This book explores applied research methods used in forensic settings – prisons, the probation service, courts and forensic mental health establishments – and provides a comprehensive 'how-to' guide for forensic practitioners and researchers.

It provides practitioners and researchers with grounding in the practical techniques appropriate for research in applied forensic settings. This includes knowledge and skills of the research process and the wide range of research methods (both quantitative and qualitative) being applied in this arena. The text provides a critical understanding of the problems, challenges and ethical issues which can arise and ideas for managing these. Specific attention is paid to empirical research within forensic populations and settings including researching vulnerable groups (e.g. offenders and the mentally ill in secure settings), evaluating treatment programmes, and the uses and problems of randomised control trials.

The book is clearly structured, with each methodology chapter describing the background of the approach; the type of research questions addressed; design principles and issues; the types of analysis that can be utilised; strengths and limitations of the method; future directions and further sources of information. Through the inclusion of case studies and illustrative examples from forensic researchers and practitioners who have extensive experience of conducting applied research, this book tackles real-life problems typically faced by researchers and practitioners.

Research in Practice for Forensic Professionals is an essential one-stop resource for practitioners (such as psychologists, nursing and medical staff, prison and probation workers, social workers, occupational therapists) who have an interest in research and in evaluating their own work and the services in which they work. It will also be of interest to students studying areas of applied research, such as forensic psychology or applied criminology and those teaching them.

Part 1: Introduction to Forensic Research  1. Conducting Research in Forensic Settings: Philosophical and Practical Issues  2. Ethical Problems Arising in Forensic and Correctional Research  Part 2: Risk, Investigative and Criminal Justice Research  3. Risk Research  4. Facet Theory and Multi-Dimensional Scaling Methods in Forensic Research  5. Court Relevant Research Methods  Part 3: Approaches at the Qualitative Level  6. Qualitative Research With Staff In Forensic Settings: A Grounded Theory Example  7. Using Qualitative Methods to Research Offenders and Forensic Patients  Part 4: Assessing Individual Change  8. Single Case Methodologies  9. The Idiographic Measurement of Change  10. Functional Analysis  Part 5: Approaches at the Group Level  10. Strengths and Weaknesses of Randomised Control Trials  11. Evaluation of Regimes and Environments  12. Evaluating the quality of criminal justice programmes  13. Treatment and Rehabilitation Evaluation and Large Scale Outcomes  14. Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis  15. Conclusion