Patricia Harrison

Postgraduate Research Student


Patricia has a BA in English and Modern History and an MA in Cultural History from the University of Liverpool.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

"Suicide in English Prisons 1865-1895."

Patricia's thesis aims to be the first dedicated study of suicide in nineteenth-century English local and convict prisons. The timeframe of 1865-1895 has been chosen because it has been identified by Forsythe as the period in which reform ideology declined and the greatest changes in English penal administration occurred.

Patricia questions the extent to which the prison system was responsible for self-inflicted deaths in custody, the degree to which the suicidal were subjected to inferior care and treatment because they were offenders and whether the marginalisation and social exclusion of offenders instigated and/or compounded suicidal behaviour. Patricia will extend her research to include bereaved families and how they were treated by and responded to prison authorities and whether or not they successfully contested official ‘truths’.

Research Funding

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)