We sponsor research to bring about change in how women and girls are dealt with in the criminal justice system

Our fellows

Our Fellows are at the heart of what we do... 

.....and it is in our Vision and Mission that Griffins:

  • harness the experience and knowledge of practitioners working on the front-line;
  • enable them to identify, explore and draw attention to specific issues relating to women and girls in contact with criminal justice;
  • provide them with the opportunity and the capacity to undertake robust and rigorous research whilst remaining in the workplace;
  • that through the use of qualitative research techniques, ensure the reality of the lived experience of women and girls is captured and heard;
  • supports individual growth by encouraging new ways of thinking and developing new skills, broadening experience and understanding and increasing self-confidence;
  • links them with fellow practitioners, academics and policy makers, providing the opportunity to influence and promote change, locally and nationally.  

Now meet some of our current and past fellows......

They are displayed by the year they joined Griffins, with our most recent fellows at the top.


 

2022-23 Griffins Fellow, Nujoji Calvocoressi

Nujoji Calvocoressi

I am particularly interested in understanding the tensions that exist in prisons between care versus control and inclusion versus exclusion.

Date joined:

2022/06

I work as a psychotherapist in Europe’s only women’s prison based Democratic Therapeutic Community (DTC). This is an accredited group-based offender behaviour programme delivered via the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway. Prior to this I have worked as a psychotherapist in the men’s prison estate. In addition, I have consulted to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and contributed to the Inquiry’s work about child sexual abuse in custodial settings. I have also served for ten years in the voluntary sector as a Justice of the Peace in both the Adult and Youth Magistrate’s Courts.

My Masters dissertation was a small-scale thematic analysis about the experience of psychotherapist’s working in two men’s prison, I explored some of the difficulties and challenges that impact the efficacy of psychotherapy in the setting. I am particularly interested in understanding the tensions that exist in prisons between care versus control and inclusion versus exclusion.

The work that takes place in the women’s DTC is hugely under-studied and the Fellowship programme offers a wonderful opportunity to advance knowledge about women convicted of the most serious offences by informing practice and influencing policy.  I will be undertaking the research study with my colleague and Fellow, Sophie Crilly.

Our research study will explore whether the DTC situated within a typical prison poses challenges for the governance and operation of the establishment overall because the DTC model wishes to move away from the traditional and dominant culture of control, power, and discipline to one of permissiveness, communalism, and democratisation.

Griffins 2022-23 Fellow, Sophie Crilly

Sophie Crilly

The Griffin’s society fellowship will provide an excellent opportunity to combine my passion for research with my frontline work

Date joined:

2022/06

I am a group facilitator in a female prison-based Democratic Therapeutic Community (DTC), an accredited offending behaviour programme for women with complex needs, delivered by HMPPS and the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway.  I have worked in this role for 2 and a half years; prior to this I studied for my Undergraduate and Masters degree in Forensic Psychology. Here I undertook research into the social psychology of stigma around mental health and different types of offending. I have experience working in the NHS forensic services as an honorary assistant psychologist, and I have also volunteered with a charity providing emotional telephone support to people who have experienced sexual abuse.

The Griffin’s society fellowship will provide an excellent opportunity to combine my passion for research with my frontline work, and provides a platform to better understand a unique service for women that is currently lacking in research.

I will be undertaking the research with my colleague, Nujoji Calvocaressi. Our research aims to explore the experience of having a DTC situated within a typical prison, from the perspective of those involved in the management of both systems. The DTC attempts to move away from the traditional prison culture of control and discipline, to one of permissiveness, communalism and democratisation. The hope is to better understand these two competing needs, how they exist together, and the impact this has on service delivery for the DTC.

Griffins 2022-23 Fellow, Susannah Cox

Susannah Cox

I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to benefit from the Griffins Society’s invaluable mentoring and support, and I aim for my research to offer hope to women in prison and guidance to practitioners in the social work and criminal justice fields

Date joined:

2022/06

I work for Anawim, Birmingham Centre for Women, as part of a pioneering project which connects women’s prisons with women’s centres across England. I support many women who have had involvement from both the Criminal Justice System and Children’s Services. I have a First Class MA in Social Work and have previously worked for a local authority Children’s Services in safeguarding and assessment roles.

