Forensic psychology is a popular field. Its allure, in part fueled by sensationalized and glamorized media images, features psychologists tracking down serial killers, treating sexual psychopaths, and studying the criminal mind. Indeed, as a teacher, I see many of my students expressing considerable enthusiasm for careers as “profilers” engaged in the behavioral science pursuit of crime scene analyses. While there is certainly a need for trained specialists in this domain of forensics, the field itself is considerably more vast.
The expanse of the field is rooted in its sundry models of instruction and practice. Clinical practitioners emphasize the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of different civil and criminal forensic populations. Law psychology practitioners emphasize the development of the legally trained specialist whose overlapping skills in courtroom processes and human behavior make for a formidable expert in the treatment and policy arenas.
Law—psychology—justice practitioners emphasize the development of a cross-trained specialist whose integrative knowledge base in psychology, criminology, organizational analysis, policy studies, and law readies the person for the increasing demands of a multifaceted profession. If appropriately prepared, this specialist moves skillfully among those in the psychotherapeutic, management, and advocacy communities.
Clearly, each of these models includes a unique set of strengths and limitations. What each of these approaches shares, however, is that its collective vision of forensic psychology is not so narrowly defined or so unidimensionally depicted as is the impression created for us by the popular media. Much of what forensic experts do is not stylish or seductive. Indeed, if anything, much of the work is often tedious and technical. This is not the same as suggesting that the contributions of forensic psychologists are insignificant or trivial to society. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Forensic psychology: Table of Content
1. Adult Forensics
- Overview 3
- Power, Authority, and Discretionary Decision Making 4
- Use of Force 8
- Evidence Tampering 12
- Adult Criminal Profiling 17
- Coerced Confessions 23
2. Juvenile Forensics
- Overview 31
- Dealing with Troubled Youths 32
- Policing Juvenile Gangs 39
- Juveniles’ Attitudes toward the Police 43
- Adolescent Female Prostitutes: Criminals or Victims? 48
3. Civil Forensics
- Overview 55
- Public Attitudes toward Police 56
- Exploring the Police Personality 61
- Police and the Mentally 111 68
- Community Policing: Trendy or Effective? 72
- Police Training: Communication Skills and
- Conflict Resolution 76
- Policing Minority Populations 82
4. Family Forensics
- Overview 89
- Police as Mediators in Domestic Disputes 90
- Police Stress 95
- Police Work and Family Stress 103
- Homosexual Police Officers 108
5. Adult Forensics
- Overview 115
- Plea Bargaining 117
- Competency to Stand Trial 121
- Jury Selection 124
- Psychological Tests and Forensic Assessment Instruments
- in the Courtroom 127
- Risk Assessment 132
- Forensic Verdicts or Psychiatric Justice: NGRI and GBMI 136
6. Juvenile Forensics
- Overview 141
- Defining the Age of Criminal Responsibility 142
- Children/Juveniles and the Reliability of Their Courtroom Testimony 148
- Best Interests of the Child Doctrine 152
- Sentencing: Psychology of Juvenile Rehabilitation 156
7. Civil Forensics
- Overview 161
- Defining Mental Illness 163
- Right to Refuse Treatment 168
- Least Restrictive Alternative Doctrine 172
- Duty to Inform vs Client Confidentiality 177
- Victim Compensation Programs 181
- Victim-Offender Mediation 186
8. Family Forensics
- Overview 195
- Family Trauma and the Cycle of Crime 197
- Family Violence: Homicide 200
- Impact of Mental Health Law Doctrines on Families: Paternalism
- and Parens Patriae 206
- Family Law and Emotional Rights 210
- Domestic Violence 217
- Gay/Lesbian Rights and Definitions of the Family 221
9. Adult Forensics
- Overview 229
- Offender s Right to Refuse Treatment 231
- Incarcerating and Executing the Mentally 233
- Sex-Offender Treatment 239
- Electronic Monitoring: Technology and Managing Offenders 243
- Prison Violence 248
- Underground Economy of Prison 254
10. Juvenile Forensics
- Overview 261
- Juveniles in Adult Jails 262
- Juveniles on Death Row 266
- Juvenile Boot Camp 269
- Suicide among Incarcerated Juveniles 273
- Incarceration of Status Offenders 277
11. Civic Forensics
- Overview 283
- Psychological Stress and Correctional Work 284
- Community Corrections 289
- Mentally Disabled Inmates 295
- Society’s Reaction to Sex Offenders 299
- Women Working in Male Prisons 304
- Inmate Sexuality 309
12. Family Forensics
- Overview 315
- “Make-Believe” Families 316
- Pregnant Women in Prison 321
- Female Prisoners and Mother—Child Separation 326
- Other Family Members of Inmates 331
- Female Inmates: Mothers in Prison 334
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