Subspecialties in Forensic Psychology
Subspecialties of forensic psychology
Forensic psychology is defined as the application of psychological knowledge to the legal system (Bartol & Bartol, 2012: 6). The concept of forensic psychology can be misunderstood, because the definition does not explain much. The easiest way to explain forensic psychology is to break it down into its subspecialties and describe where psychological knowledge can be applied. There are five subspecialties of forensic psychology, namely police psychology, psychology of crime and delinquency, victimology and victim services, legal psychology and correctional psychology. I will discuss legal psychology and correctional psychology. ·
Legal psychology is the study of human behavior relevant to the law. This subspecialty of forensic psychology consists of those theories that describe, explain and predict human behavior by reference to the law. Bartol & Bartol (2012) described that early in a case when attorneys are preparing for a trial and gathering information psychologist can be called in to testify. Main roles of a forensic psychologist in the USA includes, acting as a consultant to law enforcement, acting as trial consultants (jury selection, case preparation and pre-trial publicity), presenting psychology to appeal courts, doing forensic assessment and acting as an expert witness (insanity defense, competence to stand trial, sentencing, eyewitness identification and child custody etc.) Expert witness as a role in legal psychologist
A major role for forensic psychologist is to serve as an expert witness in both the criminal and civil court. They are more commonly involve at the pretrial and post-trial proceedings, but may also serve as an expert witness at trial (Bartol & Bartol, 2012:151). Genis (2008) defines an expert witness as anyone who has knowledge beyond that of the court. Psychologist has the necessary skills to provide...
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