Dr Phil Willmot’s student presents at conference!

On the 6th October 2022, MSc student Olivia Cressey (supervised by FCRG member Dr Phil Willmot) gave a presentation on her thesis at the High Secure Hospitals Psychology Conference. The talk was on “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Schema Therapy for Behavioural Change in Forensic Patients with Personality Disorders”¬†



FCRG members awarded funding for new project!

FCRG members, Lauren Smith, Todd Hogue, and Rachael Mason, along with some other colleagues, recently took part in a ‚ÄėDragons Den‚Äô type event as part of the Police Research Network. It involved pitching a proposal to the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner (Marc Jones) and Assistant Chief Constable for Lincolnshire Police (Chris Davison).¬†¬†

They were awarded ¬£5,000 for their project ‚ÄėLearning from the experiences of young people within Integrated Offender Management‚Äô !!

FCRG colleagues publish new collaborative paper!

FCRG member, Rachael Mason (lead author), in collaboration with FCRG members Michelle¬†Smith, Dr Tochs Onwuegbusi,and Prof Amanda Roberts, have published a¬†new paper entitled “New Psychoactive Substances and violence within a UK prison setting“.

    Michelle    Tochs    Amanda

The paper reports a study examining the use of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) and its association with violence within a sample of 158 men residing in a category C prison. During their current sentence, 23% reported NPS use, while 11% reported using ‚Äútraditional substances‚ÄĚ (TD), 23% reported using both, and 43% reported no substances. More participants used NPS exclusively than participants using TD exclusively. Further, the odds of violence against other prisoners, staff, and property were higher for NPS users, who were also more likely to be impulsive. The authors conclude that NPS was prevalent within the prison and impacted on levels of violence, influenced by impulsivity. These findings emphasise the need for tailored treatment and prevention initiatives for NPS users.

Mason, R., Smith, M., Onwuegbusi, T., Roberts, A. (2022).  New Psychoactive Substances and violence within a UK prison                                 setting.  Substance Use and Misuse. Online first version. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2022.2129999

Dr Georgina Gous publishes new empirical paper!!

FCRG member, Dr Georgina Gous, has recently lpublished a new paper entitled “The effects of witness mental illness and use of special measures in court on individual mock juror decision-making” in Psychology, Crime, and Law.

Georgina Gous




The paper reports a study using 204 members of the general public and student population who reported their attitudes towards mental illness before reading a mock trial vignette that differed in terms of witness mental illness (depression, schizophrenia, no mental illness) and the special measure used in court (screen, intermediary, no special measure). Following this, participants formulated judgments about the witness testimony provided (reliability, competency, credibility) and their likelihood of finding the defendant guilty. Results indicated that witnesses with depression were perceived as more competent than those with schizophrenia or no mental illness. Witnesses with depression were also perceived as being more competent than those with schizophrenia when a screen measure was used in court. The authors conclude that some awareness of these biases is needed in court, which may be aided by improving clarity about why special measures are used in court.

Gous, G., Azoui, M., Kramer, R. S., & Harris, A. (2022). The effects of witness mental illness and use of special measures in court on individual mock juror decision-making. Psychology, Crime & Law, 1-34.

Dr Lauren Smith presents Howard League for Penal Reform Conference

At the recent Howard League for Penal Reform Conference entitled ‚ÄėCrime, Justice and the Human Condition: Beyond the Cris(es) – Reframing and reimagining Justice‚Äô, Dr Lauren Smith presented her research on ‘The Lived Experiences of Crime and Gambling.¬†¬†

Lauren also chaired a session on the research exploring the well-being of prison governors, which comprised three papers with colleagues from across the College of Social Science (Karen Harrison, Rachael Mason, and Gary Saunders).