College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


New study tackles prisoners’ drink problem

A new approach to help male remand prisoners tackle drinking problems is being developed.

Researchers from the School of Health and Social Science are creating a prison-based intervention to help reduce the level of alcohol-related violent crime.

It is the first of its kind relating to male remand prisoners - those who are unconvicted and those who are convicted and are awaiting sentencing.

School of Health and Social Science


The PRISM-A study is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh and Teesside University.

Teesside University

Dr Aisha Holloway will lead a group of experts including Dr Sarah Landale at Edinburgh and Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch and Jennifer Birch at Teesside.

They will conduct in-depth interviews and surveys with male remand prisoners in a Scottish prison and English prison.

They will also interview prison officers, prison nurses and those involved in the health and social care delivery of male remand prisoners.

Tackling alcohol-related violence

From the interviews, experts hope to develop an Alcohol Brief Interventions (ABI) based on supporting prisoners to consider a change in their drinking behaviour, so that they can reduce their consumption and risk of harm.

A significant number of male prisoners detained on remand have a higher rate of alcohol problems compared to the general population.

By helping this vulnerable group to reduce the level of alcohol consumed, the study aims to reduce the levels of alcohol-related harm in wider society.  

This work will allow us for the first time to look specifically at remand prisoners to understand what alcohol advice and information would best serve their needs. This information will help us to develop alcohol interventions that achieve three key aims: they are centred on the patient, they are built on evidence, and are fit for purpose.

Dr Aisha HollowayProgramme Director for the Masters in Advancing Nursing Practice

The project will run from February 2016 and end in January 2017.