1st Edition

Challenging Bias in Forensic Psychological Assessment and Testing Theoretical and Practical Approaches to Working with Diverse Populations

    536 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    536 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Challenging Bias in Forensic Psychological Assessment and Testing is a groundbreaking work that addresses the biases and inequalities within the field of forensic psychology. It gives valuable insights into individual practices and wider criminal justice approaches at an international level, while providing tangible solutions to tackle the disparities.

    This book constructively critiques current forensic practice and psychological assessment approaches through a variety of diverse voices from pioneering researchers around the world who offer their expertise on these challenges and assist the reader to consider their potential contribution to pushing forward the frontiers of Forensic Psychology. The authors also locate the origin of these biases in order to further dismantle them, and improve the outcomes for the forensic client base – especially specific diverse populations. They emphasise the need to be creative and evolve not just in line with the real-world changes of today, but also to prevent the issues of tomorrow before they become the next news headline.

    This is a must read for professionals working in criminal justice, forensic psychology, legal psychology, and related fields. It is also a compelling resource for students and researchers of forensic psychology with particular interest in social diversity and inclusion.


    1 Introduction: Forensic Context Assessment - Reliability, Validity, & Current Challenges – Glenda Liell, Martin Fisher and Lawrence Jones with Lorraine Hough.

    2 Challenging Bias in the Forensic Context: Lived Experiences  – Palwinder Athwal-Kooner, Martine Ratcliffe & Ana Da Silva.

    3 The Role of Dynamic Risk Factors in Forensic Assessment and Treatment planning – Roxanne Hefferman and Tony Ward.

    4 Why dynamic risk factors cannot be applied universally: Their normative nature and the importance of cultural awareness in risk assessment and intervention – Stefanie Schmidt, Roxanne Heffernan & Tony Ward

    5 The Validity of Reconviction as a Proxy Measure for Re-offending: Interpreting Risk Measures and Research in the Light of False Convictions and Detection and Conviction Evasion Skills (DACES) and processes. – Lawrence Jones, Martin Fisher and Glenda Liell.

    6 Measuring what matters: Standardized risk levels for criminal recidivism risk –  Daryl G. Kroner and R. Karl Hanson.

    7 The Cumulative Modelling of Risk – Sean M. Hammond & Margaret M. O’Rourke.

    8 What Works in the Digital Age? VR and Smartphone Applications for Forensic Psychology –  Aniek M. Siezenga, Jean-Louis van Gelder & Job van der Schalk.

    9 Assessment and Intervention Technologies in Juvenile Justice –  Christopher M. King, Lauren Grove, Rachel Bomysoad, Kenny Gonzalez & Loumarie Vasquez.

    10 Implications and Considerations for Conducting Remote Forensic Evaluations in Underserved and Marginalized Communities – Ashley Batastini, Natalie Anumba, Michelle Guyon & Meera Patel.


    11 Supervising Assessment Practice – Jason Davies.

    12 The Power Threat Meaning Framework: Implications for the Criminal Justice System  – Jo Ramsden & Kerry Beckley.

    13 Individual Bias in Forensic Practice – Todd E. Hogue & Mats Dernevik.

    14 Cultural bias in Forensic Assessment: Considerations and Suggestions –  Andrew Day, Yilma Woldgabreal & Luke Butcher.

    15 Personal Construct Psychology & Repertory Grids in Formulation – Nicholas Blagden & Adrian Needs.

    16 Using Social Media Data in Forensic Evaluations: Addressing Bias  –  Ashley Batastini, Madison Lord & Michael Vitacco.


    17 Gender-sensitive violence risk assessment – Vivienne de Vogel.

    18 Critical Reflection on Gender Identity Assessments with Trans and Gender Non-Binary individuals: Challenges, implications, and a newly proposed approach in Forensic Psychology –  Sören Henrich.

