‘This fascinating book examines some of the ideological underpinnings of forensic psychological research, policy and practice. It is refreshingly reflective and a significant contribution to the field. I strongly recommend it.’ - Professor Graham Towl, Durham University and formerly Chief Psychologist at the Ministry of Justice ‘The strength of this book is the complexity of concepts and topics covered mean that it is suitable for students who wish to be challenged.’ - Dr Louise Almond, University of Liverpool ‘This is a book for people who like to think. It presents the realities of practice with the challenges of theory and asks the reader to shake off complacency. It is insightful and challenging but most of all, it is very readable.’ - Professor Joanna R. Adler, Middlesex University Students of Forensic Psychology need to learn how to combine practical skills such as report writing or assessments with a critical understanding of both theory and the wider political and policy landscape that surrounds the profession. Mapped to the British Psychological Society’s Stage One and Two training requirements for forensic psychologists Forensic Psychology: Theory, Research, Policy and Practice will help you understand how these crucial areas of the profession interact and how they can shape one another. Throughout the text the authors provide a detailed analysis of key concepts, debates and theories while weaving in insights and reflections from key professionals, ensuring you have the necessary knowledge and skills to pass assignments and get past the stage 2 supervised practice requirements en route to becoming a qualified forensic psychologist. This text will be essential reading for all those on MSc Forensic Psychology courses, and will also be a useful reader for those on practitioner doctorates as well as the already qualified needing to keep up with the CPD. The book is also a useful companion to professionals in allied criminal justice professions.

Re-imagining forensic psychology

Re-imagining forensic psychology

Key concepts

This chapter provides an overview of the status of forensic psychology. We adopt the utility test to assess the assets and debits of forensic psychology’s achievements. We also discuss future prospects by drawing together ideas from public criminology, critical and political psychology.

Knowledge concepts

Practical considerations

Cognitive revolution


Procedural justice

Social justice


Behavioural science and law project

Civic virtues

Discipline raider

Rendezvous discipline

Special measures

User as expert

We hope the discussion we present in this chapter stimulates a conversation challenging the future development of forensic psychology – what it is about, what it is for and where it is going. We also hope the ideas allow you space to reflect on the kind of forensic psychologist you would like to be and any research you might like to do.

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