Prison

Centre of Research & Education in Forensic Psychology

Seeking to understand the psychological processes underlying offending behaviour and victim responses

Forensic psychology research at Kent and all forensic-related teaching operates through our Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology (CORE-FP).

Forensic psychology seeks to understand

  • the psychological processes underlying offending behaviour (including group processes)
  • the reduction and supervision of offending behaviour (i.e. rehabilitation, treatment and management of community risk)
  • victim responses to offending
  • the mechanisms underlying the criminal justice system more generally (i.e. jury decision making and the courts)
  • attitudes to offenders and offender reintegration in society.

Our academics are represented in editorships and editorial boards of many major journals in forensic and applied psychology. Many are Chartered Forensic Psychologists who assess and treat offenders and evaluate offender rehabilitation programmes. Thus we have strong links with the UK Prison Service, the NHS, the Police, and other bodies involved in forensic related services and activities.

Our research is funded by various national and international sources, which include the British Academy, Economic and Social Research Council, the Home Office, Leverhulme, the Ministry of Justice and the Nuffield Foundation.

Areas of forensic psychology research that we are currently working on include:

  • bullying in prisons
  • prison gang behaviour
  • jury decision-making
  • child sexual offending
  • rape
  • rape proclivity
  • female sexual offending
  • theories of offender rehabilitation
  • firesetting
  • sexual harassment
  • violence, aggression and alcohol
  • infra-humanisation of offenders.

Other areas of research include social cognition, social and moral emotion, and group process theory, all of which are applied to the study of offending behaviour or court process issues.

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