Forensic Psychology is the study of the mind before
Forensic Psychology is the study of the mind before, during and after crime(s). Forensic is whenever the study of science is applied or devoted to an act of crime. Psychology is the study of the mind. Therefore, Forensic Psychologists investigate criminal’s psyches to see if there are any underlying psychological reason for the crime to have been committed. Written in the book Introduction to Forensic Psychology by Bruce Arrigo, it is stated, “Psychology in the courts is beneficial to most cases and can even impact the means of survival for some criminals.” There is not always a positive impact on cases when incorporating forensic psychology. However, Forensic Psychologists are always evolving the study and developing new strategies.
Irving Weiner states in The Handbook of Forensic Psychology, “Forensic Psychology remains a young branch of applied psychology, considering it was recognized as a specialty in 2001 and recertified in 2008.” This field of psychology wasn’t always supported, it was formally known as clinical psychology. “In recognizing forensic psychology as a specialty in 2001, the APA itself adopted the narrow approach, to include “the primarily clinical aspects of forensic assessment, treatment, and consultation.” “Forensic psychology examines aspects directly related to the legal process; eyewitness testimony, jury decision making, etc.,” is stated in The Handbook of Forensic Psychology by Irving Weiner.
“When a crime takes place, a person of law authority investigates the alleged offense, interview witnesses and suspects and may in due course make an arrest, unless the suspect is not present,” David Crighton stated in the book Forensic Psychology. After the arrest of the present suspect, the person could be detained or released with the financial responsibility of making bail. The suspect will remain innocent until they have admitted to the offense or found guilty by the court.
If in a situation where the suspect has fled or premeditated the crime and cannot be identified, forensic psychologists have different practices and tactics to propose a broad but specific identification or profile. Profiling is a strong suit of theirs.
David Crighton, the author of Forensic Psychology stated, “Offender profiling involves the use of behavioral data to inform the process of investigating crimes by seeking to predict the likely characteristics of perpetrators of crimes.” It usually makes two general assumptions. One is based on behavior consistency while the other is based on homology. Behavior consistency is seeing how the unsub behaved at the crime scene. For example, of different types of behavior shown at a murder scene, one can very messy and careless while another could be sharp with little to no mess left behind. When a crime scene is found almost spotless with nothing out of place, this is usually a sign that the crime was premeditated; as in it was planned out not a spur of the moment. Crime scenes can tell a lot about your unsub.
As described in the book Forensic Psychology by David Crighton, Homology is “derived from the development biology, and it refers to the notion that similar crime scene behavior will be associated with similar offender characteristics.” Meaning, if there is a chain of murders in a town and they are all very clean with the same motive, victims having the same backgrounds, and within the same type of setting, the forensic psychologists will believe that the same person is behind the murders. This can help narrow down suspects as well as help accelerate an ongoing investigation. This practice has been used for many years and is still a number one practice.
As Crighton stated in his book Forensic Psychology, “Many of the elements of offender profiling have been reflected in fictional detectives such as Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot and more recently in books.” “In the early 1800s Thomas Bond, a physician, tried to develop a profile of the personality characteristics of the perpetrator of a series of sexual homicides in the east end of London.” The unsub for this chain of crimes was known as ‘Jack the Ripper’. A murderer most are familiar with, he’s been talked about on fictional movies as well as in real life and he was captured by the help of a profiler who was also a police surgeon. He took note of the sexual features of the murders and inferred that ‘Jack the Ripper’ had a hatred towards women. The way the murderers happened, he believed-before they named him ‘Jack the Ripper’- that it was a one-man job. The unsub was also believed to be a physically fit male who was quiet and not easily spotted in a crowd just by the autopsy on one victim. The body endured very severe pre and postmortem injuries; inferring he would build up rage inside him and take it out on every woman he murdered. One of the easiest ways to find an unsub is to first figure out their motive. Their motive can tell you roughly: what sex the offender is, who their next victim might be, and even their physical and mental wellness. Mental wellness can be a big factor behind a profile, therefore forensic psychologists are useful in solving crimes.
Forensic psychology is defined as a branch of psychology working with criminal justice and human behavior. It also includes different studies of the mind and how one’s psyche can make a person react. A suspect or unsub must be competent to be prosecuted or stand trial. A forensic psychologist will investigate different tactics to determine one’s competence to stand trial. These tactics have been studied closely and evolved over the years to help draw a true judge of character.