Authors: Jon Taylor, Derbyshire Community Forensic Mental Health Team and Healthcare Department HMP Whatton, UK and Geraldine Akerman Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust HMP Grendon and Pathways Service HMP YOI Aylesbury, UK.



Forensic services can present residents with several challenges, from a poverty of developmental opportunity to the experience of violence, drugs, and sustained threat. The nature of a residential forensic service is therefore likely to influence the readiness, willingness, and ability of its members to engage with interventions and, ultimately, to recover. In this paper, we explore how the residential treatment milieu can be organised in order to enhance the prospect of rehabilitation and reintegration. We draw on the experience of working in therapeutic communities (both prison and hospital based) and describe a model that integrates a compassionate and trauma sensitive methodology into such environments. An evaluation of the impact of this model is presented along with suggestions for future practice.

Keywords: Compassion-Focused Therapy; Therapeutic Communities; Trauma-informed practice; Criminogenic need; Restrictive practices; Violence.

Vol 3, Issue 2, October 2022