Opening day for CORE-FP centre
The University of Kent launched its new Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology (CORE-FP) on Friday 16 September 2011.
Among the 200 guests attending the launch were Canterbury City Councillor Dr Harry Cragg, Julian Brazier MP, members of the police, probation and prison service, and leading psychologists and criminologists from around the UK.
The launch, which took place in Keynes College on the University's Canterbury campus, involved a day long programme of presentations, talks and symposiums on topics ranging from street gangs, corporate crime and sexual harassment to stalking, firesetting, sexual offending and forensic uses of face perception.
Dr Theresa Gannon, Reader in Forensic Psychology and Director of the new Centre, explained the subject as 'a modern branch of psychology that seeks to understand the psychological processes underlying offending behaviour, the reduction and supervision of offending behaviour − i.e. rehabilitation, treatment, and management of community risk − victim responses to offending, the mechanisms underlying the criminal justice system more generally − i.e. jury decision making and the courts − and attitudes to offenders and offender reintegration in society'.
Dr Gannon also explained the main aim of the Centre as 'one that aims to conduct high impact psychological research to further understand key forensic issues of social significance and lead to cutting edge teaching and research opportunities for post graduate students'.
Forensic psychologists at the University are currently leading cutting edge research on: bullying in prisons, prison gang behaviour, jury decision-making, child sexual offending, rape, rape proclivity, female sexual offending, theories of offender rehabilitation, firesetting, sexual harassment, violence, aggression and alcohol, and the infrahumanisation of offenders.
Other areas of research include social cognition, social and moral emotion, and group process theory; all of which are applied to the study of offending behaviour or court process issues.