Colette's research interests lie in the areas of prisons, prison staff and deaths in custody. She was awarded her PhD by Dublin Institute of Technology in 2017. Her thesis explored Irish prison staff experiences of prisoner deaths in custody, and was funded by the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme. This work entailed a comprehensive account of staff experiences of dealing with the death of a prisoner, engaging with issues such as prevention policies and procedure, staff perspectives on risk, accountability and blame, emotional management and performance, and staff engagement with support.
Colette received her Bachelor in Business and Legal Studies from University College Dublin in 2009, and her MA Criminology from Dublin Institute of Technology in 2011. Colette has previously worked at the Department of Justice in Ireland, undertaking research on parole reform and Magdalen Laundries. In 2015, she received an Irish Research Council New Foundations Award for a knowledge exchange project titled, 'Talking about Prison Work'. Prior to joining Sheffield Hallam, Colette worked for two years as an Assistant Lecturer at Dublin Institute of Technology, lecturing on criminology, law and social care programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Colette is currently working with Dr Mark Coen, Dr Niamh Howlin and John Lynch, all of University College Dublin, on a research project on judge-jury interactions in Ireland. This work explores judicial and practitioner perspectives on judge-jury interactions in criminal jury trials.