Intro to Forensic Psych Midterm

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Psychological Roles in the Criminal Justice System

CJ 233: Intro to Forensic Psychology

The use of psychology in law enforcement is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society. With a desire to understand the underlying concepts of why an individual acted in the method they did has helped us to understand how we might be able to treat similar cases. Within the confines of the criminal justice system, we relate primarily to three key areas: law enforcement, corrections and the courts. Each of these areas affords us different opportunities to expand our knowledge and use of psychology. Psychologists have become more than just an excuse for the defense; they now assist on multiple levels of the system. From profiling a potential multiple offender’s modus operandi to assessing the best interest of a child in a divorce proceeding. The findings affect all facets of the system, and it is the responsibility of the psychologist to ensure that they present pure, unbiased information for use by the system in an attempt to ensure justice prevails. (Greene, Heilbrun, Fortune, & Nietzel, 2007) As psychology develops with law enforcement, the psychologist can project their expertise in several areas. In larger agencies, for example, “The ways in which police psychologists or behavioral scientists are used in modern law enforcement departments today are diverse. For example, police psychologists are typically involved with individual and group consultation, officer candidate assessment and evaluation, police officer selection, hostage negotiation, stress management, counseling of police officers and their families” (Davis, 1998). In any department, the psychologist must be aware of their own moral and ethical responsibilities. A major concern among agencies is the fear of confidentiality within the department, placing a great amount of confidence on the psychologist’s shoulders. According to the Code of Ethics published by the APA, section 4.01...
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