Dr Emma Palmer

Reader in Forensic Psychology

School/Department: Neuroscience Psychology & Behaviour, Department of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 229 7048



I hold a BA (Hons) in Social & Political Science from Cambridge University and a PhD in Forensic Psychology from Birmingham University. I subsequently gained a PG Diploma in Psychology from the Open University. After my PhD I spent 18 months as a postdoctoral researcher at Leicester University on a project looking at criminogenic needs among prisoners before taking up a lectureship here at Leicester. During my time at Leicester I have worked in a number of departments including Psychology; Psychiatry; Health Sciences; and Neuroscience Psychology & Behaviour. I am a BPS chartered forensic psychologist and am registered as a forensic psychologist with the HCPC.


My research examines the development of antisocial behaviour and offending; health well-being and disease in prisons; and interventions to reduce offending. Funders of my research include the Ministry of Justice, HM Prison & Probation Service, the Home Office, Health Foundation and the Sentencing Council. Recently completed research includes:

  • MoJ funded process evaluation of the Drug Recovery Prison at HMP Holme House which took a whole-prison approach to reducing drug use in the prison.

  • MoJ funded evaluation of digital technology in prisons exploring the impact on prisoners and staff of in-cell phones self-service kiosks for prisoners and in-cell laptops.

  • Sentencing Council funded research examining the impact of new sentencing guidelines for robbery and sexual offences. This used sentencing data to quantitatively examine whether the introduction of new sentencing guidelines were being implemented appropriately in terms of the factors contributing to sentencing decisions.

I am currently a co-investigator on a physical health needs assessment in Scottish prisons funded by the Scottish Prison Service.

I am the co-lead of the Prisons Research Network at Leicester.



Day A. Phelps K. Maltby J. Palmer E. J. Snell K. Raine D. & Conroy S. (in press). A realist evaluation of loneliness interventions for older people. Age and Ageing.

Maltby J. Hunt S. A. Ohinata A. Palmer E. J. & Conroy S. (in press). Social isolation and frailty: The importance of social isolation from a wider social network. Journal of Aging and Health.

Palmer E. J. (2019). Group programmes with offenders. In P. Ugwudike H. Graham F. McNeill P. Rayner F. Taxman & C. Trotter (Eds.) The Routledge companion to rehabilitative work in criminal justice. London: Routledge.

Maltby J. Day L. Hatcher R. Tazzyman S. Flowe H. D. Palmer E. J. Frosch C. A. O’Reilly M. Jones C. Buckley C. Knieps M. & Cutts K. (2016). Implicit theories of online trolling: Evidence that attention-seeking conceptions are associated with increased psychological resilience. British Journal of Psychology, 107, 448-466.

Palmer E. J. & Humphries L. M (2016). Differences between completers and non-completers of offending behavior programs: Impulsivity social problem solving and criminal thinking. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 21, 407-416.

Palmer E. J. Hatcher R. M. McGuire J. & Hollin C. R. (2015). Cognitive skills programs for female offenders in the community: Effect on reconviction. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 42, 345-360.

Langdon P. E. Murphy G. H. Clare I. C. H. Palmer E. J. & Rees J. (2013). An evaluation of the EQUIP treatment programme with men who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 26, 167-180.

Palmer E. J. Hatcher R. M. McGuire J. Bilby C. A. L. & Hollin C. R. (2012). The effect on reconviction of an intervention for drink-driving offenders in the community. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 56, 525-538.

Hatcher R. M. McGuire J. Bilby C. A. L. Palmer E. J. & Hollin C. R. (2012). Methodological considerations in the evaluation of offender interventions: The problem of attrition. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 56, 447-464.

Palmer E. J. McGuire J. Hatcher R. M. Hounsome J. C. Bilby C. A. L. & Hollin C. R. (2009). Allocation to offending behaviour programmes in the English and Welsh Probation Service. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 36, 909-922.




I currently supervise 4 PhD/PsyD students as 1st supervisor.

I am happy to discuss ideas with potential PhD students in the area of antisocial behaviour aggression and offending; health and wellbeing in prisons; and forensic psychology in general.


I teach in the area of forensic psychology and quantitative research methods as well as supervising dissertations. This includes a 2nd module on areas of professional psychology, a 3rd year module on forensic psychology and a 3rd year advanced applied psychology module. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Membership of external organisations:

  • Member of the Correctional Services Advisory & Accreditation Panel (England & Wales)

  • Member of the Ministry of Justice Evidence and Partnerships Hub Academic Network

  • Member of the Scottish Accreditation Panel for Offender Programmes (2008 - 2011)

  • Member of the Research Advisory Group for the Scottish government Risk Management Authority (2008 - 2013)

Professional memberships:

  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society

  • BPS Chartered Forensic Psychologist

  • Health & Care Professions Council registered forensic psychologist

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