Dr Ruth Hatcher

Associate Professor in Forensic Psychology

School/Department: Neuroscience Psychology & Behaviour, Department of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 3727



I am a HCPC Registered and BPS Chartered Forensic Psychologist having studied at the University of Sheffield (BA in Psychology), the University of Kent at Canterbury (MSc in Forensic Psychology), and the University of Liverpool (PhD). My PhD was supervised by Professor James McGuire and focussed on the correlates of attrition from cognitive skills programmes within probation settings.

I have conducted research on a range of topics relating to criminological psychology, in collaboration with secure institutions (prison, forensic mental health) or probation areas. This has included research on the effectiveness of interventions for people in prison or on probation, the impact of the introduction of technology in prison, a process evaluation of a prison-based drug recovery programme, the outcomes (mortality, reconviction, and hospital admission) of forensic mental health patients, and a physical health needs analysis of the prison population.

I am the co-Lead of the Prisons Research Network at the University of Leicester which aims to deliver ambitious and innovative prisons research that crosses disciplinary boundaries. Recent funders include the Scottish Government, the Ministry of Justice, the British Psychological Society, the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, the ESRC Impact Development Fund, the ESRC Strategic Partnership Fund, the Health Foundation, and the Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Development Fund.


My research comprises two overarching strands:

The first strand covers research relating to the management, rehabilitation, and outcomes of people who have committed crime and are held within secure and/or community settings. I am co-lead of the Leicester Prisons Research Network, an interdisciplinary research group that was established in 2018 and aims to deliver ambitious and innovative prisons research crosses disciplinary boundaries. I am currently leading a Strategic Partnership between the University of Leicester and four prisons (funded by the ESRC Strategic Partnerships programme) which aims to enhance further develop the impact of research work undertaken in conjunction with the prisons and a Scottish Government funded Healthcare Needs Assessment of the Scottish Prison population.

The second strand of research is in the field of Technology Facilitated Violence which encompasses cyberbullying, sexting, and online sexual victimisation, including image based sexual abuse. In particular, I have undertaken research on public attitudes to victims of technology facilitated violence and have hosted a British Psychology Society funded Research Seminar Series on this topic.


Westhead, J., Gibbon, S., McCarthy, L., Hatcher, R., & Clarke, M. (2023). Long-term outcomes after discharge from medium secure care: still a cause for concern? Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology. doi: 10.1080/14789949.2023.2190535

Hatcher, R.M., Tonkin, M.J., Palmer, E.J., & Blackmore, C. (2022). Understanding the Physical Health Care Needs of Scotland's Prison Population. Scottish Government, UK.

Ayres, T., Hatcher, R. M., & Palmer, E. J. (Forthcoming). Process evaluation of the Drug Recovery Prison at HMP Holme House. Ministry of Justice Analytical Series, Ministry of Justice, London, UK.

Palmer, E. J., Hatcher, R. M., & Tonkin, M. J. (2020). Evaluation of digital technology in prisons. Ministry of Justice Analytical Series, Ministry of Justice, London, UK.

Walker, K., Sleath, E., Hatcher, R. M., Hine, B., & Crookes, R. L. (2019). Nonconsensual Sharing of Private Sexually Explicit Media Among University Students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi:10.1177/0886260519853414

Hatcher, R. M., & Roberts, A. L. I. (2019). Can Completers, Non-Completers, and Non-Starters of Community-Based Offending Behavior Programs be Differentiated by Internal Treatment Readiness Factors? International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 63, 1066-1081. doi:10.1177/0306624X18813891

Maltby, J., Day, L., Hatcher, R. M., Tazzyman, S., Flowe, H. D., Palmer, E. J., . . . 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. doi:10.1111/bjop.12154

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. doi:10.1177/0093854814552099

Hollin, C. R., Palmer, E. J., & Hatcher, R. M. (2013). Efficacy of Correctional Cognitive Skills Programmes. In What Works in Offender Rehabilitation: An Evidence-Based Approach to Assessment and Treatment (pp. 115-128). doi:10.1002/9781118320655.ch6

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. doi:10.1177/0306624X11403271

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. doi:10.1177/0306624X11403894

Hatcher, R., & Noakes, S. (2010). Working with sex offenders: the impact on Australian treatment providers. Psychology Crime & Law, 16, 145-167. doi:10.1080/10683160802622030


I am happy to have discussions with potential PhD students about supervising projects in all areas of prison and probation psychology (e.g. risk assessment, interventions, prison culture, outcomes, health and wellbeing, neurodiversity, etc.), as well as topics relating to the perpetration of, or victimisation through, technology facilitated violence.


The majority of my teaching is on the Undergraduate Psychology programmes in the School of Psychology. I also contribute to dissertation supervision on the Undergraduate Psychology programmes, the MRes Research Methods in Psychology, and on the DClin Clinical Psychology programmes.

I am the Post Graduate Research Tutor for the Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour. 

Press and media

Forensic Psychology


British Psychological Society

Health and Care Professions Council

Higher Education Academy

Ministry of Justice Evidence and Partnership Hub Academic Network

Correctional Services Advice and Accreditation Panel Associate Member



HCPC Registered Forensic Psychologist
BPS Chartered Forensic Psychologist

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