Isobel's degree helped her discover a passion for campaigning for wrongly convicted prisoners
University is a place to discover what you’re passionate about and what you’re good at. There are loads of things to get involved with alongside your course. I just wouldn’t have predicted that, for me, it would be campaigning for wrongly convicted prisoners.
I’ve always loved shows like CSI, seeing how detectives piece together clues to unpick cases and find their person. The older I got the more I started to follow real news stories and admire how actual police went about their job.
When it was time to start college, I already knew what I wanted to do for my career and picked a criminology A level that would get me into university. After 2 years of hard work I found myself at an Open Day at Portsmouth. The lecturers made the criminology degree sound so exciting. I thought, finally there are people as passionate as I am about this!
My teachers were former forensics and detectives and it was fascinating to hear them relate everything we learnt to a real case they'd worked on in the past.
Right away I knew I’d made the right choice. My teachers were former forensics and detectives and it was fascinating to hear them relate everything we learnt to a real case they'd worked on in the past. With every module – cybercrime, criminal psychology, anti-terrorism – I began to understand what those detectives I’d watched and read about had been doing. The more I learned about the world, the more I wanted to be a part of it.
By my second year I began volunteering at the Clinical Justice Clinic as a part of the Innocence Project. We researched cases where a miscarriage of justice might have sent an innocent person to prison and try to discover if there’s sufficient evidence to reopen investigations.
I thought, finally there are people as passionate as I am about this!
The project taught us how to reexamine cases and communicate safely with prisoners. It was fascinating to be working alongside our lecturers on real, live cases and gave us an understanding of how important it is to do our job well.
One of our cases even got picked up for a show on BBC3. It was weird seeing one of my cases on TV after all those years watching other people’s.
Now I’m going on to study for my Master's in security management while still interning at the clinic. Portsmouth has opened up a world that I always wanted to be a part of and now it’s down to me to make the most of it.