Every year 1,300 men and women lodge a claim with the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), seeking to challenge their conviction. Despite these numbers, we know surprisingly little about these people. Who are they? On what grounds are they appealing their conviction? How do they view and cope with punishment in light of their claims to be wrongfully convicted? What effects does such punishment have?

The majority of wrongful conviction research focuses on the causes of miscarriages of justice. There is little consideration of the lived experience of claiming wrongful conviction and much of the research simply omits the years between imprisonment and exoneration. The aim of the current research is to gain an insight into the lives of prisoners who believe themselves to be wrongfully convicted and explore the factors that make up their day-to-day prison life. This will be achieved by inviting a sample of such prisoners to produce written accounts and comparing their stories with those of their ‘rightly’ convicted counterparts, as evidenced by the academic literature. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their attitudes, experiences, relationships, coping strategies and the perceived consequences of maintaining wrongful conviction in the prison environment.

The researcher is Emma Burtt, DPhil Candidate at the University of Oxford Centre for Criminology, supervised by Professor Carolyn Hoyle and Professor Mary Bosworth. If you would like to find out more information or know of someone who may be willing to participate in the study, please contact Ms Emma Burtt at: Centre for Criminology, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ or via email at emma.burtt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk