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Title: A sustained and significant contribution to the development of forensic psychological knowledge, policy and practice in the UK
Author: Towl, Graham John
ISNI:       0000 0001 1067 8315
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2006
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In this short paper I begin by describing my contributions to psychological science in the forensic field. For completeness, I comment upon each of the joint publications listed in the attached publications. Broadly, where there are publications with my name and that of one other author I have undertook about a 50: 50 split of the work. Where more authors have been involved I have retrospectively described the extent of my contributions. I have tried to keep the detail to a minimum, although I remain happy to elaborate should any assessmenpt anel wish that I do so. Attached to this paper are hard copies of the papers and books referred to within this paper. I have not included a complete set of all the publications, those included have been selected for illustrative purposes, in that they reflect the thematic contributions that I outline below. The contributions to psychological science are in the forensic field. They have two key aspects. First, there is a sustained and significant contribution to the knowledge base. Second, I have ensured, both as a professional psychologist and Senior Civil Servant, that psychological models are embedded in some key areas of policy and practice, especially so in prisons. 1. Contributions to the knowledge base There are three chief areas of my contributions here; groupwork based psychological interventions designed to reducer e-offending, improving our understanding of prisoner suicides and having a pivotal role in the emergent development forensic psychology as an applied psychology specialism in the UK. I have also made contributions in the more general area of forensic practice concerned with risk assessment work with offenders. Groupwork Early on in my career working in prisons I began submitting a number of papers for publication which began to trace out some key areas of professional activity in working with offenders using the median of groupwork (see for example, 6.14 and 7.24). It became clear to me from my work and growing understanding of the field that two things were missing from the use of such psychologically based interventions with prisoners. First there was a lack of sound evaluation work (as evidenced from 7,12,7.13,7.15 and 7.17) and second, full advantage had by no means been taken of the potential of particularly structured cognitive behaviourally based groupwork interventions when attempting to reduce the risk of prisoners re-offending (see, for example 3.1). My involvement in evaluation work tended to be linked to expediting the process of ensuring that full evaluative arrangements were in place for some key interventions (for example, see 8.1). I was able to undertake some empirical evaluation work too (see for example, 6.13). In terms of the potential for cognitive behavioural nonintervention be effective in reducing the risk of prisoners offending, this was one of the main areas covered in my jointly authored (with Professor David Crighton) book entitled `The Handbook of Psychology for Forensic Practitioners' published by Routledge (3.1). In this book we correctly anticipated the growth of the use of the term `forensic' to describe the activities of psychologists working in prisons. The term `forensic' is now a routine epithet for such psychological staff. This was by no means the case a decade ago. Similarly it is now widely accepted that cognitive-behavioural approaches offer significant promise in terms of the efficacy of the approach, as part of an integrated programme to reduce re-offending. These developments have been captured in some of my publications (see 4.1,4.2,4.3, and 5.3). In sum, since the early 1990s I have been engaged in the development of the knowledge base in the key area of cognitive-behaviourally based groupwork. I would summarize my contribution as threefold. First, in contributing to improvements in evaluation practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available