Michael Brookes OBE

MSc Forensic Psychology

Professor Michael Brookes OBE was formerly Director of Therapeutic Communities at HMP Grendon where for eleven years he was the clinical lead within this accredited therapeutic community prison.

  • Expert
  • Active in Industry
  • Forensic Psychology


Prior to this appointment, I worked as an Area Psychologist at HMPS HQ and in a secure Youth Treatment Centre. I am a Consultant Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist and was appointed an OBE in 2013 for services to HM Prison Service and the Care of Prisoners. I have entered academia at this stage of my career to share my knowledge and experience with students interested in the professional application of forensic psychology.


I have a wide range of expertise within prison settings across all all-security categories. I have done one-to-one work with prisoners, been Director of Therapy Communities at HMP Grendon and helped set up an area psychology team. I’ve worked with adolescents in secure conditions. I've worked in all categories of prison, from high secure to open. I've worked in prison service headquarters, and I've worked alongside or with an area manager on a on a regional basis or area basis as they are now.

After working as a forensic psychologist for many years, Professor David Wilson contacted me to ask if I’d like to become a visiting professor at BCU. He submitted the nomination and after various checks I started my working here in 2009. It’s a non-traditional route into academia, but my extensive work in the subject area has given me the knowledge to be able to run the BPS accredited MSc Forensic Psychology course. I’ve undertaken a lot of research and you can see my publication list below.

Industry connections

I have a wide range of industry connections from HMP Prison Service to Royal College of Psychiatrists Therapeutic Community Accreditation Panel and the Counselling in Prisons Network.

Former students

My students have gone on to do various roles within the industry, including:

  • HMPPS - Trainee Forensic Psychologist/Forensic Psychologist, Interventions Facilitator, Prison Officer, Probation Services Office
  • Secure Training Centre - Trainee Forensic Psychologist/Forensic Psychologist, Custody Officer.
  • Assistant Psychologists in NHS and HMPPS (roles funded by NHS)
  • Drug and Alcohol Counsellors/Service Managers
  • Charities Working with Offenders/Ex-Offenders, Victims and Families in Crisis: (Independent Domestic Violence Advisor, Domestic Violence Support Practitioner, Support Worker, Policy Researcher)
  • Police and British Transport Police: MAPPA Support Team, Crime Analyst, Detective Pathway