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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2013

Ashlee Curtis and Andrew Day

Recent years have seen some significant changes to the psychology profession in Australia that have prompted debate about the role of specialist areas of practice. This…

2767

Abstract

Purpose

Recent years have seen some significant changes to the psychology profession in Australia that have prompted debate about the role of specialist areas of practice. This study aims to investigate those attitudes and values that might be associated with one particular specialism, that of forensic psychology.

Design/methodology/approach

The influence of specialist forensic training on the professional identity of 30 correctional psychologists was examined in relation to their self‐reported level of stress, organisational membership, and organisational commitment.

Findings

The results suggest that exposure to specialist training in forensic psychology may not be directly associated with organisational commitment, membership or stress, although some differences between forensic psychologists and those who held other professional practice qualifications were observed.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations of the study include the small sample size and the use of a scale that has not been well‐validated. Replication and extension of the study is required.

Practical implications

The study has implications for the recruitment and retention of psychologists in correctional settings and for the development of professional identity in post‐graduate training programmes.

Originality/value

This study is the first to explore the differences in professional identity, organisational commitment, organisational membership and stress in a sample of psychologists who practice in the correctional setting.

Details

The Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 October 2022

Maartje Clercx, Robert Didden, Leam A. Craig and Marije Keulen-de Vos

Forensic vigilance is a central competency that forensic professionals need to meet the complex demands of working in forensic settings. Until recently, no instrument for…

Abstract

Purpose

Forensic vigilance is a central competency that forensic professionals need to meet the complex demands of working in forensic settings. Until recently, no instrument for forensic vigilance was available. This study aims to develop a self-assessment tool of forensic vigilance for individuals and teams working in forensic settings, and investigated its psychometric properties.

Design/methodology/approach

The Forensic Vigilance Estimate (FVE) was presented to 367 forensic psychiatric professionals and 94 non-forensic psychiatric professionals by means of an online survey. Professionals rated themselves on 15 aspects of forensic vigilance.

Findings

The results indicated that the FVE had good psychometric properties, reflected by a good to excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s α of 0.903), a good split-half reliability (0.884) and good test–retest reliability (0.809). The factor structure of the FVE was captured by a one-factor model (RMSEA 0.09, SRMR 0.05, TLI 0.91 and CFI 0.92). Proportion of explained variance was 52%. Forensic professionals scored significantly higher than non-forensic professionals on the FVE (t(459) = 3.848, p = 0.002).

Practical implications

These results suggest that the FVE may reliably be used for research purposes, e.g. to study the effects of targeted training or intervention or increasing work experience on forensic vigilance or to study which factors influence forensic vigilance.

Originality/value

This study represents the first attempt to capture forensic vigilance with a measuring instrument.

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2012

Andrew Day

Supervision is often regarded as an important aspect of forensic psychological practice and yet little evidence exists to support the idea that supervised practice leads…

1272

Abstract

Purpose

Supervision is often regarded as an important aspect of forensic psychological practice and yet little evidence exists to support the idea that supervised practice leads to better outcomes for either clients or organisations. This paper seeks to discuss some of the aims of supervision in relation to the needs of forensic psychologists, such that practice in this area can be developed further.

Design/methodology/approach

The current published literature on the nature of forensic supervision is reviewed and discussed.

Findings

A number of different models of supervision have been proposed and supervisory experiences can vary markedly according to both the individuals involved and the setting in which the work is conducted. There is a need to develop specialist models of supervision for those who work in forensic settings. Further research is needed to establish an evidence‐base for supervisory practices.

Originality/value

There has been very little previous consideration of the nature of post‐qualification forensic supervision despite the need, and in some cases requirement, that forensic practitioners receive supervision. This paper discusses some of those issues that are considered important to effective supervision in the forensic setting.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Abby Fenton

This is a retrospective study of the HM Prison and National Probation Services 2003 national recruitment of trainee forensic psychologists. The study looks at which…

Abstract

This is a retrospective study of the HM Prison and National Probation Services 2003 national recruitment of trainee forensic psychologists. The study looks at which competencies were assessed, how they were assessed, and who was successful at each stage, with reference to equal opportunities and diversity.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 February 2011

Gordon Ritchie, Sarah Weldon, Laura Freeman, Gary MacPherson and Karen Davies

Substance misuse that is co‐morbid with mental disorder may increase the risk of crime, particularly of a violent nature. It is therefore essential that dual‐diagnosis…

Abstract

Substance misuse that is co‐morbid with mental disorder may increase the risk of crime, particularly of a violent nature. It is therefore essential that dual‐diagnosis patients in forensic services receive adequate intervention and treatment to minimise future substance use and potential for criminal behaviour. One such intervention is the Relapse Prevention Programme (Saying No; Coping and Social Skills Programme) developed in a high secure forensic hospital. An evaluation of the programme was conducted, with pre‐ and post‐ intervention using four measures, the Drug Taking Confidence Questionnaire (DTCQ), the Multidimensional Locus of Control Questionnaire, the Stages of Change Questionnaire and the Rosenberg Self‐Esteem Scale, with 83 male participants who had completed the programme. Results indicate that there was significant change in the DTCQ post‐treatment while no other measures yielded a statistically significant result. Possible reasons, implication for practice and limitations of the current study are discussed.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Sarah Ashworth, Krista Jansen, Lydia Bullock and Paul Mooney

The purpose of this paper is to describe a feasibility study into the development and pilot of a psychoeducational group for people with intellectual disability and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a feasibility study into the development and pilot of a psychoeducational group for people with intellectual disability and co-morbid mental disorder (including mental illness and personality disorder) within forensic settings.

