Sharon joined the Centre in 2011. Her key research interest is in the use of solitary confinement in prisons and other places of detention across the world. Over the last two decades this has involved extensive research on the American ‘supermax’ prisons and, more recently, with funding from the John Fell Fund, a pilot study of high security prison units across Europe. Her book, 'Supermax: controlling risk through solitary confinement' (Willan, 2009) has been awarded the British Society of Criminology's Book Prize for 2010.
Dr Shalev acts as an independent consultant on the use and consequences of solitary confinement, and has authored various publications on the subject, including the Sourcebook on Solitary Confinement - a practitioner's guide to the health effects of solitary confinement and to human rights and professional standards relating to its use. Since its publication the Sourcebook has become a widely used point of reference internationally and has been translated into French, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish.
She is currently working together with the Prison Reform Trust to look at how segregation units work in England and Wales. The project, titled " Prison segregation units in England: capacity, functions and quality", is funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust. The study involves visits to 20 prisons and interviews with prisoners, prison officers and governors to get their views about, and experiences of, segregation units. The research will build an evidence base on the uses of segregation: the regulations governing its use, variations in practice, the characteristics of those who end up in segregation and their experience of segregation, the views of staff who work there, and the processes for returning people to normal location. The study is expected to last 18 months, with key findings published early in 2015.
Other research interests include: the design, management and regime in high security prisons on both sides of the Atlantic; prison architecture; human rights and prisons and; prison health care and medical ethics in prison.
Sharon is also a Fellow of the Mannheim Centre for Criminology at the London School of Economics and an Associate of the International Centre for Prison Studies.
- Also co-editor
Solitary confinement; The design, management and regime in high security prisons on both sides of the Atlantic; prison architecture; human rights and prisons and; prison health care and medical ethics in prison