to prison radio programmes? An exploration of prison radio in Sweden and North America
    Should the public be listening to prison radio programmes? An exploration of prison radio in Sweden and North America Knight, Victoria; Tighe, S. This article reviews a recent project completed by one of the authors. Tighe was successfully awarded a fellowship1 to visit examples of prison radio across Sweden and North America. Tighe visited programmes that could be heard by the general public. This happened after her secondment at the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), as Head of Prison Radio in England and Wales.2 It was her insight and admiration of National Prison Radio which inspired this exploration. Her objective was to find out how the listening public responds to the prisoner experience when they hear it on their normal radio at home or via a website or through social media platforms like Facebook and SoundCloud.
  • Digital transformation for prisons: Developing a needs-based strategy
    Digital transformation for prisons: Developing a needs-based strategy Knight, Victoria; Van De Steene, Steven A digital revolution is upon our penal system – the inevitability of digital transformation is set to shape the way justice is done and experienced. This article identifies some important considerations for digital transformation in prison settings. There are some small yet very promising initiatives in many jurisdictions, and in these early stages of introducing digital technologies for prisoners and staff to use there are still some fundamental barriers. Therefore getting it right within the secure landscape brings further challenges for services. This article argues for prison organizations to develop their digital provision that centres the end user at the heart of their transformation.
  • Digitizing the Prison: The Light and Dark Future
    Digitizing the Prison: The Light and Dark Future Knight, Victoria This article takes a rather unusual form blending an interview with my own reflections on the digitization of our prisons. Its focus is based on an interview with Steven van de Steene1 who is a corrections technology expert. He previously led the design, development and implementation of Belgium’s PrisonCloud2 for the Federal Public Services Justice as IT Director. Heralded as innovative, PrisonCloud has received much attention from other countries, especially those aspiring to develop their own prisons’ digital capability. To date the Belgium’s PrisonCloud implementation still remains one of the only catch all digital provision that prisoners can access, other examples are closely following and different technologies are ready to support this intergrated approach. In this interview Steven draws our attention to important features of digitization identifying the successes and challenges for making this valuable transition within the context of the prison. Steven’s insights provide us with some thoughts on prisons of the future.
  • The Capacity and Capability of Digital Innovation in Prisons: Towards Smart Prisons
    The Capacity and Capability of Digital Innovation in Prisons: Towards Smart Prisons Knight, Victoria; Van De Steene, Steven This article explores the process of innovation in the context of prisons and more specifically the use and availability of digital technologies. Digital technologies attract the innovation label meaning they are heralded as a new frontier. This is especially resonant in the landscape of prisons, as traditionally and typically prisons are sites of deprivation, control and surveillance. We reflect on the capacity and capability of prison services to transform these organisations using digital technology. We also question why digital technologies are viewed as innovative given that they are embedded and accepted features of everyday life. Everyday life has moved from being online to onlife (Hildebrant 2015). Typically, our prisons are not yet digitized spaces especially in stark contrast to the outside community. We reflect on the concept of ‘smart’ technologies and dedicated spaces and networks commonly termed as Smart Cities. We speculate about the value of this phenemona in the context of the prison.
  • The technology of confinement and quasi-therapeutic control: Managing souls with in-cell television
    The technology of confinement and quasi-therapeutic control: Managing souls with in-cell television Knight, Victoria The chapter considers developments in the contemporary technology of the prison and some emerging relations between confinement and therapeutic control. Specifically, the way that in-cell television is employed as a package of care which co-opts prisoners into a therapeutic relationship with television. This is operationalised and rationalised through mechanisms like the incentive and earned privilege system (IEP) in England and Wales. Television is prescribed (by staff and prisoners) to actively distract and minimize the harms of incarceration. In doing so, together staff and prisoners employ television to control the emotional responses to prison life. The culture of the prison has witnessed a shift in the ways social relations (interaction) operate, with many prisoners preferring to stay behind their cell doors. As an instrument of control, television allows staff to deliver what they frame as caring practice. With few other resources to engage prisoners in purposeful activity, the care giving features of television are routinely exploited, in particular providing time and space for prisoners to self-govern their own emotional lives. With the slow onset of other digital technologies that some prisoners are able to access, this chapter ends by considering how prison management may evolve with interactive digital technologies to hand.
  • Concept-Formation, Complexity and Social Domains: Investigating Emotion(s) in a Prison Setting
    Concept-Formation, Complexity and Social Domains: Investigating Emotion(s) in a Prison Setting Knight, Victoria; Layder, Derek This article reports on an ethnographic study focusing on the impact of in-cell television on prison life in a male adult prison in the UK. Author Layder's social domains model (1997; 2006) and his adaptive analysis (1998; 2014), were used to give shape, meaning and organization to data from interviews with prisoners and staff and also television-use diaries. The research highlighted how television is adopted for its care-giving qualities (Knight 2015; 2016). This article focuses primarily on what prisoners do and what prison does, with emotions. The paper focuses on examining and developing theoretical and methodological conceptual links between self, emotions and control in the prison setting. Domain theory, adaptive approach, emotion, prison research, television, concept formation, coding, control, Layder,

