Dr Janet Weston

Research Fellow


15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

020 7612 7902

I have a BA in English, and postgraduate qualifications in modern literature and the history of medicine and science. I undertook a PhD in history from 2012-2015 at Birkbeck, University of London, which examined medical explanations and treatments for sexual offenders in twentieth century England. Before returning to university, I worked in the charity sector for many years.

I joined the School in 2016 as part of a Wellcome Trust-funded project, 'Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000'. I'm particularly interested in histories of HIV/AIDS, mental health, forensic medicine, and health rights.

My book came out with Bloomsbury at the end of 2017: Medicine, the Penal System, and Sexual Crime in England 1919-1960s


Department of Public Health, Environments and Society
Faculty of Public Health and Policy


History in Public Health


I am part of a research team working on the history of healthcare in prisons, led by Catherine Cox (University College Dublin) and Hilary Marland (Warwick). This project explores mental illness in prisons, the role and health of prison medical officers, services for women, juvenile mental disorder, and more.

My focus is the history of HIV/AIDS in prisons in both England and Ireland. Led by Virginia Berridge, this strand looks at how prison authorities responded to HIV/AIDS, and whether HIV/AIDS was a catalyst for change.

This has involved gathering oral histories, and some of these are being transformed into an audiodrama about the emergence of HIV in the 1980s at Dublin's largest prison complex, Mountjoy, which will be launched in late 2017. For more on this and other exhibitions and arts events relating to health in prisons, visit the project website:


Selected Publications

HIV/AIDS and the prison service of England & Wales
Weston, J.; Berridge, V.
Transcript of a witness seminar held by the Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 18 May 2017
HIV, AIDS, and condoms in prisons
Weston, J.
Discover Society
Mental Hygiene and Psychiatry in Modern Britain
Weston, J.
British Journal for the History of Science
Prison will not cure a sexual perversion: Sexology, forensic psychiatry, and their patients in twentieth-century Britain
Weston, J.
Crimes of Passion: Repräsentationen der Sexualpathologie im frühen 20. Jahrhundert
See all Dr Janet Weston's Publications