Among many creative disciplines, forensic psychology is amassing a considerable amount of popularity. The area of study provides significant insights into criminal, mental, and social aspects, which helps identify human behavior and the extent of their criminal mentality. It is a diverse field that requires more people with expertise and skills to provide adequate services in educating, counseling, and even treating people with criminal minds or tendencies. Almost everyone is well aware of the role forensic psychology plays in criminal justice. Still, only a few know that it also helps in improving mental health and wellbeing. Before digging in about its role in mental wellbeing, let’s understand more about forensic psychology.
Forensic psychology involves the application of psychology in the legal system. It helps in the mental assessment of criminal behavior to investigate crime and continue further proceedings. In addition, it breaks downs the behaviors of criminals or assess why they committed the crime. However, the role of forensic psychologists is not restricted to criminal justice. They also provide better mental health facilities and work in school administrations or private sectors.
Practicing forensic psychology
A professional degree, certification, or a verified diploma in forensic psychology is essential to pursue a career as a forensic psychologist. The best way to go about this is by enrolling in a professional degree program. Many educational institutions now offer aspirants offline and online forensic psychology degree programs, thus enabling them to create a learning experience as per their choice and goals. After completing your bachelor’s, you can opt for more advanced programs such as a master’s or Ph.D. in forensic psychology.
Understanding the subject
Forensic psychology is a vast field, and forensic psychologists perform enormous roles within different vicinities of this field. They are involved in criminal profiling, assessing illegal behaviors, and act as consultants and advisors throughout an investigation. So far, the most prevalent role of forensic psychologists is in forensic therapy. A psychologist in this discipline assesses a criminal and ascertains whether or not the offender has any mental disorder. These experts, when called upon, testify in court for prosecution or defense. After the final conviction, these professionals rehabilitate the criminals, determine the type of treatment they need, and supervise the entire process.
Role of a Forensic Psychologist
A forensic psychologist plays diverse roles in the criminal justice system. Based on the specific personality traits and evidence collected from crime scenes, they build criminal profiles for LEAs and the court to examine. Since these professionals study and understand clinical psychology, they have a sound knowledge of assessing an individual’s behavior. They can make the criminal confess the crime and break down why they committed it in the first place. In addition, they can find out the people with criminal tendencies and minimize future illegal activities from happening.
Moreover, forensic psychologists help assess the mental state of the criminals before standing for a trial in court. They also evaluate whether the offender is in a mental frame to stand and answer questions in the court or show any signs of psychological disorder. These experts are also often connected with people requiring cognitive therapy sessions.
Mental illness relating to crime
There is the vast majority of individuals with mental issues, and not all of them are criminals or tend to commit crimes. However, around 40% of prison inmates have a mental illness. If such conditions are left untreated, there is a fair chance these individuals may cause more trouble. Almost every mental health professional believes that treatment is better than incarceration. It can help improve public safety and the value of the mentally challenged.
Role of forensic psychology in mental health and wellbeing
Assessment of criminal’s mental stability
Most often, people perform illegal acts when under immense pressure or in an unstable state of mind. These criminals, as compared to rational ones, are answerable to reduced allegations. In such scenarios, forensic psychologists come in to play and assess the mental status of the criminals and decide if they are worthy of being punished or need treatment. It helps devise fair punishments for illegal offenses and determining the extent of their mental instability.
Psychological treatment in civil and criminal cases
Forensic psychology includes the treatment of psychological disorders and implementing methods to correct them. It helps in reducing mental illnesses, prevent crimes, and improves public safety. In every civil and criminal case, forensic psychologists present their findings before law enforcement agencies. Forensic psychologists work with individuals or families appealing for divorce or custody of a child in a civil case. They can treat individuals suffering from any psychological injuries due to trauma. On the other, criminal cases involve psychologists who work with individuals who had committed a crime and were sentenced for it but still commit crimes. Also, they can help people living with mental illness, anger problems, alcohol or drug abuse.
Suggesting the type of treatment for prisoners
Most criminals with disturbed mental health can harm other prisoners and even be vulnerable to self-harm. These types of individuals have separate cells with specific settings based on their cognitive requirements. Forensic psychologists suggest the suitable location for these criminals and the most appropriate punishments according to their mental condition. They can help make the judicial system better. Also, the judicial system must be capable of collecting all information before sentencing criminals. Moreover, forensic psychologists help the court and police define the committed crimes and the fair punishments according to their mental state.
Forensic psychology deals with criminal behavior, be it the cause of social pressure, mental illness, or substance abuse. It helps the judicial system decide the appropriate punishments for the criminals by providing clinical assessments in court proceedings. In recent years, it has gained considerable popularity as a career choice and is suitable for those who have a knack for criminology. People who wish to pursue forensic psychology can opt for a degree program or diploma to get started and have a successful career. This field helps reduce crime by assessing the mental state of people who can commit a crime in the future and provide them rehabilitation to prevent further illegal actions.