Click here to view a full listing of Victoria Knight's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Prisons
  • Prisoners
  • Digital technologies
  • Media audiences
  • Emotion
  • Digital inclusion and literacy
  • Offender education
  • Governance

Areas of teaching

  • Research methods
  • Sociology
  • Media
  • Media and Crime
  • PhD supervision

Qualifications

  • BA (Hons)
  • MA
  • PhD

Courses taught

  • Criminological Research – MA
  • Research and Effective Practice – BA (Hons) Probation- module leader
  • Research and Effective Practice – BA (Hons) Applied Criminology
  • Culture and Subculture- Youth and Community
  • Media and Crime- BA (Hons)- Applied Criminology

Honours and awards

PhD The role of in-cell television in a male adult prison, De Montfort University Leicester 2012.

MA-  Independent Study in Media Studies, De Montfort University Leicester 2001.

BA (Hons) - in Media, English and Politics, De Montfort University Leicester 2000

Membership of external committees

Independent Monitoring Board HMP Leicester 2005-date.

The Prison Service Journal - Editorial Board 2013-date

Projects

Evaluation of Distance Learning in South Wales (2016-17) Prisoner Education Trust

Evaluation of No Cracks (2015- ongoing) Resettlement project run by YMCA funded by Big Lottery

NIHR Programme Development Grant: Exploring approaches to the implementation of embedded structured self-management for diabetes care (2012-2013)

Engaging with the Night Time Economy Community: Finding Ways to Enhance Violence Reduction in Leicester City (2012) for Safer Leicestershire Partnership

Evaluation of Restorative Approaches Project in Children’s Care Homes in Leicestershire (2008-2010) for Leicestershire Youth Offending Service

Engaging 16+ Young Offenders in Education, Training and Employment (2009) A project funded by Leicestershire Youth Offending Service

Recidivism Study of the Provision of Basic Skills for Young Offenders (2007) A project funded by Leicestershire YOT.

Evaluation of Victims and Witnesses Action Group (2005) A project commissioned by Leicester’s Victim and Witness Action Group.

Survey of Personal Safety Provisions and Training for Employees and Service Users in the Leicester City Area (2004) A project commissioned by Leicester’s Victim and Witness Action Group.

Evaluation of the Provision of Basic Skills for Young Offenders (2003- 2006) A project funded by Leicestershire YOT.

Minority Ethnic Prisoners’ Perceptions and Knowledge of the Probation and Prison Services in the East of England (2003). A project commissioned by the East of England Probation Service in order to develop and implement a Race Relations Scheme.

 

Forthcoming events

 

Conference attendance

2017- invited panellist and keynote speaker- Public acceptability and service appetite Technology in Corrections Conference Prague 

 

2016- The Role of Self and Emotions Within Qualitative Data Analysis (with Dr Irene Zempi) 7th ESRC Research Methods Festival, 5-7 July 2016, University of Bath invited https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKtAsbEKg30 

 

2016- Digitization and the prison Criminal Justice Management Conference London invited panellist PRISON REFORM – HOW CAN TECHNOLOGY HELP DRIVE REHABILITATION? http://cjm-conference.co.uk/seminars/  

  

2016- Digitizing the Prison: Added value of the use of internet by inmates Europris Workshop ICT in Prisons Sintra Portugal http://www.europris.org/ict-in-prisons/ - invited speaker 

 

2016- What in-cell digital technologies can do for our prisoners and prisons 

Department of Sociology Nottingham Trent University Seminar Series invited speaker 

 

2015- What digital technologies can offer patients and secure hospitals- Technology in a Secure Setting Conference 25th November 2015 Guild Lodge Hospital– invited speaker 

 

2015- What in-cell digital technologies can do for our prisoners and prisons 

THE FUTURE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE MANAGEMENT Conference Dec 2015 University of Salford- invited speaker 

 

2015- Digital Landscape in European and American Corrections - Invited Key Note Speaker EuroPris- Corrections Digital Technology Conference Barcelona http://www.europris.org/technology-in-corrections-challenges-for-the-future/  

 

2016- Concept-formation, Complexity and Social Domains: Investigating Emotion(s) in a PrisonSetting  (with Professor Derek Layder)  9th International Conference on Social Science Methodology University of Leicester 

 

2016- Methods of Emotion Research in Criminology (with Dr Christina Quinlan) 9th International Conference on Social Science Methodology University of Leicester 

 

2016- Digital Technologies in Prison: If there is a will is there is a way? ESC working group Prison Life & Effects of Imprisonment Odense, Denmark 

 

2016- Television: a fissure in the emotional architecture of prison life First Annual Emotion and Criminal Justice Conference De Montfort University with Jenna Ward and Christopher Stamper 

 

2016- The role of self and emotion within qualitative data analysis Ethnography and Crime Symposium University of Birmingham with Irene Zempi 