Building on my experience working with women in prison and in children’s social care, my research will focus on increasing understanding of the experiences of women prisoners permanently separated from their child(ren), to inform support services and practical guidance, and ultimately improve outcomes for mother and child. A greater understanding of the relationship between a mother’s experiences of child removal and of offending could contribute towards lowering risk of harm and reducing reoffending.

Outside of my job, I volunteer with several community organisations locally, including Tabor House, Restore, Safe Families and Newbigin Community Trust, as I feel passionately about community transformation, faith and social justice. Prior to my social work studies, I gained a BA Hons Modern Languages and Cultures (French and Arabic) from the University of Durham.

Griffins 2022-23 Fellow, Georgina Sheeran

Georgina Sheeran

This an amazing opportunity to learn how to conduct research and to shape my practical knowledge to formulate real and comprehensive recommendations that hopefully, will make a real difference to vulnerable people going through remote hearings.

Date joined:

2022/06

I am a trained gender violence specialist, hold an MA in Law and most recently I developed the first national service meeting the needs of people with remote hearings with Support Through Court. It was learning from clients on the remote hearings service where I began to notice the gap, I perceive in the effectiveness of remote hearings in supporting vulnerable people.  I hope that my understanding of working with vulnerable women and girls, of the criminal justice system and at the forefront of the new remote hearings will help me see the process in a new light and result in findings that can shape the future for remote hearings, improving them for those that need. I am looking forward to getting started and testing my hypothesis.

As an advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, I worked nationwide to improve outcomes for my clients and shape future policy moving forward. Working on one of the first combined courts in Derby with Refuge demonstrated the need for joined up jurisdictions when working with domestic abuse, these findings form the basis of the DA Bill that came through this year.  I train professionals in the dynamics of abuse and working with vulnerable people in the legal sector and speak at universities and on podcasts on Access to Justice.  

Remote hearings are here to stay, and I am hoping that my findings can make a real difference moving forward in the provision of support for vulnerabilities of any kind at remote hearings. 

Griffins 2022-23 Fellow, Lucy Slade

Lucy Slade

This fellowship is an exciting opportunity to join up policy reform with what is going on in the frontline of the justice system, and contribute to system change that is rooted in people’s experience of how magistrate’s courts work in practice.

Date joined:

2022/06

I am a member of the policy team at the Centre for Justice Innovation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to building a fairer and more effective justice system. I work on a number of projects that look at how the justice system works, and how it might work better. Often this involves championing evidence-based alternatives to the use of imprisonment, and making the case for them to a range of political stakeholders. I particularly enjoy working on projects at the Centre that focus on where the justice system intersects with issues social and economic inequality, and developing thinking on how we can build a system that treats every citizen fairly.

I previously worked in European public policy, running events on EU integration and combining my passion for cycling and policy at the European Cyclist Federation in Brussels. I have a Master’s degree in Human Rights from University College London, and a Bachelor’s degree in History and Politics from the University of Manchester.

Through this fellowship, I will be able to explore the challenges we have observed women with children encountering at the magistrate’s court in London, where my organisation runs an advice and support service. I jumped at the opportunity to evidence this issue and speak to women about their experience, and to begin to understand how the justice system can better meet their needs at court.

Griffins 2022-23 Fellow, Claire Morely

Claire Morely

The Griffins research to me, is crucial, as despite the time since the Corston report was first published, a lack of knowledge and understanding remains prevalent around the need for such a distinct change to the way we work with women.

Date joined:

2022/06

I am currently the women’s lead for the East Midlands Probation Service. Having held various roles in the Prison and Probation service for the last 17 years, the commonality has always been my championing of women in the CJS and pursuit of practice which is gender specific and trauma informed. In my current role I have enjoyed applying this commitment in multi-agency settings and creating women’s steering groups in each county of the East Midlands which has led to the development of blueprints for Whole Systems Approaches in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

I have additionally played a pivotal role in the development of a new gender specific resettlement model which gained national approval to, importantly, align the resettlement approach across all women’s prisons in the country.

