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Life as a psychologist

As a psychologist at HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), you could work in a range of different settings:

  • adult prisons
  • young offender institutions
  • in the community with people on probation
  • or at HMPPS headquarters, designing accredited interventions

Our Introduction to Forensic Psychology podcast (opens in a new tab) will help you understand more about the role forensic psychologists play in the criminal justice system. The podcast also includes people working as psychologists across HMPPS (opens in a new tab), giving you an insight into what the job involves and the environments and locations you might work in.

As well as forensic psychologists, we also employ clinical, counselling, health, educational and occupational psychologists.

A varied role

You’ll provide expert assessments to help colleagues working with offenders to:

  • judge their risk of harm
  • understand their behaviour
  • make decisions that balance the interest of the individual with protecting the public

You’ll work with individuals to assess their risk of reoffending and look for ways to help them progress, make the most of their time in custody and to make positive changes when they return to their communities.

You’ll also provide research and consultancy to help improve the experience of people in custody and better support the rehabilitation of offenders.

In the community, you’ll support probation service colleagues helping them to better understand reoffending behaviour and what motivates people to change.

Working pattern

You’ll normally work Monday to Friday, 37 hours a week, but HMPPS also offers flexible working patterns.

What’s it like working as a forensic psychologist?

Listen to the ‘Parole Board and the role of forensic psychologists’ podcast episode (opens in a new tab) to hear more about this interesting area of work.