Assignment On Forensic Psychology

1579 words - 7 pages

Every day, as one comes across the news or social networks, one cannot help but hear about a criminal-related incident. A 24-year-old college honors student is arrested and charged with vandalism and 1st-degree murder of an elderly couple. A mother of four is arrested and charged with child abandonment and abuse. When stories like these pop up, I question what causes these actions to occur. What is the perpetrator's motive? Is the brain a significant factor in these situations? Or how does the brain work in general? In today's society, criminals prey in the streets, looking for their next victim, leaving families, friends, and communities without justice due to their inconsiderate, selfish acts. Many times to justify these actions, we hear that the offender was "mentally ill or unstable". My curiosity to discover how deep that justification can go, as well as working with individuals to get a better understanding of how their minds work, has pushed me toward the path of psychology. There are many branches of psychology; in this case, my branch of interest is Forensic Psychology.

Forensic Psychology, also known as Criminal Psychology, is the study that combines aspects of clinical psychology with aspects of the general law field. Forensic Psychology is the application of cognitive and social aspects of psychology to the legal field (Ward 1). Criminal psychologist applies their professional knowledge of the human mind and behavior to the criminal justice system. The important and necessary elements that should be obtained are the ability to assess, interview, verbally, and record report findings, strong communication skills, and presentation. A forensic psychologist has a broad amount of duties to accomplish. Depending on where you are placed and what is requested of you, your tasks may vary. This field involves many assessments. You are to determine the mental state of the individual, assess potential jurors, evaluate jury, suspect and witness behavior, and complete expert witness testimonies during trials. The psychologist determines the finalizations and reports from several sources related to the individual and case. This includes the motivation and general characteristics of the individual, which can be used to provide the courts with possible suspects. The information that is gathered is presented to the one that requested, whether it is a lawyer, a judge, a case worker, etc. A forensic psychologist is responsible for examinations of the individual, which is used to diagnose psychological disorders. These findings are used to determine whether the perpetrator is stable enough to withstand the trial and overall how he or she can go through the process before, during, and after they are possibly incarcerated. It also determines if the defendant qualifies for what is known as an insanity plea. An insanity plea or insanity defense basically appeals to the offender with a justification of their actions due to being mentally incapable of know...

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