    19 Neurodiversity Assessment In Forensic Contexts – Nancy Doyle, Lorraine Hough, Karen Thorne & Tanya Banfield.

    20 Risk Assessment in Offenders in Learning Disability Populations – Emma Longfellow, Mark Callender & Rachel Hicks.

    21 How forensic practitioners may better understand neurodevelopmental disorders within forensic practice with a specific focus on ADHD – Rachel Worthington.

    22 Deafness in a forensic context – Mats Dernevik, Brendan Monteiro, Lorraine Hough & Elizabeth Kimber.

    23 Criminally Diverse Offenders – Phil Willmot.

    24 Challenging Bias in the Assessment of Extremist Offending – Christopher Dean & Monica Lloyd.

    25 The Assessment of Psychopathy – Jenny Tew & Jake Seaward.

    26 Technological assessment methods: New directions in the assessment of sexual offending and sexualised violence –  Derek Perkins and Ignazio Puzzo.


    27 Challenging bias in cross-cultural forensic psychology assessment and testing: A summary perspective –  Yilma Woldgabreal.



    Glenda C. Liell is a Forensic Psychologist with 24 years’ experience in roles across criminal justice including high security prisons, regional psychology, headquarters, and probation. She is the current Chair of the BPS Committee on Test Standards and has represented the Division of Forensic Psychology on other BPS Committees. She has also guest lectured at various universities.

    Martin J. Fisher is a Forensic Psychologist and has worked in the criminal justice field for over 33 years in England and Wales. He has honorary appointments within NHS Secure Services and Academia. He is also a past Chair of the BPS Committee on Test Standards, past member of the BPS Ethics Committee, and a member of the BPS Research Board.

    Lawrence F. Jones, a Consultant Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, is the head of the psychology services at Rampton high secure hospital. He is an honorary clinical associate professor at Nottingham University and is a former chair of the Division of Forensic psychology. He has authored work on trauma, case formulation, and pragmatic risk assessment.

    Given recent powerful reminders that bias is very much alive and well in many areas of life, it is maybe surprising that this volume is the first to address this matter in forensic psychology. It does so exceptionally well and courageously with broad coverage of issues, in-depth and cutting edge analysis of theory as well as addressing practical considerations. Let’s hope other professions will follow, after all not doing so can have disastrous consequences for those in our care. - Prof. Dr. med. Birgit Völlm PhD MRCPsych DiplForPsych, Medical director, hospital for forensic psychiatry, Chair, University medicine Rostock, Germany

    Concern about bias and discrimination in all their guises is a salient feature of public discourse. This timely and much-needed volume examines meticulously and frankly the diverse biases that can permeate forensic services and research. More importantly, it offers thoughtful and innovative suggestions for change making it essential reading for professionals and students seeking an impartial system. - John Livesley, Professor emeritus, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, UK 

    While the influence of forensic psychology in prisons has grown in recent decades, there has been little critical analysis of its assumptions, biases and limitations from practitioners themselves. This volume is therefore a really significant contribution both to professional practice and to the wider discipline, setting out through a hugely impressive range of chapters how things are done and how they might be done better. - Ben Crewe, Professor of Penology and Criminal Justice and Deputy Director of the Prisons Research Centre. University of Cambridge, UK

    The editors have brought together a much-needed volume that encourages forensic practitioners to challenge and transform current practice, from reformulating theories that underpin offending behaviour, through to the assessment, diagnosis, and intervention, all within the prism of unconscious bias and cultural diversity.  This volume can be seen as an awakening moment in forensic psychology practice and will be essential reading for those working in a wide variety of forensic contexts. - Prof. Leam A Craig, FPP Ltd; University of Birmingham; Birmingham City University; University of Lincoln, UK

    This is a timely and an original volume. Risk assessment can be dangerous if it is applied thoughtlessly. This volume not only identifies biases in the assessment of risk, but importantly, it offers solutions. It provides clear and coherent advice about providing the best possible care to users of forensic services. This is fundamental for ethical practice given the diversity of those who use such services. - David J Cooke, Adjunct Professor of the Australian Catholic University, Australia