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Government ministers to address DFP devolved nations conference

24 February 2022

Two ministers will speak at the conference tomorrow which aims to showcase new developments in the field of forensic psychology.

Northern Ireland’s Minister for Justice Naomi Long and Welsh Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt have pre-recorded videos for the online event, which, for the first time, has been jointly organised by the Division of Forensic Psychology’s devolved nations branches.

Jane Hutt will talk about one of the Welsh government’s key priorities – tackling violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence – as well as its partnership agreement for prison health, which includes new standards for mental health services in prisons.

Meanwhile, Naomi Long acknowledges the contribution that forensic psychology makes to helping people in the justice system turn their lives around.

Sarah Ruston, Chair of the Division of Forensic Psychology Northern Ireland Branch and one of the event organisers, said:

“We are very excited to be hosting this conference and are grateful that the ministers have been able to make time in their busy schedules to support it.

“Due to the pandemic, it has been a while since we have been able to come together but we now have the opportunity for our forensic psychology audience to be able to learn more about new developments in the field.”

“We have an incredible line-up of eminent speakers and the conference will provide a one-stop shop covering many of the key innovations in forensic psychology.”

Professor Stephen Hart, of Simon Fraser University, Canada, will focus on the practice of violence risk assessment and will discuss his concerns that those working in the field are failing to adequately recognise and protect the fundamental legal rights of the people they evaluate.

Other speakers include Professor Jane Ireland, who throws the spotlight on aggression research and the application to forensic practice, and Professor Karen Slade, who will speak about the newly developing area of dual harm and the relevance to forensic practice of people displaying both harm to self and others.

There are still some places available, with a special rate of £20 for students/trainees.

Broadening our Horizons: Innovations in Forensic Practice, takes place on 25 February, 9am-5pm and people can register via the event pages.

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