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Forensic Operational research Group-Exchange (FORGE)


The Forensic Operational Research Group-Exchange (FORGE) exists to provide a forum for researcher-practitioner exchange, to inspire collaboration and innovation, and to impact on operational practice in criminal justice and clinical forensic settings. 

We aim to ‘forge’ new collaborations and in particular new pathways to resolution of operational problems, by understanding and creating, testing, learning and adapting, and re-testing researched solutions. In doing so we will be a hub for practice-based forensic psychological research on the south coast.

Our research

Our research advances society by improving engagement with and effectiveness of services for users and the general public. The knowledge gains we're making will assist in practitioner training/supervision, policy advice, and wider service delivery.

Problems tackled by FORGE include disengagement, breach, and re-offending by people subject to interventions or supervision by forensic services. These problems exist partly due to operational challenges in assessment, management and interventions with troubled service users.

This problem exists due to inadequate understanding of the development and maintenance of antisocial behaviour, and the mass use of imprisonment, poor prison conditions, and policies of deterrence rather than rehabilitation. 

FORGE will be a hub for researcher-practitioner exchange, and we strive to impact directly on operational services, reducing the divide between research and practice and assisting with the professional development of its members.   

 

Research by group members can have economic and social impact – a recent example is our work around digital technology for prisoners, which highlighted how such access reduces prison administrative costs by increasing prisoner autonomy, and assists social connectedness by enhancing opportunities for prisoners and their families to maintain contact (see McDougall & Pearson, 2020). 


Group members

Image of Dr Dominic Pearson

Dr Dominic Pearson

  • Job Title Senior Lecturer
  • Email Address Dominic.Pearson@port.ac.uk
  • Department Department of Psychology
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Alethea Adair-Stantiall

Dr Alethea Adair-Stantiall

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Dr Adrian Needs

  • Job Title Principal Lecturer
  • Email Address Adrian.Needs@port.ac.uk
  • Department Department of Psychology
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Axelle Philippon

Dr Axelle Philippon

  • Job Title Senior Teaching Fellow
  • Email Address axelle.philippon@port.ac.uk
  • Department Department of Psychology
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Zarah Vernham

Dr Zarah Vernham

  • Job Title Senior Lecturer
  • Email Address Zarah.Vernham@port.ac.uk
  • Department Department of Psychology
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor

Our partners

FORGE has ongoing partnerships with the following organisations and entities – each of which supports the University in its mission to make a difference to the world through transformative education, research, and innovation:


  • Portsmouth City Council domestic abuse services – since 2016 we've collaborated on the design, monitoring and evaluation of intervention to prevent abuse in intimate partner and family relationships
  • Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service firesetter interventions – since 2017, we've been collaborating to enhance innovation and development of the Firesetters’ Responsive Educational Programme (FIRE-P)
  • Care after Combat third-sector organisation supporting veterans – since 2013 we've collaborated in connection with The Phoenix Programme
  • Together for Mental Wellbeing – we've been collaborating since 2017 as a placement provider for trainee psychologists
  • Oxleas NHS Trust – we've been collaborating since 2017 as a placement provider for trainee psychologists
  • The British Psychological Society – partnering in the delivery of academic programmes since their inception, our members have had prominent roles on the training committee responsible for programme accreditation
  • The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (Hampshire) – collaborating to provide research placements since 2018 for MSc Forensic Psychology students 

Recent outputs

Explore more of our research