Design/methodology/approach

“Mind Matters”, a psychoeducational programme for people with an intellectual disability and co-morbid mental disorders is a group based programme in a medium secure hospital, adapted and developed to be suitable for people with intellectual disability therapist multidisciplinary approach was key to its development. An open group on a 16-bedded ward for individuals with mild to moderate intellectual disability and co-morbid mental illness was delivered over a six-week period.

Findings

The group was positively received in pilot by participants and members of the clinical teams. Attendance and engagement of participants were key measures of the success of the programme. In addition to the apparent increased social skills and motivation to engage with future psychological intervention.

Practical implications

The authors believe that this approach benefitted both the group members and staff on ward, reinforcing strategies for maintaining positive mental health. It also stimulated engagement, discussion about mental disorders including mental illness, personality disorder and intellectual disabilities.

Originality/value

This paper shows how a psychoeducational approach to mental disorder and mental health in individuals with an intellectual disability is possible, beneficial and well received.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 November 2021

Faye K. Horsley

Psychological research on fire has focussed primarily on its misuse in the form of arson and firesetting, which reflects a tradition in forensic psychology for focussing…

Abstract

Purpose

Psychological research on fire has focussed primarily on its misuse in the form of arson and firesetting, which reflects a tradition in forensic psychology for focussing on risk and pathological behaviour. However, this is inconsistent with the strengths-based approach because it fails to account for positive aspects of fire and law-abiding/ healthy interactions with fire. This study aims to explore the psychology of non-criminalised forms of fire use. It is predicated on a novel, dimensional, conceptualisation of fire-related behaviour – the continuum of fire use (CoFU; Horsley, 2020, 2021).

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 adults who use fire in law-abiding forms. Data were analysed using techniques informed by grounded theory. Steps were taken to ensure reliability and validity, including a Cohen’s Kappa calculation, which indicated an agreement level of 0.8 between two raters.

Findings

Four core themes were identified relating to the benefits of fire on psychological well-being, namely, immediate gratification; hope and empowerment; self-concept and emotional security.

Research limitations/implications

Drawing on findings from this study, a theoretical framework of the psychology of non-criminalised fire use is presented. This is a preliminary conceptualisation and more work is needed to address this under-researched topic.

Practical implications

The findings can inform the work of forensic practitioners. They highlight the importance of considering service users' positive interactions with fire, alongside maladaptive/ criminal use. This has implications for the assessment of fire setters, as well as rehabilitative approaches.

Social implications

It is argued in this paper that a society-wide approach is key to firesetting reduction. More specifically, findings can inform the development and refinement of early intervention programmes, which focus on supporting young people to develop a healthy relationship with fire.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to explore the psychology of non-criminalised forms of fire use. It is predicated on a novel, dimensional, conceptualisation of fire-related behaviour – the continuum of fire use (CoFU; Horsley, 2020, 2021a, 2021b).

Details

The Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2010

Claire Nagi and Jason Davies

The topic of offender rehabilitation has been subject to much research over the past decade. Numerous meta‐analytic reviews of offender treatment, particularly group…

Abstract

The topic of offender rehabilitation has been subject to much research over the past decade. Numerous meta‐analytic reviews of offender treatment, particularly group treatment based on cognitive behavioural principles, have been reported. Together with the ‘triad of principles’ — risk, need and responsivity — they have formed the foundation upon which most offending behaviour interventions have developed. However, outcome data from existing programmes provides mixed evidence, and evidence for interventions for those in forensic mental health settings are still in their infancy. This paper critically considers the current evidence for the treatment of offending behaviour, and its application in forensic mental health settings, in order to inform development of such treatments in low secure mental health care. Most of the research focuses on non‐mental health settings, and is largely what will be considered here. The paper concludes that low secure interventions need to capitalise on the evidence of ‘what works’ while revisiting key concepts such as ‘dose’ and responsivity in order to design appropriate treatments. Individual outcome evaluation needs to form part of development in this area.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 23 November 2020

Jason Warr

Abstract

Details

Forensic Psychologists
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-960-1

Article
Publication date: 27 June 2022

Rasmus Rosenberg Larsen, Jessica Burns, Reba Khoshabe, Nicole Raposo, Danielle Sng, Jarkko Jalava and Stephanie Griffiths

The purpose of this study was to survey practitioners’ use and perceptions of psychopathy assessments in Canadian forensic psychiatric settings. Psychopathy assessments…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to survey practitioners’ use and perceptions of psychopathy assessments in Canadian forensic psychiatric settings. Psychopathy assessments are widely used in forensic settings to inform decisions about sentencing, placement, rehabilitation and parole. Recent empirical evidence suggests that the utility of psychopathy assessments might be overestimated, leading to a debate about their legal and ethical justification. However, one shortcoming of these discussions is that they rely heavily on anecdotal evidence about how exactly psychopathy assessments influence forensic decisions, due to a general lack of survey data on field uses. Some data are available in European and American contexts, but little is known about Canadian clinical practice.

Design/methodology/approach

To address this shortcoming in the literature, the authors conducted a pilot study of practitioners in forensic psychiatric units in Ontario (N = 18), evaluating their use of psychopathy assessments, reporting habits and their perceptions of psychopathic offenders.

Findings

Practitioners reported that they primarily used the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) as a risk assessment tool, often in combination with other tools. Most clinicians reported using psychopathy assessments infrequently, that there was a low base rate of psychopathic offenders and their attitudes and beliefs about psychopathy were generally consistent with the empirical literature.

Originality/value

This pilot study provides novel insights into the use of psychopathy assessments in Canadian forensic psychiatry with the potential to inform current debates.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

Keywords

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