Young Female Offenders - Trust and Trauma in a Forgotten Population

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Psychology


This research aims to explore factors influencing trust in a prison population of highly traumatised young females, with a view to to determining methods of promoting trust in an environment where trauma prevails and distrust is socially and culturally engrained. Trust is essential for social functioning. Violate trust, and the world becomes a hostile, threatening and treacherous place. Young female offenders are commonly victims of chronic interpersonal physical and sexual abuse, resulting in severe traumatisation categorised by an acute loss of trust in people and society. Prison officers working closely with this population are themselves vulnerable to secondary traumatisation, further impeding relations between prisoners and staff. Moreover, distrust is often entrenched in prison culture, with its basis in wider, sociologically informed beliefs. Rehabilitation, therefore, presents a series of significant, gender-specific challenges.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000762/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2451540 Studentship ES/P000762/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2024 Fleur Riley