Helen Kosc

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Helen Kosc

DPhil in Sociology (PRS)

Thesis: 'Serving a Life Sentence: The Re-Integration of Released, Formerly Incarcerated Indigenous & Women Offenders in Post-Pandemic Times'

Supervisor(s): David Kirk

Helen Kosc is a first-year Doctoral Student who has begun her DPhil at the Sociology Department upon completing her MSc at Oxford in the 2020-2021 academic year. She is from Toronto, Canada and has extensive experience working with and volunteering for Correctional Services Canada (CSC). Read more about how her experience with CSC inspired her current research here.

For her Doctoral research, under the supervision of Dr. David Kirk, Helen will examine the structural support available to the recently-released, formerly incarcerated inmates in post-pandemic times – focusing specifically on marginalized offenders released during the time of the pandemic.

Helen’s research is motivated by the following questions:
With the Covid-19 pandemic prompting the early release of thousands of inmates each month to fight the spread of coronavirus in prisons (Vose et al., 2020), what do we know about those being released? What kind of structural support is available, if any, to this population during these challenging times? With research showing those released facing heightened anxiety, a higher risk of substance abuse, a higher risk of suicide and a higher risk of domestic violence, due to the strained access to resources and treatment upon their hastened release (Piel, 2020), what is being done to promote safer reintegration? Helen urgently calls for policymakers to re-evaluate the practices that surround re-entry, particularly in times of global crises.

Helen is also a Research Assistant employed by Nuffield College and the Department of Sociology.

Research interests: Criminology; Socio-legal studies; Re-entry & Reintegration; Prison Reform; Criminal Justice Policies & Practice