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Luke Vinter

Luke Vinter

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)


Luke Vinter is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology based within the Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU), and Associate Course Leader for the MSc Forensic Mental Health. Before becoming a lecturer, Luke was a PhD researcher within SOCAMRU, and his research focussed on working with autistic individuals in prison-based interventions to address sexual offending. Luke's current research interests centre around working with/supporting vulnerable prisoner groups, sexual offending, forensic interventions, and lived experiences. In particular, Luke has a keen interest in working with neurodivergent individuals in the criminal justice system (particularly autistic individuals).

Luke leads and teaches on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate psychology modules, including:

  • Studies in Legal Psychology (Module Leader)
  • Psychology in the Criminal Justice System (Module Leader)
  • Forensic Mental Health Tutorials (Module Leader)
  • Forensic Mental Health Specialist Psychology Essay (Module Leader)
  • Psychological and Behavioural Difficulties in Childhood (Applied Child Psychology MSc)
  • Contemporary Issues in Mental Health (Forensic Mental Health MSc & Psychological Wellbeing and Mental Health MSc)
  • Psychology of the Family

Additionally, Luke supervises final year undergraduate and postgraduate Psychology research projects, as well as doctoral research students in Forensic Psychology.

Career overview

Luke was previously a Research Assistant with SOCAMRU, prior to commencing his PhD, where he worked on qualitative research projects pertaining to vulnerable prisoner populations in HMP Whatton and HMP Stafford, more specifically exploring the experiences of autistic prisoners and exploring experiences/understanding of dementia among prison staff and prisoners.

Previous to his PhD at NTU and Psychology (Conversion) MSc at the University of Chester, Luke studied Law with Criminology BA at Aberystwyth University.

Research areas

Luke’s current main research area is Applied Forensic Psychology and he is a member of the Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU). Luke's research experience is predominantly applied qualitative, prison-based research. Luke's PhD was a mixed-method project, which focussed on working with autistic individuals in prison-based interventions to address sexual offending.

Luke’s research interests include:

  • Autism, offending and the criminal justice system.
  • Lived experiences of/supporting vulnerable prisoner groups.
  • Neurodiversity in the criminal justice system
  • Participatory research.
  • Forensic interventions.
  • Dementia in prison populations.

More broadly, Luke's other research interests include: supporting mental health and wellbeing; applied research supporting vulnerable individuals/communities; supporting quality of life for individuals with cancer, dementia and/or other serious physical health conditions; human-nature interactions; and other phenomenological (lived experiences) research (e.g. paranormal experiences, spiritual/religious experiences). Luke has supervised student research projects related to these topics.

External activity

Luke collabrates with a number of external professionals and organisations (e.g. HMPPS, ICCLR, NICJN), to advise and support professionals on how to best work with autistic individuals in a variety of forensic contexts. Luke is currently working on projects related to developing autism training packages for prison staff, and adapting existing forensic materials/tools for use with neurodivergent individuals more generally.

Sponsors and collaborators

Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)

The International Centre for Criminal Law Reform (ICCLR)

Neurodivergence in Criminal Justice Network (NICJN)


  • Vinter, L. P., Dillon, G., & Winder, B. (2020). ‘People don’t like you when you’re different’: Exploring the prison experiences of autistic individuals. Psychology, Crime & Law.
  • Dillon, G., Vinter, L. P., Winder, B., & Finch, L. (2018). ‘The guy might not even be able to remember why he's here and what he's in here for and why he's locked in’: residents and prison staff experiences of living and working alongside people with dementia who are serving prison sentences for a sexual offence. Psychology, Crime & Law, 1-18.

See all of Luke Vinter's publications...