Criminal Psychology


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Criminal Psychology

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What is Criminal Psychology?

Posing this question is much the same as asking what is forensic psychology as the two terms are often used interchangeably, however, I think it is possible to differentiate between the two; particularly in relation to their range of enquiry.

Both terms relate to the application of psychology within a legal context but the focus of enquiry within forensic psychology is much broader, because unlike criminal-psychology it can encompass both criminal and non criminal applications. By definition criminal psych is restricted to examining crime and criminality.

As there are no universally accepted defintions of forensic psychology or criminal-psychology the distinction between the two is open to debate, however I personally think it makes sense to consider forensic psychology as a broader umbrella term within which criminal psych resides.

Applying Psychology To Crime

In their book Criminal Psychology, authors Francis Pakes and Suzanne Pakes note that criminal psychology is primarily concerned with answering two questions. Firstly, "how can psychology further our understanding of crime, its causes, consequences and prevention?" And secondly, "how can psychology help the criminal justice system and other agencies in dealing with crime?"

This is a very useful description in that it spells out the (narrower) focus alluded to above i.e. that criminal psych is an applied branch of psychology that applies general psychology to issues of crime and justice.

The Criminal Psych Degree Directory

The criminal psych degree directory is designed to help anybody looking for information relating to criminal-psychology degree programs, criminal psych schools or criminal-psychology study options.

All the directory listings include details of the type of criminal psych program on offer, along with a direct link to the department offering the course in question. You can access the criminal-psychology degree directory via the following link.

Criminal Psych Degree Directory

Quality Criminal Psych Links

Society For Police & Criminal Psychology

The Society for Police and Criminal Psych is an eclectic professional organization that encourages the scientific study of police and criminal psycho and the application of scientific knowledge to problems in criminal justice.

It focuses on law enforcement, judicial, and corrections elements in criminal justice. Members of the Society study the full range of human behaviors, motivations, and actions within the framework of the criminal justice system. Consequently, it encourages input from psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, lawyers, police officers, corrections personnel, and any other professional having a concern for the criminal justice system.

Click Here To Visit The Society For Police & Criminal Psych Website.

Journal of Criminal Psychology

The Journal of Criminal Psychology encourages submissions of papers from all fields including the social, cognitive, personality, and biological domains that are relevant to the theoretical, research, or clinical aspects of criminal psychology. The journal publishes quantitative and/or qualitative research, original conceptual papers, and brief research reports.

Coverage includes:

  • Predictors of delinquent and criminal behaviour
  • Classification and treatments of offenders
  • Prevention, intervention, and treatment programs
  • Offender and offensive characteristics
  • Psychology of policing
  • Psychology of interrogation and witness testimony
  • Psychology and crime issues
  • Exploring the interrelation of theory and data in empirical research and advancing the links between criminological analysis and psychology
  • Criminal Thinking Style and Criminal Identity
  • Process of Prisonization
  • Recidivism
  • Application of advanced statistical analysis to the field of criminal psychology
  • Click Here for full details.

    Free Classic Criminal Psych Books

    On The Witness Stand: Essays on Psychology & Crime by Hugo Münsterberg

    See following link for more details and to download this psychology classic for free.

    On The Witness Stand: Essays on Psychology And Crime

    Essential Criminal Psych Reading

    The Psychology And Law Of Criminal Justice Processes: Cases And Materials by Roger J. R. Levesque

    Book Information

    Psychological science now reveals much about the law's response to crime. This is the first text to bridge both fields as it presents psychological research and theory relevant to each phase of criminal justice processes. The materials are divided into three parts that follow a comprehensive introduction.

    The introduction analyses the major legal themes and values that guide criminal justice processes and points to the many psychological issues they raise. Part I examines how the legal system investigates and apprehends criminal suspects. Topics range from the identification, searching and seizing to the questioning of suspects. Part II focuses on how the legal system establishes guilt. To do so, it centres on the process of bargaining and pleading cases, assembling juries, providing expert witnesses, and considering defendants' mental states. Part III focuses on the disposition of cases. Namely, that part highlights the process of sentencing defendants, predicting criminal tendencies, treating and controlling offenders, and determining eligibility for such extreme punishments as the death penalty.

    The format seeks to give readers a feeling for the entire criminal justice process and for the role psychological science has and can play in it.

    See following link for more details:

    The Psychology And Law Of Criminal Justice Processes: Cases And Materials

    UK Visitors Click Here

    Read FBI Profiling Classics on Kindle

    This special Kindle collection consists primarily of the landmark articles written by members of the Behavioral Science Units, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, at the FBI Academy. These seminal publications in the history of FBI profiling were released by the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the information on serial killers provided by the FBI's Training Division.

    See following link for full details.

    Information on Serial Killers

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