The Griffins research to me, is crucial, as despite the time since the Corston report was first published, a lack of knowledge and understanding remains prevalent around the need for such a distinct change to the way we work with women. Considering attitudes, and influencers to these attitudes, is vital in understanding how to make and then sustain systemic change which better meets the needs of women in, or at risk of entering the CJS.

Griffins 2022-23 Fellow, Tahera Solim

Tahera Solim

It has been a personal goal of mine to work with the Griffins Society as a fellow and support trauma-informed support provision for women involved in the criminal justice system.

Date joined:

2022/06

I am a Women’s Advocate at Women in Prison, working on the frontline supporting women involved in the criminal justice system. I work with women within custodial and community settings and work with a range of partnership organisations, including probation, prison, courts and holistic services. I have worked in the sexual violence sector at the Department of Health, and as a Community Engagement worker at the Department of Justice’s Neighbourhood Justice Centre, Melbourne, which lead me to working frontline in the field back in the UK. 

I am a trained and accredited Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA), and my knowledge and experience has helped inform my practice working at the charity, Women in Prison. My role involves conducting assessments and safety planning and provide tailored support to women, and providing holistic trauma-responsive support to reduce the risk of recidivism and help the women rebuild their lives following trauma.

I am passionate about providing trauma-informed support for women who have experienced sexual abuse, and to explore the impact of sexual trauma on women affected by the criminal justice system.

Fellow Claire Rushton

Claire Rushton

I am delighted to be supported to contribute to the improvement of the criminal justice system by exploring staff attitudes towards working with women and using this knowledge to inform policy development.

Date joined:

2022/06

Until April 2021, I worked as an Interventions Manager at the Divisional Sexual Offending Unit specialising in working with women who have sexual convictions and then as the Operational Lead at the UK’s largest Psychologically Informed Planned Environment Approved Premises for women.  In these roles, I witnessed the extent to which trauma featured in women’s offending and the disproportionate use of punishment as a response to their social injustice which led to re-traumatisation in the criminal justice system.  I developed an interest in listening to women’s stories which now influences my attempt at improving outcomes as a regional Women’s Strategic Lead for the Probation Service. 

With previous degree qualifications in Psychology and Criminal Justice, I have recently gained a Masters degree in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management at the University of Cambridge and have a real interest in using participatory research and lived experiences to inform policy development. I am passionate about the value of a truly whole-systems approach to working with women and to this end have recently been involved in setting up a multi-agency delivery group for women and girls in the criminal justice system and a healthcare project focused on improving health outcomes for marginalised women.

Image of 2020-21 Joint Griffins-Prison Reform Trust Fellow, Neesha Honmong

Neesha Honmong

Griffins is a great opportunity to further my research skills in a supportive setting, enabling me to hopefully add to the evidence base on relationships between BAME women and prison staff, so positive changes to policy and practice can be implemented.

Date joined:

2020/09

I am a Forensic Psychologist working in the Women’s Estate Psychology Service (WEPS) in Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). I have been working in prisons for 12 years and have become passionate about the rights of the residents we support, and making sure we can offer them the best care and opportunities possible.  My role involves conducting risk assessments with and delivering interventions to women, in order to help them reduce their risk of reoffending. I have delivered lectures to MSc students on women in prison, and I am one of the Diversity and Inclusion Lead Psychologists for the WEPS South Team, a voluntary position which enables me to try and make positive changes for women and staff with protected characteristics. I have a BSC in Psychology, an MSc in Forensic Psychology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Practitioner Forensic Psychology. Ethical and evidence-based practice is important to me, and I work with residents in a trauma-informed manner, recognising their vulnerabilities as well as their risks. 

I was inspired to apply for this fellowship, having conducted a literature review about BAME women in prison. I realised I wanted to be part of helping to make changes, instead of just reading about them. From what I have found out and observed, BAME women in prison face a unique set of struggles, many of which are compounded by their experiences as women of colour. I hope my research can contribute to a greater understanding of their needs.  

