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Institute of Criminology



I graduated with a joint honours degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Wales, Bangor in 1995. Here I developed an interest in Forensic Psychology and Criminology completing a joint undergraduate research project, ‘Police Custody and the Mental Health Act 1983’, interviewing 51 custody officers at 21 police stations, at the behest of the North Wales Police Force.

On completion of my undergraduate studies I commenced an M.A. in Criminology and Research Methodology, undertaking an exploratory study, interviewing a number of senior health service professionals, on ‘The Development of Facilities for Personality Disorder Patients at Ashworth Secure Hospital’. This was the forerunner to my Ph.D. ‘Against the Odds: Maintaining Order on a Personality Disorder Unit’ which in turn was part of a wider, HSPSCB funded, project investigating ‘Care, Custody, Control and Order in Ashworth High Security Special Psychiatric Hospital’. My fieldwork for this study and the wider project involved my becoming a key-holder at Ashworth Hospital, spending eighteen months on the wards as a supernumerary member of staff, first observing and later interviewing all consenting staff and patients.

I have continued my cross disciplinary interests into practice, research and teaching. I worked for HM Prison Service for three years first as a psychological assistant and later as a forensic psychologist completing Stage One of my Qualification in Forensic Psychology. My main areas of responsibility were managing the psychology induction programme, training others in applied forensic research methods, including site based supervision of University of Birmingham M.Sc. and ForenPsyD student research projects, and facilitating on the Sex Offender Treatment Programme.

I returned to full time research in 2006 to take up a Post Doctoral Senior Research Assistant post on the Inclusion for Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder: Evaluation, Assessment and treatment (IDEA) project. I was based at the largest DSPD site, HMP Whitemoor, for three years, where I took a lead on the qualitative ‘lived experience’ strand of the research as well as conducting annual risk assessments, psychometric and experimental testing, and collating documentary evidence. I have recently collaborated on the qualitative strand of an evaluation of a clinical placement scheme at the IOP, taking a lead on the research design and framework analysis. I have previously taught in the subject areas of prisons and legitimacy, personality disorder and psychopathy, and qualitative and applied research methods, at the University of Wales, Bangor, the University of Oxford and the Institute of Psychiatry.

I have taught and supervised students on the Diploma and M.St. in Applied Criminology, at the Institute of Criminology, since 2009, joining the Institute as a teaching associate in 2012. My interests continue to be cross disciplinary and include the treatment and management of personality disordered patients and prisoners, the study of order and legitimacy in forensic settings, staff-prisoner/ patient relationships, the risk assessment of offenders, experimental and qualitative research methodologies, as well as a developing interest in the work of probation inspired by supervising on the M.St..


Key publications: 

Publications (articles, book chapter and reports)

  • Bradshaw, H., King, R.D., Smith, C. & Willmott, L. (2000) Care, Custody, Control and Order on the Wards on the Personality Disorder Unit at Ashworth Special Hospital (Research Report), Centre for Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice, Bangor.
  • Willmott, L., Casey, H., Rogers, R. D., & Yiend, J. (2009). Facial Emotion Processing in Psychopathy. In A. Freitas-Magalhaes (Ed.). Emotional expression: The brain and the face. Porto: University Fernando Pessoa Press.
  • Willmott, L., Casey, H., Clarke, M., Elkington, Z., Foster, A., Jones, C., Prendergast, J., Burns, T. and Yiend, J. on behalf of the IDEA team. (2009) An overview of the IDEA research project inclusion for DSPD: evaluation, assessment and treatment. Forensic Update, 98, 8-11.
  • Burns, T., Yiend, J., Fahy, T., Fazel, S., Fitzpatrick, R., Sinclair, J., Rogers, R. and the IDEA Group (2010). Inclusion for DSPD: Evaluating Assessment and treatment (IDEA), Final Report to NHS National R&D Programme on Forensic Mental Health.
  • Burns, T., Sinclair, J., Fahy, T., Fazel, S., Fitzpatrick, R., Rogers, R. and Yiend, J. for the IDEA Group (2011). Treatments for Dangerous Severe Personality Disordered (DSPD). Journal of Forensic Psychology and Psychiatry, 22, 3, 411-426.
  • Burns, T., Yiend, J., Fahy, T., Fitzpatrick, R., Rogers, R., Sinclair, J., Linsell, L., Doll, H., Fazel, S. and the IDEA Group (2011). Dangerous Severe Personality Disordered (DSPD) Patients: Characteristics and Comparison With Other High Risk Offenders. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 10, 2, 127-136.
  • Sinclair, J., Willmott, L., Fitzpatrick, R., Burns, T., Yiend, J. & the IDEA Group (2012) Patients’ experience of Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD) services: a qualitative interview study. Short report. British Journal of Psychiatry, 200, 3, 252-253.
  • Yiend, J., Freestone, M., Vazquez-Montes, M., Holland, J., Burns, T. and the IDEA group (2013) The clinical profile of high-risk mentally disordered offenders. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 48: 1169-1176.
  • Yiend, J., Sreenan, B., Willmott, L. and the MHSP Team (2013) Final report – a clinical placement scheme. Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London.


  • Bradshaw, H. and Willmott, L. (2001) ‘Care, Control and Order in Ashworth High Secure Hospital’, Personality Disorder Research and Development Workshop, Department of Health, University of Warwick.
  • Willmott, L. (2002) ‘Against the Odds: Maintaining Order on a Personality Disorder Unit’, Poster Presentation, British Criminology Conference, University of Keele.
  • Willmott, L. (2007) Against the Odds: Maintaining Order on a Personality Disorder Unit, Research Forum, University of Oxford.
  • Willmott, L. and the IDEA team (2008) The Lived Experience: A qualitative exploration of four DSPD pilot sites, Poster Presentation, Department of Psychiatry Conference, University of Oxford.
  • Willmott, L. (2008) The Lived Experience: An introduction to the framework analysis, Research Forum, University of Oxford.
  • Willmott, L. and the IDEA team (2009) IDEA Project ‘The Lived Experience’: Qualitative Analysis of the patient/prisoner experience, DSPD Workshop, Ministry of Justice, Houses of Parliament.  
  • Yiend, J., Willmott, L., Sreenan, B., Vrinten, M., Shergill, S. and the MHSP team (2012) ‘A Clinical Placement Scheme: Matching needs and resources’, Poster Presentation, Association for Psychological Science (APS), 24th Annual Conference.
Teaching Associate
Dr. Lucy  Willmott

Contact Details

+44 (0)1223 335368