dcsimg

Criminal Justice Articles

Where do Criminal Psychologists work?

When individuals think of forensic psychology, one of the first things that come to many minds is the image of a criminal profiler, such as Jodie Foster in the film The Silence of the Lambs, playing the young profiler Clarice Starling as she investigates the motives of Hannibal Lecter. However this isn't forensic psychology, but is actually criminal psychology and criminal psychologists who work in different areas.

The purpose of a criminal psychologist is to study the criminal and get inside their mind. They interview criminals and learn more about their background and their childhood. They look for underlying links or reasons for their behavior. They also seek to understand the will and intention behind the criminal's actions, as well as their thoughts and behaviors.

In situations where the criminal isn't known or identified, the criminal psychologist works as a profiler. The role of the profiler involves determining a psychological profile of the criminal. They look at all the evidence, interview witnesses, and speak with the victims. From there they draw up a detailed profile on the individual, including as much information as possible.

The majority of criminal psychologists work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and usually in Quantico, Virginia. This is the home to their Behavioral Sciences Unit. The FBI uses criminal psychologists for their profiling abilities in the case of unsolved crimes. They ask the psychologists to setup profiles regarding the criminal, especially in high profile crimes that cross different jurisdictions.

Criminal psychologists also work for the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. The purpose of this group involves doing research into criminal activities. They research past activity, look for links into different crimes, and try to draw connections. This helps other psychologists draw up profiles for criminals in the future.

These individuals sometimes work for the legal system at mental institutions and also interview criminals prior to their trials. They look for signs of insanity or any mental instability and identify those criminals that aren't fit to stand trial. They also administer psychological tests to identify hidden thoughts and feelings inside the criminal.

Lawyers often call upon criminal psychologists for help in regards to eyewitness testimony. They also use psychologists to dispute evidence and conclusions on the part of those hired by the opposing side. They need professionals trained in the field to discuss the person on trial and their behavior. These individuals usually have a full-time job, but work as an expert on a consultant basis when needed.

Local law enforcement is another area where criminal psychologists work. Like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they too need profilers working on different cases. Local police often have cases where the criminal isn't caught until a significant amount of time has passed. In the case of serial criminals who commit multiple cases in a short period of time, the profiler determines the behavior and possible next step of the criminal. They also work on cold cases, especially when the police determine a connection between a closed case and a newer, still open case.

Schools Offering Criminology Courses:

Matching School Ads
Develop your knowledge of human behavior and earn your bachelor's or master's in psychology degree online with GCU.

Programs:

  • Graduate Certificate of Completion in Forensic Psychology

Online
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
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

Programs:

  • BS in Criminal Justice - Forensic Psychology

Online

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology/Forensic Psychology

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)
  • Forensic Psychology (MA) (Online)

Locations: Orange , Alameda , Phoenix , More...
Campus

At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice : Forensic Psychology

Locations: Augusta , Hagerstown , Urbandale , More...
Campus

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:

  • Master of Science in Organizational Psychology

Campus

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

Programs:

  • Applied Psychology: Industrial Organizational Psychology

Online
City College of Florida is focused on providing the best in business and career education.

Programs:

  • Mental Health Technology

Locations: Gainesville
Campus
Get your career started with an education from Spencerian College.

Programs:

  • Clinical Assistant Diploma

Locations: Louisville
Campus
Matching School Ads