Image of fellow Audrey Mogan

Audrey Cherryl Mogan

Griffins provides a rare opportunity for practitioners to undertake research and impact policy on an important issue facing women in the criminal justice system, whilst continuing to work, but having the support and training from academics in the field.

Date joined:

2020/09

I am a barrister at Garden Court Chambers, where I specialise in criminal defence, public law and human rights. I appear regularly in the Crown Court, youth and magistrates’ courts and am a member of Garden Court’s protest team and child rights team. I represent a wide range of individuals from those protesting against the lack of action on climate change and war crimes, to vulnerable defendants with mental health issues and drug addiction. 

I have given training on the issue of indefinite detention of children, the use and abuse of gang rhetoric in criminal proceedings and trafficking issues, and have successfully challenged the requirement for defendants to give their nationality in criminal courts. I am also currently a director of Black Protest Legal Support, a grassroots organisation founded during the BLM protests, which provides pro- bono legal assistance to protestors, and trains legal observers to monitor protests on the ground. I have an MSc in Human Rights from the LSE, and prior to coming to the Bar I worked in the NGO sector for ten years, in genocide prevention and European human rights law.

I am regularly instructed to defend individuals, especially children and young people, who show indicators of trafficking and modern slavery. Through my practice I have noticed the positive development of more criminal practitioners identifying indicators of trafficking and ensuring defendants are referred through the National Referral Mechanism. However, I have also noticed that many victims of trafficking continue to be prosecuted for crimes committed arising out of their exploitation. This was the impetus for my research proposal, where I aim to look at how the prosecution review cases where individuals have been identified as victims of trafficking. 

2019 -2020 Fellow Becky Fedia

Bécky Fedia

With the Griffin Fellowship, I hope to use an academic approach to produce practical recommendations that influence practice in the field in working with women who have experiences of complex trauma to better meet their needs.

Date joined:

2019/09

I am currently a senior manager at Women in Prison, managing and developing community services for women affected by the criminal justice system, including women’s centres, hubs services and pan-London outreach services. I am also a Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga facilitator.

My area of interest lies in the delivery of trauma-responsive and gender-specific services for women who have survived inter-relational abuse and my research has arisen from the observation of a gap in consistent community delivery for women that understands the role of trauma in women’s recovery from involvement in the criminal justice system and responds in a unified way. This is particularly important given the close working between voluntary sector and statutory organisations who often adopt different models of working. Numerous models of trauma-informed practice have arisen within prisons and I hope to ascertain what, if anything might be adapted for community work with women, particularly in the context of the delivery of probation services. In recognition of the high level of complex trauma experienced by women accessing probation and community criminal justice services, I hope that this research might promote an understanding of the need for a consistent response across the sector to women’s past and current experiences of complex trauma and increased consideration of how this intersects with offending and needs to be considered in the context of recovery.

2019-2020 Fellow, Rachel Reed

Rachel Reed

I am very much looking forward to the rare opportunity offered by the Griffins fellowship to step out of role and approach practice-based questions about working with female anger and violence from a research perspective.

Date joined:

2019/09

I currently work in the North West Division of the National Probation Service as the Women’s Strategy Lead. This is a new role introduced as part of the Female Offender Strategy (MOJ, 2018) with a remit to improve sentencer confidence in community options and reduce the number of women sentenced to short-term custody. Before moving to this role, I worked in a specialist Probation team responsible for delivering the Offender Personality Disorder Strategy, a joint initiative between HMPPS and the NHS, providing a psychological consultation and formulation service to Probation Officers. I also spent three years working as a group facilitator in a Day Democratic Therapeutic Community, a role which had a particular impact in terms of challenging my thinking and encouraging an emphasis on service user voice as a first priority in both defining problems and seeking solutions. I also have a keen interest in trauma-informed practice, in particular how this translates within the Criminal Justice System. I hold a BA (Hons) undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature and an MSc in Psychology.