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Dr Victoria Lavis

PositionSenior Lecturer in Psychology and Principal Investigator ESRC ‘An appreciative inquiry of the response to diversity in 3 Yorkshire Prisons'.
LocationT0.01f Ashfield
DepartmentPsychology
Telephone01274 233829
Emailv.j.lavis@bradford.ac.uk
LinkedInVisit my LinkedIn profile
ORCID0000-0002-9072-4883

Research Interests (key words only)

Ethnicity and criminal justice; Identities and Diversities; Prisons and Prisoners; Qualitative and Postmodern, Critical and Feminist, Research Methods

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

Progression:

  • Progression to Level Four

Undergraduate:

  • Level II Methodological Issues and Qualitative Research Methods [Module leader]
  • Level II Personality and Individual Differences [Module leader]
  • Level I and Level II [Personal tutor]
  • Level III Research Project in Psychology [Supervisor]

Postgraduate:

  • MSc Personality and Individual Differences [Module leader]
  • MSc Research Methods in Psychology
  • Co-supervisor Full time PhD Student

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Co-ordinator of Outreach activities related to recruitment and widening participation. 
  • SSIS CART representative.

 

Biography

Dr Victoria Lavis is a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Psychology at the University of Bradford.

Since 2000 her field of research has focused on adapting and developing appreciative methodologies to help create cohesive prisons, which are safe, respectful and decent for both staff and prisoners, and which can promote and sustain the transformation and rehabilitation of offenders.

Her current collaborative research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council UK, is a three-year, multi-prison study focusing on the challenges of promoting equality in prisons. 

Study History

  • BSc (Hons) Psychology, First Class (2001) University of Huddersfield
  • Level A in Occupational Testing (2003) British Psychological Society
  • PhD Psychology (2004) University of Huddersfield
  • PgCert Professional Development (Higher Education Practice) (2005) University of Huddersfield

Professional History

  • Current: Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Division of Psychology, University of Bradford
  • Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of Huddersfield 2005-2006
  • Lecturer in Psychology University of Huddersfield 2004-2005
  • Part time Lecturer in Psychology University of Huddersfield 2001-2004
  • Trainee Forensic Psychologist, Her Majesty's Prison Service 2000-2001
  • Forensic Psychological Assistant, Her Majesty's Prison Service 2000-2000

Professional Activities

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society

Research Areas

  • Appreciative and positively focused methodologies for transformation and change
  • Prisons and prisoners
  • Ethnicity and criminal justice
  • Identities and diversities
  • Qualitative and postmodern, critical and feminist, research methods

Current Projects

ES/K005049/1 An Appreciative Inquiry into the response to diversity in three Yorkshire Prisons (2013 - 2017)

Responding to diversity within the prisons setting is a complex and challenging process.

Whilst the policy approach is set nationally by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) each prison develops a local policy framework to promote equality and reduce discrimination across eight 'protected characteristics'; race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion and belief, age, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity (MOJ, 2012).

The research aims to develop a body of knowledge about the response to diversity in public and private sector prisons using three prisons from the Yorkshire region as case studies.

The three-year project will adopt an appreciative inquiry methodology to explore:

  • how prisoners in diverse minority groupings experience diversity policies and procedures in place at each establishment,
  • which aspects of policies, procedures and practices in each prison are perceived by minority groups to promote feelings of respect and well-being,
  • how prison staff experience policies and procedures that guide their practice with prisoners from diverse minority groupings,
  • ways in which diversity policies, procedures and practices in each prison could be improved to promote a greater feeling of respect and well-being in minority groups, and
  • explore and develop theories of intersectionality as a way of understanding how people experience prison life

Research Collaborations

  • Prison Research Centre University of Cambridge
  • Prison Research Centre University of Salford
  • National Offender Management Service

Networks/Roles

  • Howard League for Penal Reform
  • RECOOP (Resettlement and care of older ex-offenders and prisoners)

Publications

See Victoria Lavis' publications on Bradford Scholars.

Journal articles and book chapters

  • Lavis, V.J., Cowburn, M. and Elliott, C. (2017) ‘Appreciative Inquiry for Research: Exploring the response to diversity and equality in English prisons’, in J.Brooks and N.King (eds), Applied Qualitative Research in Psychology, London: Palgrave.
  • Cowburn, M. and Lavis, V.J. (2013) ‘Using a Prisoner Advisory group to develop diversity research in a maximum-security prison: a means of enhancing prisoner participation or participatory research?’. Groupwork, Special Edition 23.3.pp. 32-44.
  • Lavis, V.J. and Walker, T. (2013) ‘Whose side are we on: feminism within criminology’, in M.Cowburn, M. Duggan, A. Robinson and P. Senior (eds), Values in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Bristol: Policy Press. Hardback: 978-1-4473-0035-9.
  • Lavis V.J. and Horrocks, C. (in press, 2011) ‘. In ‘ Horrocks, C. and Johnson, S. Eds. Advances in Health Psychology: Critical Perspectives. London: Palgrave.
  • Lavis, V.J. (2010) ‘Multiple researcher identities: highlighting tensions and implications for ethical practice in qualitative interviewing’. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 7, (4) pp.316-333. 
  • Lavis, V.J. (2010) ‘Using a Prisoner Advisory Group to develop diversity research in a maximum security p
  • Lavis, V. (with) Cowburn, M. (2010) 'Race Relations in Prison: managing performance and developing engagement'. British Journal of Community Justice. 7, (3). Pp77-89 
  • Lavis, V. (with) Cowburn, M. and Walker, T (2008) ‘Black and minority ethnic sex offenders in prison’. Prison Service Journal. May, 2008. No. 177. 
  • Lavis, V. (with) Cowburn, M. and Walker, T (2008) 'BME sex offenders in prison: the problem of participation in offending behaviour groupwork programmes – a tripartite model of understanding'. British Journal of Community Justice, 6 (1). 
  • Lavis, V., Horrocks, C., Kelly, N., Barker, V. (2005) 'Domestic violence and health care: opening Pandora's box, challenges and dilemmas'. Feminism and Psychology. 15. 3, pp. 
  • Lavis, V., with Taket, A., Nurse, J., Watson, J., Shakespeare, J., Cosgrove, K., Mulley, K., Feder, G. (2003) 'Domestic Violence: the value of routine enquiry in the health setting'. British Medical Journal. 327, pp.673 - 676. Other publications
  • Lavis, V.J. (with) Cowburn, M. (2011) ‘Opening up communicative space: towards a collaboratively generated impact in responding to Diversity in HMP Wakefield’. End of Award Report to ESRC. 
  • Lavis, V.J. (with) Cowburn, M. (2010) ‘Appreciative inquiry into the Diversity Strategy of HMP Wakefield’. Impact Report to ESRC. 
  • Lavis, V.J. (with) Cowburn, M. (2010) ‘Appreciative inquiry into the Diversity Strategy of HMP Wakefield’. End of Award Report to ESRC. 
  • Lavis, V.J. (with) Cowburn, M. (2010) ‘Appreciative inquiry into the Diversity Strategy of HMP Wakefield’. Report to HMP Wakefield.

