In the field of Criminal psychology, you must deal with thoughts and criminal behaviours. Criminal psychologists gained fame from popular American TV shows. From there only, we got to know a lot about criminal psychologists in crime fiction, thrilling web series, encounters, etc. Moreover, psychology is a path that connects both criminal justice and psychology.
Criminal psychologists are well-trained in the aspects of human behaviour and their state of mind. They spend most of their working hours with attorneys, law enforcement agencies, the courts, and a wide range of stakeholders in criminal and civil cases.
Job Responsibilities and Duties of Criminal Psychologists
Gaining criminal psychology degrees from the American psychological association is a great success and a respectable position to hold. Let us take a closer look at the study of criminal psychology and the aspects that it brings up.
On various aspects of a case, criminal psychologists have to use their knowledge to consult with the registered member of law enforcement. They may help you in asking the right questions in the time of interrogation. They also provide you with the right information to guide your investigation.
Criminal psychologists can build criminal profiling. That means they help you create a psychological profile so that you can detain the suspects. Moreover, you will not see criminal psychologists often in the scene as they appear once in a blue moon.
They do not appear in the crime scene unnecessarily. Instead, they spend more time in record rooms with files or in offices. Each year a large part of the psychology department is researching the relevant cases.
Criminal psychologists are well-known for practical implications on the study of criminology and the legal system that are beyond our reach. Criminal psychology is a field that researches memory. They collect evidence, give expert testimony, expert witnesses, and confession. It tells us how attorneys and professionals of law enforcement procedures work in the criminal justice system.
One of the significances of the psychology is assessment. An important part of the adjudication procedure is the performance of psychological testing. The testing determines the mental states of a suspect. Therefore, criminal psychologists determine the mental health of suspects. They also find out if the suspect is stable to stand trial or if their character personality is fit for the alleged crime.
Being a criminal psychologist, you may also be asked to perform psychotherapy for those who have committed crimes. The training of psychotherapy is also given in many psychology programs conducted by the universities. Here, your primary aim is to help your clients cope with the outcome of criminal behaviour. You must also help them during their rehabilitation is becoming society’s productive members.
There comes a situation where a criminal psychologist you have to provide experts with witness testimony. There are millions of criminal psychologists who spend their whole practice on giving their expert opinion in the court. You give your judgments, either on testing that you conduct or analyzing the evidence or assessment.
Many criminal psychologists choose to teach at the top-level college or universities within a criminal justice department. You can teach on the courses of master’s degree or current seminars on law enforcement training facilities. These courses are run by a federal agency such as the DEA or the police.
Purpose of A Criminal Psychologist
The main purpose of a criminal psychologist is to peep inside the minds, actions of guilty, intents, and overall purpose that builds the criminal behaviour. In general, it is the science that deals with the mental process and mind of a criminal. Moreover, a criminal psychologist has to answer questions like what are the primary reasons for the increase of crimes today. They also tell us how our society can take legal steps to prevent offences.
A criminal psychologist not just finds out the purpose of the suspects behind the crime. But they also determine the reactions after the crime. A criminal lawyer also plays a vital role in every legal system, bureau of labour statistics.
They can reveal the hidden facts about the criminals that will help you to break through the case. Thus, many young aspirants find psychology interesting and choose to pursue their careers in this field. However, you must give yourself a second thought and gather ideas and knowledge about psychology before pursuing it.
Challenges and Skills of a Criminal Psychologist
The nature of criminal psychology is very dynamic. Hence, you can find several situations that can be disturbing for you. Being a criminal psychologist, you must possess a firm intuition to face the most challenging situation of truth and false.
Criminal psychologists mostly work in court settings and offices. Being a criminal psychologist, you will spend most of your time researching, interviewing the suspects, finding their records, providing expert testimony during interrogation in the courtroom. Also, in some complex cases, you might have to work together with federal agents and police. You help them in building profiles of rapists, murderers, etc. Criminal psychologists are hired in various institutions either under state, local, or federal government.
Training and education
To pursue a career as a criminal psychologist, you must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology. There are many graduate programs conducted by the top colleges and universities that provide you with different training based on clinical and counselling psychology.
After completing the undergraduate degree successfully, you can go for a master’s degree in psychology programs. But if you want to get a highly-respectable position in this field, then you must achieve a Psy.D. or PhD degree in psychology.
A doctorate in this field takes about five to seven years, which includes research, classroom work, practical training, and a dissertation. If you wish yourself to see a licensed psychologist, then you must complete an internship and pass the examination conducted by the state board.
Skills required to become a criminal psychologist
Many young aspirants from medical backgrounds do not prefer taking psychology a career option. Once you involve yourself in this field, it means you have to deal with mind games. But let us look at the positive side of this field. To become a criminal psychologist, here are some skills you must have.
- Excellent communication skills- if you are a criminal psychologist, you must communicate efficiently with others. It would help if you listened to the statements with empathy and actively.
- Specialized in psychology and law- as a criminal psychologist, you should be good in both the principles of human behaviour and legal issues.
- Mental health and law- to become a criminal psychologist, one should be mentally strong and must have adverse knowledge of the law.
- Complete right over psychological tests- a well-experienced criminal psychologist has excellent skills in monitoring psychological tests. You also have to examine the results of the tests as well.
- Must build trust- as a criminal psychologist, it is important for you to build trust with the stakeholders and defendants.
- Pays attention to every detail- as a criminal psychologist, you should have an observing eye. It means you must have the ability to determine the patterns of the behaviour in a criminal.
It is not easy to deal with a criminal. Some crimes are brutal, while some are mysterious. Some expert criminals commit crimes easily by deceiving the law and investigators. Even if you take them into custody, you cannot charge or take legal actions unless they confess the crime. Criminal psychologists play a vital role in such cases. Hence, if you love to solve crimes and mysterious riddles, then criminal psychology is probably the best career option for you.
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