Topics: Psychology, Applied psychology, Criminal justice Pages: 5 (1583 words) Published: October 14, 2013

Subspecialities of Forensic Psychology: Legal Psychology and Correctional Psychology Antonella Zavala

Forensic psychology is the science that studies the individuals offender’s behavior. Forensic Science has other sciences that coordinates its goal such as Legal Psychology which will decide whether an offender is on conditions to go or not to court and correctional psychology that will follow the behavior and rehab on an offender

In the show Criminal Minds on A&E, they show a dramatize version of what very few talented people do daily. Although, it is not what really happens it gives people a light overview on something that is more realistic and detailed. Solving a case, analyzing an offender takes time and a lot of research on the individual. However, their job does not finish when they catch the bad guy because that is just the beginning of a long work on rehabilitation to prevent by analyzing the motive of every offender and been able to prevent more crimes of occurring. Legal and Correctional Psychology follows the behavior of the offender during their time inside and outside the correctional with the only purpose to understand what lead them to offense in order to prevent more murders, suicide , child abuse and so on.

In America, Forensic Psychology plays an important role in the Criminal Justice System, with special focus in Legal and Correctional Psychology. In the last 30 years Forensic Psychology has developed as a field and in 2001 was recognized by the psychological American Association (APA)( Heilbrun, K., & Brooks, S). It is well known worldwide and for helping Juries and supplying evidence on the case. It has been used to encouraged police enforcement officers to learn how to profile behaviors of offenders. Forensic Science is not only linked with clinic psychology, psychological behavior on offenders, but it is the product of the correlation between psychology and law. Forensic Science is the study of offenders and victims in order to understand their mental, psychic and behavior state of mind that lead them to offend. In addition, Forensic Psychology focused on data, generalizations, principles of Psychology and looks for the truth behind the offenders mind in order to help the judge establish motive. According to authors Liau, Shively, Horn and Landau the term forensic, originally described public debate or discussion, it is derived from its Greek root “pertaining to the forum” where debate was conducted in ancient Greek and Rome. Other authors like Heilbrun and Brooks believe Forensic Psychology involved the application of psychological research, theory, practice, traditional and specialized methodology to provide information relevant to a legal question (Heilbrun, K., & Brooks, S). One of the first books on the field was written by Munsterberg and his Student Marston who were the pioneers on Forensic Psychology (Liau, A. K., Shively, R., Horn, M., Landau, J., Barriga, A., & Gibbs, J. C.). Munsterberg believed that Psychology was important in the court room (Canter, D., & Youngs, D). For example: if someone is mentally ill and does not know the severity of their actions, then they need to be psychologically evaluated in order to realize whether they are guilty or they can plead insanity as a defense. Even though Forensic Psychology wasn’t take seriously by many judges at the time, they learn that the Psychological evaluation was important not only inside the court room but also outside (Liau, A. K., Shively, R., Horn, M., Landau, J., Barriga, A., & Gibbs, J. C.).

Forensic Psychology is also defined as the application of psychological knowledge to the legal system (Bartol & Bartol). The easiest way to explain forensic psychology is to break it down in subspecialties and describe where each one of these can be applied to. There are several subcategories of forensic psychology such as...
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