Where Do Forensic Psychologists Work?
Forensic psychology is a class of psychology which involves specific training. Forensic psychologists may learn about law and how it relates to psychology. This makes these individuals perfect for positions in different careers that incorporate law. They may work in both private and public fields, depending on the situation and the type of college education they received.
Forensic psychologists often work in the courtroom. Lawyers use these specialists in jury selection because they have experience in reading people. They can watch how a person acts and read their body language to determine if they'd be a good fit with the case. They also help weed out those people who have preexisting views on the case.
There are also forensic psychologists working with the courts, but not necessarily in the courtroom. These people are often called in to work on specific cases such as child abuse or insurance cases. The psychologist meets with those involved in the case and makes a determination on their innocence or fault. At times, they may go to the crime scene or view the evidence firsthand before making a decision.
These psychologists are also called upon for their professional abilities in terms of psychology. A good example is the forensic psychologist who works in a child custody case. The psychologist meets with each parent separately, as well as the child, and views how each parent acts with the child. They know the right questions to ask before making a decision regarding custody.
Another area where forensic psychologists work is with governmental agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the FBI. All agents working for the FBI have a four year degree because it's one of their most basic requirements. There are also agents who work in specific areas, such as criminal profiling, but only those agents with more experience are eligible. They determine a basic working profile of a killer or other criminal, based on their previous activity.
There's also a different area of forensic psychology, known as clinical forensic psychology. Those working in this field often take a practicing approach to psychology, but work with those who have a mental disease that causes significant changes to their behavior. These individuals typically work in mental institutions and prisons, though they also work with courts. They may often work at prisons, which puts them in serious danger because they work directly with convicted felons and inmates.
Forensic psychologists also work in mental institutions where they have a criminal ward. They usually work with criminals as soon as they're admitted, to make an evaluation of their mental state. They then set up a treatment plan for the individual and determine whether that individual is set to stand trial. Some forensic psychologists work with juveniles sent to mental institutions, especially if the child made a threat or carried out on a threat.
Lastly, there are forensic psychologists working on the criminal investigation side of things. These individuals analyze crime scenes and evidence to determine what a criminal did or how they did it. They may also determine a profile for that individual, though this doesn't happen that often. Psychologists in this field work in a laboratory setting and in the field, as well as the courtroom.
Schools Offering Criminology Courses:
- BS in Criminal Justice - Forensic Psychology
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- Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology/Forensic Psychology
- M.A. Forensic Psychology
- Psy.D. Clinical Forensic Psychology
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