Shona Minson finalist in ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize

Dr Shona Minson has been announced as a finalist in the ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize 2019 for her research on delivering guidance on the sentencing of mothers: safeguarding children's rights and wellbeing.  Shona has used her research findings to create information resources for all criminal justice professionals involved in adult sentencing decisions, to support sentencers’ understanding of the impacts of maternal imprisonment on children. The resource includes short films and briefing papers, which will be used across the criminal justice professions including by the Judicial College, Magistrates Association, Law Society, Criminal Bar Association and Probation services. 
Shona says

I am delighted to be a finalist for this prize as it will bring more attention to the difficulties faced by children whose mothers are imprisoned, and the need for all those involved in sentencing decisions to ensure that the court has a full understanding of the consequences for children of a mother’s sentence, before that decisions is made. 

The research I undertook as a DPhil student with Crown Court Judges  and children whose mothers were imprisoned, led to me make films for criminal justice professionals entitled ‘Safeguarding Children when Sentencing Mothers’. These films are now embedded in judicial and probation training, and have influenced Government policy, probation and sentencing practice; ultimately improving the likelihood that children will not be separated from their mothers by the criminal courts. The research has influenced Government policy, has been referred to in several parliamentary debates and led to the Joint Committee on Human Rights holding an enquiry into the right to family life of children whose mothers are in prison. 

It is heartening as an Early Career Researcher to recognise that the work we do at DPhil level has the potential to be a catalyst for significant societal change.

About the Prize
The ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize, now in its seventh year, is an annual opportunity to recognise and celebrate the success of ESRC-funded researchers in achieving and enabling outstanding economic or social impact from excellent social science research. 

Entrants' applications were reviewed by academics, engagement and knowledge exchange experts and research users, and shortlisted applicants were invited to an interview, along with non-academic supporters who helped describe the impact of the work. All finalists have been invited to an awards ceremony at the Royal Society in London on 9 July 2019 where the winners will be announced.