Accessibility statement

Carol Robinson



Carol joined the University of York as a Lecturer in Criminology in September 2019, after having worked in high security, medium security and open prisons as a prison chaplain for more than 9 years. Her career has included several years in the voluntary sector, including as director of a charity working with young people experiencing homelessness and later as chief executive of an environmental campaigning charity. She was also manager of the Learning and Teaching Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology, based at the University of Glasgow.

She has a particular interest in how prisons function, in prison cultures and staff-prisoner relationships. Her PhD research, funded by the ESRC, explored what happens when a prisoner is dying of natural causes, and is due for publication by Palgrave Macmillan in 2022.


PhD in Sociology, University of York, March 2020

MA in Criminology and Social Research (Distinction) University of York, 2016

BA (Hons) degree in Modern History, University of Oxford, 1995

University roles

  • Member of the University of York Learning and Teaching Forum
  • Member of the Faculty StAMP panel
  • Chair of the Sociology department Equality Diversity and Inclusion Group. Lead on Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant Coordinator for the Sociology department
  • Coordinator of Sociology Learning and Teaching Forum
  • Chair of the Sociology department Exceptional Circumstances affecting Assessment (ECA) committee (2019-2022)



Carol is module convenor and lecturer for the following core undergraduate modules:

Sociology of Crime and Deviance (Year 1)

Crime, Culture and Social Change (Year 2)

Theoretical Criminology (Year 3)

Carol developed, convenes and teaches on the optional year 3 module Working in the Criminal Justice System, which includes input for guest speakers.

She also currently lectures on the optional year 2 module, Sociology at Work.


Carol is co-supervisor for an ESRC-funded PhD using semi-structured interviews to look at experiences of non-consensual sexual image sharing.

Carol is convenor and lecturer on the Postgraduate taught module Advances in Criminological Theory and lectures on Critical Perspectives on the Criminal Justice System as part of the University of York MA in Criminology and Social Research.

Other teaching

Carol has a particular interest in how Criminological theory is taught and is currently undertaking a scholarship project in this area.


Full publications list

Selected publications

Robinson, C (forthcoming). Dying in prison. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Robinson, C. (2021). The anticipation of an investigation: The effects of expecting investigations after a death from natural causes in prison custodyCriminology & criminal justice.

Robinson, C. (2020). Prison officers: emotional labour and dying prisoners. In Phillips, J., Waters, J., Westaby, C. and Fowler, A. (Eds.). Emotional Labour in Criminal Justice and Criminology. London: Routledge. 

Robinson, C. (2020). Ethically important moments as data: reflections from ethnographic fieldwork in prisonsResearch Ethics. 16 (1-2) p1-15

Robinson, C. (2019). Prison 'rules' and the use of restraints on terminally ill prisonersPrison Service Journal. 241, p27-31

Further publications

Robinson, C. (2017). Book review: Infinite distraction. Information, Communication & Society [Online]. Available at:

Robinson, C. (2017). Not anonymous enough? Research data and issues of anonymity. 18 April 2017. Women Are Boring. [Online]. Available at:

Robinson, C. (2018) Tackling the ethical approval process. Forms over function: ethics, ethnography and the NHS. 15 January 2018, Women Are Boring. [Online] Available at:

Conference papers

The carceral geography of dying from natural causes. Presented at British Society of Criminology Annual Conference 'Public Criminologies: Communities, Conflict and Justice' 3-5 July, 2019, Lincoln

Ethically Important Moments as data in researching responses to death and dying in prison. Presented at BSA Postgraduate Forum Event: “The Promise and Perils of Researching Sensitive Issues”. November, 2018, York.

Dying Inside: The Governance of Mortality in Prison). Presented at Death and Culture II Conference, 6-7 September, 2018. York.

Emotional Labour in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Invited member of discussion panel at “British Society of Criminology Annual Conference 2017: Forging Social Justice”, 4-7 July 2017, Sheffield.

Tomato Plants and Ice-cream: Prison Officers’ approaches to dying prisoners. Presented at “Deaths at the Margins of the State, Centre for Death and Society Conference”, 9-10 June 2017, Bath.

Dying Inside: deaths from natural causes in prison culture, regimes and relationships. Presented at “Deaths in the Criminal Justice System”, 23 February 2017. York.

Public engagement events

Dealing with death in prison. Presentation as part of York ‘Dying Awareness’ week, May 2017 and as part of York’s Dead Good Festival, May 2018, May 2019.

Dying in Prison. Finalist in University of York Three Minute Thesis competition, 2017.

Prison Terminal. Organised free showing of film and contributed to panel discussion with invited guests as part of York Festival of Ideas, June 2018.


Robinson, C (2021). [Video]. Research Ethics & ethnographic fieldwork in prisons. SAGE Research Methods Video. London: SAGE

Contact details

Dr Carol Robinson
Department of Sociology LMB/211
University of York
YO10 5GD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 3059