Psychology in the Justice System

Psychology in the Justice System - Lea M. Kovacsiss

Psychology in the Justice System


A PDF excerpt from the book can be found at www.psychandcrime.org. The purpose of this book is to introduce aspects of forensic psychology that the reader may not realize are relevant to this field. Forensic psychology can be broadly defined as any area of the legal system where psychology is applied or consulted. This broad definition is integral to the book's foundation as seemingly disjointed topics are weaved together under the overarching umbrella of forensic psychology. When one thinks about the utilization of psychology in the legal system, thinking most often begins with some concept of criminal profiling. While profiling criminals is an aspect of forensic psychology, it is only a small portion. Within forensic psychology, there are two distinct areas in which forensic psychologists operate. The two vastly different areas are: -Practical/Clinical: focuses on the ever-present needs of individuals in the legal system -Research: focuses on gathering and compiling data in a useful manner Clinicians focus on populations close to the legal system such as jail or prison inmates, correctional officers, and police officers. Researchers may also focus on populations close to the legal system, but are not limited to those individuals. Researchers may, for example, be interested in the public's perception of a proposed new law or how closely a constituency agrees with a sheriff's stances on certain issues. While both of these areas are important, the purpose of this book is not to explore the distinctions between them. Herein, you will find topics relevant to forensic psychology in the broad sense but still related to its major subfields including: criminal psychology, police and investigative psychology, correctional psychology, legal psychology, and victimology.
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A PDF excerpt from the book can be found at www.psychandcrime.org. The purpose of this book is to introduce aspects of forensic psychology that the reader may not realize are relevant to this field. Forensic psychology can be broadly defined as any area of the legal system where psychology is applied or consulted. This broad definition is integral to the book's foundation as seemingly disjointed topics are weaved together under the overarching umbrella of forensic psychology. When one thinks about the utilization of psychology in the legal system, thinking most often begins with some concept of criminal profiling. While profiling criminals is an aspect of forensic psychology, it is only a small portion. Within forensic psychology, there are two distinct areas in which forensic psychologists operate. The two vastly different areas are: -Practical/Clinical: focuses on the ever-present needs of individuals in the legal system -Research: focuses on gathering and compiling data in a useful manner Clinicians focus on populations close to the legal system such as jail or prison inmates, correctional officers, and police officers. Researchers may also focus on populations close to the legal system, but are not limited to those individuals. Researchers may, for example, be interested in the public's perception of a proposed new law or how closely a constituency agrees with a sheriff's stances on certain issues. While both of these areas are important, the purpose of this book is not to explore the distinctions between them. Herein, you will find topics relevant to forensic psychology in the broad sense but still related to its major subfields including: criminal psychology, police and investigative psychology, correctional psychology, legal psychology, and victimology.
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