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Ms Christina Straub

Research Assistant

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Research Assistant in the Department of Sociology  


Christina Straub´s vocation is centred around qualitative social research/ethnography conducted especially in the fields of prison effects research. She graduated with an MA in Cultural Sciences at the European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder) Germany in 2009 with an ethnographic study of the construction of individual identity in the subculture of Hot Rodding. 

In her postgraduate job roles, she has worked at the Prisons Research Centre (University of Cambridge) together with Alison Liebling and Helen Arnold on a study of staff-prisoner-relationships at HMP Whitemoor, and together with Harry Annison (University of Southampton) on a qualitative ESRC impact project on the secondary pains of the IPP-sentence on family members of those serving it.

As a freelance, qualitative researcher she furthermore delivered a qualitative evaluation of RESTORE (a victim empathy, Restorative Justice programme for prisons and non-custodial settings) for London based charity THE FORGIVENESS PROJECT.

She has undertaken a PhD in Criminology/Sociology at the School of Law, University of Leeds (supervised by Adam Crawford and Emma Wincup) on "Love as human virtue and human need and its role in the lives of long-term prisoners – A multidisciplinary exploration" which has since been published as a monograph by Vernon Press.

She is deeply committed to qualitative, empirical social research informed and advanced by multidisciplinary scholarship and collaboration (including, but not limited to neurosciences, psychology, sociology and moral philosophy). She has denominated learning about people, listening to their stories, and gaining insight into socially and individually constructed (life-)worlds as her vocation and passion.

Her academic interest has been captured by researching the effects of prison environments on the human organism for more than 10 years now. Since this institution can be a place of profound insight into human emotion, social and individual values, belief systems and structures, she is passionate about understanding `what goes on´ in prisons as deeply as possible. This is done with a view to inform policies aimed at improving and reforming a system that has undergone and will undergo many changes over the course of time.


Chapter in book

Doctoral Thesis

  • Straub, C (2020). Love as human need and human virtue and its role in the lives of long-term prisoners – A multidisciplinary exploration. PhD.

Journal Article


  • Annison, H & Straub, C (2019). A Helping Hand. Supporting Families in the Resettlement of People Serving IPPs. London: Prison Reform Trust.
  • Straub, C (2013). Embedding RESTORE into the Fabric of YOI Ashfield - Qualitative Analysis of Impact and Effectiveness. The Forgiveness Project, London.
  • Liebling A.,, Arnold H., & Straub, C. (2011). An exploration of staff-prisoner relationships at HMP Whitemoor: 12 years on. Home Office.