Impact

Public/Academic/Stakeholder Engagement

Conference Presentations (selected):

  • Lavis, V. (2015) ‘Taking a whole person response to equality in prisons’. Living among sex offenders: Identity, safety and relationships in prison. Howard League for Penal Reform, University of Cambridge, 27 October 2015
  • Lavis, V., Cowburn, M. and Robinson, C. (2012) From the ‘inside’ out: researching the response to diversity in the prisons of England and Wales. University of Bradford, 3 October 2012
  • Lavis, V.J. and Cowburn, M. (2011) ‘Making knowledge work in prisons: employing appreciative inquiry to facilitate knowledge exchange in prisons: prisoners diversity representatives. POWS British Psychological Society Conference. Cumberland Lodge, Windsor. 13-15 July.
  • Lavis, V.J. and Cowburn, M. (2011) ‘Making knowledge work in prisons: employing appreciative inquiry to facilitate knowledge exchange in prisons: diversity and security searching. British Society of Criminology Annual Conference. University of Northumbria. 4-6 July.
  • Lavis, V.J. and Walker, T. (2011) ‘A contemporary reflection on feminist criminology:’ Whose side are we on’? York Deviancy Conference. University of York. 29 June.
  • Lavis, V. J. and Cowburn, M. (2011) ‘Using the ‘Wall of Wonder’ to develop prisoner engagement in a maximum-security prison: some initial observations’. British Society of Criminology Yorkshire and Humberside Group Inaugural Meeting. 11 May 2011. School of Law, University of Leeds.
  • Lavis, V.J. (2010) ‘Using the Wall of Wonder with prisoners to develop diversity research in a maximum security prison’. British Society of Criminology Conference. University of Leicester. 11– 14 July.
  • Lavis, V. J. (2010) ‘Excuse me, Miss’ vs. ‘Hey, Professor’: Doing gender whilst researching diversity in the Male Prison Estate’. Psychology of Women Section Conference: British Psychological Society. Windsor, 14-16 July 2010.
  • Lavis, V.J. and Cowburn, M. (2010) ‘Resistance, Reluctance or Rejection: Theorising BME Prisoner Non-participation in Prison Offending Behaviour Programmes’. Ethnicity, Crime and Justice; Contemporary and Historical Perspectives Conference. International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR). Milton Keynes. Open University. 8-9 June.
  • Lavis, V.J. and Cowburn, M. (2009) ‘An Appreciative Inquiry (AI) into the prison experiences of diverse minority groupings’. American Society of Criminology Conference, Philadelphia, PA. USA. 4-7 November. 
  • Lavis, V.J. and Cowburn, M. (2009) ‘‘Uncle Toms’ or respected identities: theorising prison offending behaviour programmes’. American Society of Criminology Conference, Philadelphia, PA. USA. 4-7 November.
  • Lavis, V.J. and Cowburn, M. (2009) ‘An appreciative inquiry into the prison experiences of diverse minority groupings’ British Society of Criminology Conference. University of Glamorgan, Cardiff. 29 June-1 July. 
  • Lavis, V.J. and Cowburn, M. (2009) ‘Uncle Toms’ or respected identities: theorising prison offending behaviour programmes’. British Society of Criminology Conference. University of Glamorgan, Cardiff 29 June-1 July.
  • Lavis, V.J. and Walker, T. (2009) ‘A contemporary reflection on feminist criminology: embarking on change’ Division of Forensic Psychology Conference. University of Central Lancashire. 23-25 June 
  • Lavis, V.J. (2009) ‘Engaging with critique to improve Primary Health Care Services’ response to women experiencing domestic violence’. International Society of Critical Health Psychology. University of Laussane, Switzerland – 8-11 July 2009 
  • Lavis, V.J. (2008) ‘Understanding the (non)participation of BME sex offenders in prison programmes: developing theory and practice’ British Society of Criminology Conference. University of Huddersfield. 9-11 July 2008. 
  • Lavis, V.J. (2008) ‘Discursive positioning within the landscape of domestic violence: women’s constructions of self and recovery’. British Psychological Society: Psychology of Women’s Section Conference, Windsor. 16-18 July 2008. 
  • Lavis, V.J. (2008) ‘Feminist ethics and qualitative interviewing’. British Psychological Society: Qualitative Methods in Psychology Inaugural Conference, Windsor. 2-4 September 2008.

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