dcsimg

Criminal Justice Articles

A day in the life of a Criminal Psychologist

Criminal psychology is a fast paced and exciting career field that's constantly growing and expanding. The field itself barely existed prior to the 1950s, but today these individuals work consistently and for a variety of employers. The one thing that's exciting about this career is that there isn't a typical day. The work is so fast paced that no two days are identical. A psychologist may work on one thing one day and then work in a completely different field the next day. Instead of describing a typical day, why not describe a few?

Profiling is the area most often associated with criminal psychology. They look at the past actions of the criminal, the crime scene and evidence to form a profile. They will visit the crime scene directly, to get firsthand knowledge about what the criminal did. Many people assume that profilers are only used in cases of serial killers, but they actually work on cases where the criminal does the same action repetitively. This includes rapists, robbers and other criminals.

On a typical day, the profiler looks through case files, hoping to identify links between different cases. On another day, they attempt to get inside the mind of the criminal by looking at their actions and trying to find a reason for these actions. They spend a day working in the field and going through evidence gathered, to develop their profile. They spend days going through their research and finalizing the completed report. Once the report's finished, they'll meet directly with law enforcement to reveal their findings.

Criminal psychologists are called upon to work as expert witnesses. An expert witness testifies in court about the case and the defendant, but only after going through the evidence and meeting with the criminal. Both the defense and prosecution questions the witness. They're called in to refute the testimony of another expert witness if the two have differing opinions on the same matter.

Working with criminals is another facet of criminal psychology. On a typical day, the psychologist meets directly with a criminal, which can be stressful and frustrating. Lawyers typically ask the psychologists to provide help for those on trial. They're also called upon to provide psychological help for criminals in prisons and mental health facilities. They may work on psychotherapy or provide another type of psychological work such as regular therapy.

There are those criminal psychologists that work as therapists for the majority of the day. They meet with private clients, provide services and work for law enforcement and other areas when they're needed. A typical day in the life of one of these people is to work when needed. They spend part of the day filling out paperwork and going through the files of private clients. They provide therapy during scheduled sessions throughout the day and also spend part of the day working on cases for law enforcement. The day to day life of a criminal psychologist changes frequently.

Schools Offering Criminology Courses:

Matching School Ads
Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology

Programs:

  • M.A. in Forensic Psychology: Non-Licensure Track

Online

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs:

  • Forensic Psychology (MA) (Online)

Online
Why earn your degree at Grand Canyon University? GCU is a regionally accredited university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more. Apply today!

Programs:

  • B.S. in Behavioral Health Science - Childhood and Adolescence Disorders

Online
We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

Programs:

  • Applied Psychology: Industrial Organizational Psychology

Online

Sacred Heart University offer signature humanistic core principles and degree programs offering interactive learning, personal attention, small classes, and rigorous academics.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Applied Psychology - Industrial Organizational Psychology

Online

Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.

Programs:

  • PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Online

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology

Online

A Saint Xavier University education is one that is grounded in the tradition of liberal arts. SXU offers graduate and post-graduate programs that are recognized and respected by employers and delivered by professional faculty who are experts in their fields.

Programs:

  • Clinical Leadership Certificate

Online
Matching School Ads