1st Edition

Research in Practice for Forensic Professionals

Edited By Kerry Sheldon, Jason Davies, Kevin Howells Copyright 2012
    368 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    368 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores applied research methods used in forensic settings – prisons, the probation service, courts and forensic mental health establishments – and provides a comprehensive 'how-to' guide for forensic practitioners and researchers.

    It provides practitioners and researchers with grounding in the practical techniques appropriate for research in applied forensic settings. This includes knowledge and skills of the research process and the wide range of research methods (both quantitative and qualitative) being applied in this arena. The text provides a critical understanding of the problems, challenges and ethical issues which can arise and ideas for managing these. Specific attention is paid to empirical research within forensic populations and settings including researching vulnerable groups (e.g. offenders and the mentally ill in secure settings), evaluating treatment programmes, and the uses and problems of randomised control trials.

    The book is clearly structured, with each methodology chapter describing the background of the approach; the type of research questions addressed; design principles and issues; the types of analysis that can be utilised; strengths and limitations of the method; future directions and further sources of information. Through the inclusion of case studies and illustrative examples from forensic researchers and practitioners who have extensive experience of conducting applied research, this book tackles real-life problems typically faced by researchers and practitioners.

    Research in Practice for Forensic Professionals is an essential one-stop resource for practitioners (such as psychologists, nursing and medical staff, prison and probation workers, social workers, occupational therapists) who have an interest in research and in evaluating their own work and the services in which they work. It will also be of interest to students studying areas of applied research, such as forensic psychology or applied criminology and those teaching them.

    Part 1: Introduction to Forensic Research  1. Conducting Research in Forensic Settings: Philosophical and Practical Issues, Jason Davies, Kerry Sheldon and Kevin Howells  2. Ethical Problems Arising in Forensic and Correctional Research, Tony Ward and Gwenda Willis  Part 2: Risk, Investigative and Criminal Justice Research  3. Risk Research, Michael Doyle  4. Facet Theory and Multi-Dimensional Scaling Methods in Forensic Research, Jennifer Brown  5. Court Relevant Research Methods, Matthew A. Palmer, Ruth Horry, and Neil Brewer  Part 3: Approaches at the Qualitative Level  6. Qualitative Research With Staff In Forensic Settings: A Grounded Theory Example, Neil Gordon  7. Using Qualitative Methods to Research Offenders and Forensic Patients, Dennis Howitt  Part 4: Assessing Individual Change  8. Single Case Methodologies, Jason Davies and Kerry Sheldon  9. The Idiographic Measurement of Change, Sean Hammond  10. Functional Analysis, Michael Daffern  Part 5: Approaches at the Group Level  10. Strengths and Weaknesses of Randomised Control Trials, Clive R. Hollin  11. Evaluation of Regimes and Environments, Matt Tonkin and Kevin Howells  12. Evaluating the quality of criminal justice programmes, Andrew Day  13. Treatment and Rehabilitation Evaluation and Large Scale Outcomes, James McGuire  14. Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis, Michael Ferriter  15. Conclusion, Kevin Howells, Kerry Sheldon and Jason Davies


    Kerry Sheldon is Research Fellow at Rampton High Secure Hospital. She has worked for the probation service in sex offender treatment and as a lecturer in psychology and criminology. 

    Jason Davies is a Consultant Forensic and Clinical Psychologist and Lead Psychologist in Rehabilitation/Recovery and Low Secure Services with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board 

    Kevin Howells trained initially as a clinical psychologist before specialising in forensic work. He has worked as a practitioner in a range of forensic mental health services in the UK and the USA as well as holding a number of academic positions and publishing extensively in the field.

    'There is no single way to do good research. The Editors of this text have taken a broad perspective, and contributions cover a wide range of research issues and specific methods applicable in forensic work. Chapters are authored by leading researchers, who explain their methods clearly, without sacrificing detail. This book will certainly be of use to students who are developing their research skills. I would also strongly recommend it to qualified practitioners who wish to gather information about their service users, evaluate their interventions, or better understand the systems in which they work with offenders. Whether your job is to catch and convict offenders, or to work with them to reduce risk, in this book you will find a way to answer some of the important questions you have no doubt asked in the past.' – Professor Mary McMurran, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham