The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Psychologist to develop treatment programme for arsonists
Forensic psychologist Dr Theresa Gannon is to develop, implement and evaluate a specialist treatment programme for arsonists following an award from the Economic and Social Research Council.
Dr Theresa Gannon, a Chartered Forensic Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the University of Kent, has been awarded £563,311 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for the development, implementation and evaluation of a specialist treatment programme for arsonists.
Each week in England and Wales, it is estimated that arson costs society in excess of £42 million and results in 65 casualties who are either killed or injured (Arson Prevention Bureau, 2009). Astonishingly, professionals hold very little knowledge of the types of arsonists who exist, or of their key characteristics and treatment needs. This is extremely worrying given that arsonists who show an interest in fire are highly likely to repeat their behaviour when released into the community.
With her grant, Dr Gannon, who has a long held academic interest in arson and firesetting, will fully examine the types of male arsonists who exist and their treatment needs (males are the most prevalent group in this area). Using this information, she will then will develop, implement and evaluate the very first specialised standardised treatment programme for arsonists worldwide. Each stage of the treatment programme will designed to build upon the previous one, and, taken together, the results will change the way in which both academics and practitioners view, conceptualise and treat this group.
As well as having an academic interest in arson and firesetters, Dr Gannon is also one of the world’s leading authorities in both male and female sexual offending, having written over 70 book chapters, journals and edited books on these topics. She treats convicted sexual offenders and arsonists on a weekly basis.
She is part of the School of Psychology Forensic Psychology team that was recently awarded £324,000 by the Ministry of Justice for Evaluating Offender Supervision Strategies.
Find out more:
- Further information about Dr Theresa Gannon.
- More about research in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent.