Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU)
The Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU) was set up in 2007 to build upon the collaborative relationship between ongoing research within the Psychology Division at NTU and HMP Whatton (the largest sex offender prison in Europe, holding approximately 830 convicted male sex offenders).
The unit's primary aim is to conduct and facilitate applied forensic research in the area of sex offending and sexual crime, with the research unit sitting at the juxtaposition between the world of prison and that of academia. The unit has continued to broaden its focus and develop new collaborations, including research within HMP Nottingham, HMP Lowdham Grange and Rampton High Secure hospital.
The aims of SOCAMRU include:
- to continue to develop collaborations and links with HMP Whatton and other local prisons and secure hospitals, the Prison Service and the Ministry for Justice
- to create a two-way dialogue with a range of other agencies who have an interest in the field of sex offenders and sexual crime (for example, Victim Support, the Probation Service, offender-focused groups or organisations with a role in public education)
- to continue to develop research into wider themes of offending and forensic psychology, including the effects of imprisonment and suicidal behaviour.
- to continue to develop a programme of research that makes a significant contribution to our understanding of sexual crime and sex offenders (the latter includes both actual and potential offenders, as well as individuals who have not actually been convicted or found guilty of a sexual offence), as well as offering opportunities for postgraduate research utilising a range of methodologies.
Completed published research by the unit includes an ESRC funded PhD studentship investigating denial in sex offenders, a qualitative study of Internet (non-contact) offenders, an ESRC funded PhD studentship exploring understandings of consent in convicted rapists, an investigation of potentially contradictory intra-participant attitudes towards rape myths and research on victim mediation.
Current research includes:
- a mixed method study of facets of denial at point of entry to prison and post-treatment
- Internet sex offenders: deviant collectors, voyeurs or predators
- adaptive functioning and scale development for a forensic population
- intellectual disabled sex offenders and their sexual knowledge and beliefs
- NOMS funded research on the rehabilitative climate at HMP Whatton
- evaluation of anti-libidinal medication for sexual offenders
- evaluation of the SARN assessment for intellectually disabled sexual offenders
- sexual preoccupation and sexual compulsivity – a comparison of offenders, sexual offenders and the general public
- research on the role of religion in sex offenders
- understanding the barriers and catalysts to paedophilic offending.
Please email us if you have any enquiries or are interested in applying for PhD study.