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Forensic Psychology Essay (Essay Sample)


I need this paper to explain what this field is. What it does for the criminal justice system? How it plays a role etc. I have to be able to make a presentation with this paper. The resource pages are not included in the 5 page body.


Forensic Psychology
The term forensic is used to refer to matters that are related to both criminal and civil laws and courts. Forensic psychology therefore is a discipline that allows the practice of psychology profession in consultation with a legal system that embraces criminal and civil laws. It is also involved in research endeavor that evaluates aspects of human behavior that are directly associated with the legal process. Forensic psychologists include various groups of specialties (Bartol & Bartol, 2004).
These specialties have some commonality in that they all contribute in some ways into the legal system. For instant, a social psychologist may be involved in conducting research related to eye witness testimony, a psychologist may get involved in offering workshops to police on how to go about interviewing a child witness and a clinician may get involved in developing a sex assault offender treatment program within a prison set up.  The field of forensic psychology is also involved in research and propounding theories in criminology; designing and implementing prevention, interventions as well as treating youthful offenders; and offering counseling services to the victims of crime (Bartol & Bartol, 2004; Greenberg & Shuman, 1997).
The discipline of forensic psychology is subdivided into five subspecialties namely: police psychology; victim and victimology services; psychology of delinquency and crime; psychology functional in courts; and psychology practical in corrections. However, the subspecialties are not distinct but they overlap in various ways during practice. For instant, the correctional psychologist should be well versed in the psychology of delinquency and crime and the police psychologist may be involved in offering services to police as well as to police. All the professions within the five specialties may be called upon to testify in a court. All in all, the emphasis here is that the various subspecialties within the field of forensic psychology are considered as being mutually exclusive (APA, 2013; Bartol & Bartol, 2004).
Forensic psychology is observable all around us. News papers and televisions give stories that are directly related to forensic psychology all the time. Hollywood movies as well as block buster movies have time and again focused on issues that are directly related to the profession of forensic psychology. Such stories may involve profiling serial killers, determining offender’s sanity as well as selecting jury members. However, the media does not portray forensic psychology in an accurate manner. Forensic psychologists are ever interested in issues that come about at the intersection between the law and psychology (APA, 2013).
Psychological practice is not considered solely forensic because the product is presented in or the conduct takes place in a tribunal or other legislative, judicial, or administrative forum. For instant, when a victim, criminally or civilly convicted person is ordered into treatment a psychological treatment, such a practice is not considered as a forensic practice. Similarly, psychological testimony that is based on psychotherapy provision and fails to involve legal opinions usually is not considered as forensic practice (APA, 2013).
The American Psychological Association has developed guidelines for specialties within forensic psychology. Division 41 of the American Psychological Association is devoted to matters that are related to law and psychology. The specialty guidelines are intended to improve the quality of services offered by the forensic psychologists; enhance the practice of forensic psychology and facilitate the structured development of the field; encourag...
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