Sharon Shalev

photo of Sharon Shalev

Research Associate, London School of Economics

Sharon joined the Centre in 2011. Her key research interest is in the use of solitary confinement in prisons and other places of detention across the world. Over the last two decades this has involved extensive research on the American ‘supermax’ prisons and, more recently, with funding from the John Fell Fund, a pilot study of high security prison units across Europe. Her book, 'Supermax: controlling risk through solitary confinement' (Willan, 2009) has been awarded the British Society of Criminology's Book Prize for 2010. 

Dr Shalev acts as an independent consultant on the use and consequences of solitary confinement, and has authored various publications on the subject, including the Sourcebook on Solitary Confinement - a practitioner's guide to the health effects of solitary confinement and to human rights and professional standards relating to its use. Since its publication the Sourcebook has become a widely used point of reference internationally and has been translated into French, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish.

She is currently working together with the Prison Reform Trust to look at how segregation units work in England and Wales. The project, titled " Prison segregation units in England: capacity, functions and quality", is funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust.  The study involves visits to 20 prisons and interviews with prisoners, prison officers and governors to get their views about, and experiences of, segregation units. The research will build an evidence base on the uses of segregation: the regulations governing its use, variations in practice, the characteristics of those who end up in segregation and their experience of segregation, the views of staff who work there, and the processes for returning people to normal location. The study is expected to last 18 months, with key findings published early in 2015.

Other research interests include: the design, management and regime in high security prisons on both sides of the Atlantic; prison architecture; human rights and prisons and; prison health care and medical ethics in prison.

Other details

Sharon is also a Fellow of the Mannheim Centre for Criminology at the London School of Economics and an Associate of the International Centre for Prison Studies.


Note about this list

These publications do not form part of our database, which only holds information about current and former members of the Faculty. This means that only items co-authored with members of the Faculty are likely to appear on other, related, lists elsewhere on our site(s).

-Shalev, S. & Beynon, J. (forthcoming). 'Solitary Confinement'. IN: Payne-James, J., Nuno Vieira, D., and Beynon, J. (Eds.) Monitoring and Documenting Conditions of Detention, Custody, Torture and Ill-Treatment: a practical guide. CRC Press.

-Shalev, S. (2014). 'Solitary Confinement as a Prison Health Issue'. IN: Health in prisons: a WHO guide to the essentials in prison health (2nd ed.). Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office Europe.


-Shalev, S. (2011). ‘Prisoners’ Rights: solitary confinement and supermax prisons’ World Politics Review, Feature Report on Human Rights: A Closer Look. 22 November, pp 8-10

-Shalev, S. & Lloyd, M. (2011). 'Though this be method, yet there is madness in’t: Commentary on "A one year longitudinal study of the psychological effects of administrative segregation"'. Corrections & Mental Health. Available online at

-Shalev, S. (2011). ‘Solitary confinement and supermax prisons : A Human Rights and Ethical Analysis’ Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice Volume 11(2) pp 151-183

-Shalev, S. (2009). ‘Inside a Supermax’, Prison Service Journal Special Issue on Solitary Confinement. No. 181 January 2009. (Co-editor of Special Issue)

-Shalev, S. (2009) Supermax: controlling risk through solitary confinement (Devon: Willan Publishing)

-Shalev, S. (2008) A Sourcebook on Solitary Confinement. London: Mannheim Centre for Criminology, LSE. Online at:

  -Shalev, S. (2007) 'The power to classify: avenues into a supermax prison', in Crime, Social Control and Human Rights. From moral panics to states of denial. Essays in Honour of Stanley Cohen. Eds. D. Downes, P. Rock, C. Chinkin, and C. Gearty. Willan Publishing, Cullompton, Devon, 2007, 107-119


Research: Solitary confinement; The design, management and regime in high security prisons on both sides of the Atlantic; prison architecture; human rights and prisons and; prison health care and medical ethics in prison

Other details

Correspondence address:

Centre for Criminology
Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford OX1 3UQ

Contact details:

other affiliation(s):

London School of Economics

Oxford Human Rights Hub

Link to personal web site

© Faculty of Law
page updated on 24 February 2015 at 15:19
Feedback on this page

the faculty of law at the university of oxford

you are here: people » research associates