Joe Sullivan

Location: Ireland

Area of expertise provided as part of the CIS Affiliated Consultant Network:
  • Student Wellbeing: Protection, Safety & Security

Dr. Joe Sullivan is a registered Forensic Psychologist with the Health Professionals Council (UK) and is on the British Psychological Society (BPS) register of Chartered Psychologists. He is the Director of Mentor Forensic Services Ltd, which is an organisation specialising in Behaviour Analysis, Child Protection and Professional Sexual Misconduct issues.  He holds a PhD in Forensic Psychology, a Masters Degree in Criminology, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Psychology, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in applied Social Sciences, and a Certificate of Qualification in Social Work.  Dr Sullivan is an honorary lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the University of Birmingham, UK and a lecturer and Senior Research Fellow in Criminology at the London Metropolitan University.

From 1986 to 1995 Dr Sullivan worked for the Staffordshire Probation Service where specialised in the creation and delivery of assessment and therapeutic intervention programmes for sex offenders and their partners.  In 1992 he began working with the Gracewell Institute, a specialist residential assessment and therapeutic intervention centre for child sex offenders. 

Between 1995 and 2004 Dr Sullivan was employed as a Senior and latterly a Principal Therapist with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.  During this time he was based at the Wolvercote Clinic, the successor of the Gracewell Institute.  He was responsible for the assessment and treatment of people accused or convicted of sexual offences against children.  He was co-author of Wolvercote Clinic therapeutic intervention programme which was the first internationally accredited residential therapeutic intervention programme. 

Dr Sullivan has also undertaken assessment and therapeutic intervention work with women who sexually abuse children and adults accused or suspected of professional sexual misconduct.  Part of his work also includes the assessment and treatment of adult survivors of child sexual abuse.

He has been commissioned to undertake assessments for the Social Service Departments, Probation Services, Churches, Education departments and voluntary agencies.  He has been called as an expert witness to give evidence to criminal, civil and family courts.  Along with other colleagues in Mentor, Dr Sullivan has assisted several Dioceses with reviews of their child protection policies and procedures and has presented to Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals on the issue of child sexual exploitation in the Vatican, Rome.

Since 1996 he has collaborated with law enforcement.  He has worked as an independent consultant for several UK and European police forces specialising in assisting investigations into sexually motivated abduction, murder and assault of children.  He has received a Chief Constables Commendation for his contribution to the investigation into the sexually motivated abduction and murder of a child in 2001.  Between 2002 and 2006 Dr Sullivan was employed as a consultant on perpetrators of sexual crimes against children by the Serious Sex Offenders Unit (SSOU) of the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS).  Since 2006 Dr Sullivan has been employed as Consultant in Forensic Psychology in the Behaviour Analysis Unit at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), UK.

Since 1997 Dr Sullivan has been involved in longitudinal research projects involving perpetrators of sexual crimes against children.  He is currently supervising ten qualitative research studies into sex offenders.  He has published and presented papers to national and international conferences on combatting child sexual exploitation and techniques he uses for engaging, assessing and interviewing sexual offenders.  

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