 

2015- Modus Vivendi: The cell, emotions, social relations and television AAG 2015 Chicago Carceral Geographies IV: Gendered and Embodied Confinement- selected by http://carceralgeography.com/2014/12/24/carceral-geography-at-the-aag-chicago-il-2015/

 2015- Digital Landscape in European and American Corrections

- Invited Key Note Speaker EuroPris- Corrections Digital Technology Conference Barcelona http://www.europris.org/technology-in-corrections-challenges-for-the-future/

 2015- Emotional Methodologies BSA Postgraduate Conference – University of Leicester  Invited Panel Member http://emotionalmethodologies.weebly.com

 2014- Researching Complexity: Social Domains and Emotion in Prison Research at the  6th Midterm Conference on Emotions University of Aegan Rhodes Greece

2014- Boredom in Prison at the  6th Midterm Conference on Emotions University of Aegan Rhodes Greece

2014- A Good night out? Keeping Leicester City Safe- Festival of Ideas, De Montfort University

Journeys Across Media 2012 Time Tells: Temporal Excavations in Film, Theatre and Television: Doing Prison Time or Doing Boredom with In-cell Television: Adult male prisoners’ experiences of television. Reading University

2012 - Governing Souls with In-cell Television- a study into the role of in-cell television in a adult male prison in UK. Doctoral workshop in Brussels. Audiences- Cross Generational Research.

2012 - Doing Prison Time or Doing Boredom with In-cell Television: Adult male prisoners’ experiences of television. Time Tells: Temporal Excavations in Film, Theatre and Television at the Journeys Across Media at Reading University .

2009 - International Learning Conference- Barcelona: Issues of compliance in Education for Young Offenders T-learning as vehicle for in-cell learning in prison- with Jean Hine.

Key research outputs

Knight, V. (2014) A modus Vivendi –In-cell Television, Social Relations, Emotion and Safer Custody Prison Service Journal

 Knight, V. (2012) Scaling it down? A Study to Identify How 16 + Young Offenders across Leicestershire Engage with Education, Training or Employment in British Journal of Community Justice Vol. 10:2

Knight. V. (2012) Engaging with the Night Time Economy: Finding Ways to Enhance Violence Reduction Across Leicester City Research Report for Leicester City Council and Leicestershire Police https://www.dora.dmu.ac.uk/handle/2086/9336?show=full

Knight V & Hine J (2009) Learning their Lesson: T-Learning as a Vehicle for In-Cell Learning by Prisoners in The International Journal of Learning – forthcoming.

Knight V, Kemshall H & Dominey J (2007) Gathering Offender Perceptions of Probation Programmes: Potential, Pitfalls and Limits in British Journal of Community Justice Vol 5 (1) Spring 2007 pp65-77.

Fleming J, Goodman H, Knight V and Skinner A (2006) Delivering Effective Multi-Agency Work for Victims and Witnesses of Crime in Practice Journal Vol 18 (4) pp265-278.

Dominey Jane, Knight Victoria and Kemshall Hazel (2005) The Perception of the Participant on Accredited Programmes in the Probation Service Vista Vol 10 (2) pp72-80.

Knight V (2005) An Investigation into Mass Communication Consumption in a Closed Young Offenders’ Institution Participations Journal Vol 2 (1) www.participations.org.

Knight V & Goodman H (2005) Personal Safety Provisions, Services and Training for Service Providers and Users in Leicester City in Community Safety Journal 4 (1) pp20-32.

Knight V (2004) An Investigation into Minority Ethnic Prisoners’ Knowledge and Perceptions of the Probation and Prison Service in the East of England in Community Safety Journal 3 (2) (Spring 2004) pp23-31.

Current research students

Lucy Baldwin- 1st Supervisor

Susie Atherton - 2nd Supervisor

Ausrine Bremner- 2nd Supervisor 

Stephen Christopher- 2nd Supervisor

 

Externally funded research grants information

Knight. V. (2012) Engaging with the Night Time Economy: Finding Ways to Enhance Violence Reduction Across Leicester City Research Report for Leicester City Council and Leicestershire Police https://www.dora.dmu.ac.uk/handle/2086/9336?show=full

Evaluation of Restorative Approaches Project in Children’s Care Homes in Leicestershire (2008-2010) for Leicestershire Youth Offending Service- PI.

Engaging 16+ Young Offenders in Education, Training and Employment (2009) A project funded by Leicestershire Youth Offending Service- PI.

Case studies

Engaging 16+ Young Offenders in Education, Training and Employment (2009) A project funded by Leicestershire Youth Offending Service- PI.

The YOS have since developed an action plan in response to the findings and recommendations outlined in this research. This means that the YOS are targeting young people who disengage with education at the beginning of their criminal orders based on several benchmarking practices they use ie ASSET scores. I have email correspondence to qualify this and I am in regular contact with the YOS. They are also supporting any publication of material I am currently seeking to publish see above ref framing education and scaling it down articles.

Victoria Knight

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