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Early Career Academics Network


The Howard League for Penal Reform’s early career academics network is an internet based network to help you keep in touch with each other, provide a regular channel of communication and information about research and promote closer working and an interface between academics and campaigners. You can link up with other ECAN members through our Facebook group.

The network members’ pages will aim to develop debate, include articles, letters and opinion pieces. There are also periodic events aimed at ECAN members.

Call for Abstracts: 2020 – a year of crisis or kairos? ECAN Themed Issue

We invite abstracts for proposed articles to form part of a themed issue of the Howard League ECAN Bulletin (Early Career Academic Network).

Contributors are encouraged to reflect on 2020 – a year of crisis, and possibly of kairos. A year in which novel issues have emerged, while other long-standing issues have re-emerged into public consciousness. Covid-19 has caused widespread death and ill health, forced dramatic changes to working practices, and concerns about ongoing wellbeing – not least in relation to those subject to, working within, or otherwise affected by the criminal justice system and the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. At the same time, police brutality resulting in several deaths in the US once again highlighted systemic injustice and inequality and provoked widespread and vital self-reflection when thinking about race and privilege. This also inspired worldwide and consequential demonstrations. Structural inequalities have been laid bare by violence and injustice in the criminal justice system. Recognition of a global climate crisis rumbles on in the background. No one issue stands alone.

This themed issue will make a specific contribution to these debates by inviting early career researchers to provide focused, research-informed pieces.

Abstracts should be a maximum of 200 words. Proposals for novel approaches will be considered: for example a shorter ‘in conversation’ piece, or a paired set of shorter pieces providing perspectives on a particular development. Proposals by early career researchers will be given priority. Abstracts should be submitted to Dr Harry Annison ( by 5pm Monday 5 October. For those abstracts accepted, the word limit for full papers will be 3,000 words. The deadline for full pieces will be January 2021, with publication in early spring 2021.

You can find further details about this edition, and the submission process here.

ECAN members

The network is intended for academics in their first post or post graduate students aiming for academic or research post.  Anyone working in fields related to criminology, social policy, law, humanities or research interests related to these areas can join the network.

‘The Howard League’s Early Career Academic Network has provided me with a user-friendly and convenient way to develop my research ideas. I always find it constructive to explore other academics’ research interests to reflect and create my unique approach to research. The opportunity that ECAN provides for networking is invaluable, and usually one of the best ways to create opportunities is through meeting others. I will continue to use, and recommend the use of ECAN to others throughout my doctoral research and further into the development of my career as a social researcher.’ Claire de Motte, Nottingham Trent University

Members’ e-bulletin

All members will receive an e-bulletin three times a year providing information about policy developments, resources and campaigns.

ECAN Bulletin Issue 45, October 2020

In this issue you will find:

  • Prisoners’ access to secondary care and the impact of Covid-19                 
    Miranda Davies, Nuffield Trust
  • Examining the barriers to community resettlement for foreign national women
    Sophia Benedict, Southwark and Lewisham Women’s Space
  • Narratives of women’s community supervision: Problem gambling, shame, stigmatisation and a challenge to desistance                                             
    Natalie Rutter, Leeds Trinity University
  • Towards a Fulfilling Life – learning from a national programme supporting people affected by multiple disadvantage                                                       
    Rachel Moreton and Beth Collinson, University of Sheffield/CFE Research

Previous bulletins can be found here.

Join the Howard League for Penal Reform’s Early Career Academics Network

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