Dr Maria Adams

+44 (0)1483 689674
09 AD 03



I have graduated with a PhD titled: “We are living their sentence with them…” - How prisoners' families experience life inside and outside prison spaces in Scotland. I have also completed a BA degree and MA in Sociology. Before, being appointed as a lecturer in criminology, I was a research assistant on an ESRC funded project called 'Parenting Young Offenders' at the University of Surrey. My main teaching interests are centred on punishment and penology.

Research interests

My main research interests are centred on penology. My research interest has primarily focused on the effects of incarceration exploring the familial perspective. I had undertaken a PhD adopting an ethnographic study on the lived experiences of families of prisoners in the West of Scotland. As a research assistant on an ESRC project, I collected data on parents who have a young person in prison. My research interests also lie in exploring the effects of joint enterprise. With other colleagues, we led an appeals project in partnership with a grassroots organisation called JENGba. The project was called Joint Enterprise Appeals Project. The project was delivered by students from sociology and law, where they carried out a case review of several live cases.


Crime and Society (SOC1034)Punishment and Society (SOC2073)Prisons and Prisoners (SOC3055)Crime, Justice and Power (SOC2063)


I am Principal Investigator on research on race, fatherhood and prison which is funded by the University of Surrey Research Pump Priming (Present).


Member of the self-assessment team for the Race Equality Charter Mark.Member of the British Society of Criminology.Member of the European Society of Criminology.

My teaching

My publications


• McCarthy, D., and Adams, M. (2017) “Yes, I can still parent. Until I die, he will always be my son”: Parental responsibility in the wake of child incarceration. Punishment and Society. Vol. 0 (0): 1-18

• McCarthy, D., Adams, M. (2017) Prison Visitation as Human 'Right' or Earned 'Privilege'? The Diverging Tales of England/Wales, and Scotland. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.

• Hanson, L, Holligan, C. and Adams, M. (2016) 'Looked After' Young People's Voices: An Actor-Network Theory Analysis. Children's Geographies, Vol. 0 (0): 1-14.• Holligan, C, Hanson, L, Henderson, G and Adams, M. (2013) The Care of Children in Need in Contemporary Scotland: The Role of Positivism and Performance Indicators in Official Imaginings of Childhood and Wellbeing. Scottish Journal of Residential Care Vol. 13 (1): 1-12.