On 1 October I started a Research Assistant position with the University of Limerick in collaboration with the Irish Prison Service. I am based in the IPS Psychology Service headquarters in Arbour Hill and I am working under the supervision of Dr Eimear Spain (School of Law, UL) and Dr Emma Black (Head of Psychology, IPS). I am conducting research on a new initiative developed by the IPS Psychology Service and The Probation Service that involves early multi-disciplinary sentence management for people serving life sentences. This initiative was developed in response to recommendations on early sentence management contained in the report Examination of the Sentence Management of people serving Life Sentences. The aim of my research is to evaluate the impact of early engagement on people serving life sentences by assessing a broad range of factors including individual behavioural and psychological functioning. This will require an analysis of the experiences of those sentenced to life imprisonment both before and after the implementation of this new initiative. As a Research Assistant I have three key objectives: 1) To complete a literature review on the strengths, needs, and risks of prisoners in the early, middle, and end stages of a life sentence; 2) To develop a potential project design and to conduct preliminary analyses; and 3) To identify sources of funding and to prepare applications for funding in order to progress the research into a longer term project.