Karen Slade

Karen Slade

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)


Karen is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Course Leader for the DPsych in Forensic Psychology.

At MSc level, Karen leads the Prison, Rehabilitation and Aftercare module and teaches on the Assessment, Formulation and Treatment and the Professional Forensic Practice modules. At undergraduate level Karen teaches on the third year module Criminological Psychology. She also supervises BSc and MSc projects.

Karen's current research areas include:

  • Prediction of self-harm and suicide risk
  • The impact on prison staff of working in difficult environments
  • Mental health services for offenders
  • Violence and self-harm (Dual harm) in prison.
  • Organisational approaches to suicide and violence prevention

Career overview

Karen Slade has practiced in the area of Forensic Psychology for over 17 years, working for the HM Prison Service from 1999-2011. She gained full membership of the Division of Forensic Psychology and Chartership with the BPS in 2003 and is registered with the HCPC as a Forensic Psychologist and supervisor. She is Policy Lead for the Executive Committee for the BPS Division of Forensic Psychology. She completed her doctorate entitled 'The Interplay between Risk and Protective Factors in the Prediction of Self-Harm or Suicidal Behaviour within a Prison Environment' at the University of Roehampton.

She has presented her research at international conferences and published widely centring on self-harm and suicide, violence and mental health services with a focus on offenders and prison environment. Karen has extensive experience in practice including risk assessment, intervention, consultancy, crisis management, training and supervision. She has provided external training to a range of organisations on Motivational Interviewing (as a MINT accredited trainer) and the implementation and development of offending intervention.

Research areas

Karen's main research interests include:

  • Self-harm and suicide by offenders
  • Dual harm: violence and self-harm in offenders
  • The impact on prison staff of working in difficult environments
  • Early stages of imprisonment and adjustment
  • Assessment and training in identification and assessment of self-harm and suicide
  • Evaluation of Mental Health Outreach and other mental health initiatives for offenders

External activity

    • Full Member of the Division of Forensic Psychology (British Psychological Society)
    • Chartered Psychologist
    • Registered Forensic Psychologist (Health and Care Professions Council)
    • Assessor for Qualification in Forensic Psychology (BPS Stage 2 qualification)
    • Professional supervision of psychologists
    • Policy Lead for Division of Forensic Psychology Executive Committee

Sponsors and collaborators

Karen's main research collaborators:

  • Dr Andrew Forrester (SLAM, Institute of Psychiatry)

Press expertise

  • Prisons
  • Mental health in prison
  • Self-harm and suicide in offenders
  • Prison staff resilience and working relationships
  • Forensic psychology
  • Rehabilitation of offenders