Dr Anna Kotova

Anna Kotova

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Lecturer in Criminology
Student Experience Officer

Contact details

School of Social Policy
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Anna in a Lecturer in Criminology. Her teaching and research interests are in prison sociology and the collateral impact of imprisonment on families of prisoners. She has researched the impact of long sentences on partners of prisoners in the UK, the experiences of prisoners serving sentences for sex offences in a therapeutic community and the use of video-call technology in prisons. She teaches Criminological Theory I and Punishment in a Global Context.

In her free time, she appreciates good coffee, yoga and is a former coxswain.


  • PhD in Criminology, University of Oxford, 2016.
  • MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Oxford, 2012, Distinction.
  • BA in Jurisprudence, University of Oxford, 2011, First Class.


Anna read for a BA in Jurisprudence, MSc in Criminology and PhD in Criminology at the University of Oxford (Oriel College and Green Templeton College). There, she taught Criminal Law and ran Study Skills classes on academic writing and a range of other academic skills. After completing her PhD, she worked as an Associate Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Exeter (2016-2017), where she taught Sociology of Imprisonment, Victimology and Addiction.

Her doctoral work explored the sociological impact of long sentences on female partners of male prisoners in the UK, examining the themes of time, passage of time, gender, and family practices. She has completed research focusing on how a therapeutic prison is experienced by men who are serving sentences for sex offences with their own histories of sexual abuse perpetrated against them. She is currently undertaking a study on using video-call technology to maintain family ties across prison walls. She also produces theoretical work on stigma experienced by families of people in prison and how it located within the broader socio-political context (neoliberalism, poverty, gender, race).

She is a regular presenter at a number of conferences (British Society of Criminology, European Society of Criminology), and contributes to media coverage of criminal justice issues.

She is a member of following networks:

  • 2021-present: Member of Is it a Crime to Be Poor? Researcher Alliance.
  • 2021–present: Member of Research Advisory Group – Governing Sex and Intimacy in British Prisons, led by Dr Tanya Serisier (Birkbeck), Dr Alex Dymock (Goldsmiths) and Lizzie Hughes (Birkbeck).
  • 2020–present: Member of Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing, University of Birmingham
  • 2020–present: Member of Academic Advisory Group for West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner
  • 2015–present: Member of Global Families Network (academic network housed within Oxford’s Centre for Criminology, for academics across the world working on research on crime and the family)
In her free time she enjoys good coffee and fiction books, and is a former elite coxswain.


  • Criminological Theory I 
  • Punishment in a Global Context

Postgraduate supervision

Anna is interested in supervising doctoral students with an interest in prisons, prison life, families of offenders, and social justice. 

Doctoral research

PhD title
‘He’s got a life sentence, but I have a life sentence to cope with as well’: The Experiences of Partners of Long-term Prisoners.


Research interests

  • 2019 - present: Doing Family Using Video-Call Technology in Prisons. Funded by Sir Halley Stewart Trust. £40,258 – PI.

  • 2019: ESRC Impact Acceleration Mentorship Award: under mentor ship of Dr Dominique Moran, organised pre-bid event to discuss an AHRC grant application with senior policymakers, prison staff, academics and lived expertise expert. £1,000 – PI.

  • 2018 – 2019: British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (BARSEA) for engagement and policy impact work: funded symposiums with stakeholders, policymakers and Early Career Researchers (ECRs). £12,975 – PI.

  • 2018 – 2019: Exploring how Men who have Committed Sexual Offences and Have a History of Sexual Victimisation Experience Life in a Therapeutic Community. Funded by National Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers. £1,440 – PI2012 – 2016: ‘He’s got a life sentence, but I have a life sentence to cope with as well’: The Experiences of Partners of Long-term Prisoners. Funded by Sir Halley Stewart Trust (DPhil project), external project funding with supervisor Professor Rachel Condry. £42,000 – Co-I.


Other activities

Anna is the current Senior Tutor for the School of Social Policy.


Kotova, A., (2018 – forthcoming), ‘The Role of Offenders’ Family Links in Offender Rehabilitation’, in Ugwudike, P., Raynor, P., McNeill, F., Taxman, F., Trotter, C., and Graham, H. (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Rehabilitative Work in Criminal Justice. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kotova, A., (2018), '"Time... Lost Time."' Exploring how Partners of Long-term Prisoners Experience Time', Time & Society https://doi.org/10.1177/0961463X18763688

Kotova, A., (2018), ‘Time, the Pains of Imprisonment, and ‘Coping’ – The Perspectives of Prisoners’ Partners’, in R. Condry and P. S. Smith (eds.), Prisons, Punishment and the Family: Towards a New Sociology of Punishment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Condry, R., Kotova, A. and Minson, S., (2016), ‘Social Injustice and Collateral Damage: The Families and Children of Prisoners’, in Y. Jewkes, J. Bennett and B. Crewe (eds.), Handbook on Prisons, Second Edition. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kotova, A., (2015), ‘The Experiences of Intimate Partners of Offenders Serving Long Sentences in the United Kingdom’, in J. A. Arditti and T. le Roux (eds.), And Justice for All: Families & the Criminal Justice System. Michigan (US): Michigan Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/groves.9453087.0004.001

Coles-Kemp, L. and Kotova, A., (2014), ‘Sticking and Making: Technology as Glue for Families Separated by Imprisonment’, 2014 UK Academy for Information Systems Conference Proceedings.

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