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Forensic Psychology - Implications, Structure and Proces

NCJ Number
Indian Journal of Criminology Volume: 8 Issue: 2 Dated: (July 1980) Pages: 88-93
H L Silverman
Date Published
6 pages
Qualifications for forensic psychologists are outlined to assist practitioners in forensic psychology, to delineate what they are expected to know, to aid psychology departments in curriculum planning, and to interpret the field to other disciplines.
In general terms, forensic psychology is the utilization of psychological services in the legal forum. Such psychologists must recognize their responsibilities to both society and the patient. The functions of the forensic psychologist are to consult with legal personnel, law enforcement personnel, medical personnel, and lawmakers; provide diagnoses, prognoses, treatment, and recommendations to criminal and juvenile justice populations; screen or treat criminal justice personnel; conduct behavioral science research; engage in policy and program developent; and teach, train, or supervise others in forensic psychology. Ethical principles to be considered by these psychologists include absolute confidentiality along with the knowledge of applicable State local, and Federal policies; invasion of privacy; informed consent; and privileged communication. Civil, criminal, and administrative laws of the State should be understood together with important legal cases forming precedents; basic legal concepts and teminology; the workings of the adversary system; the workings of the area mental health system and law; and constitutional regulations, laws, and statutes that pertain to forensic psychology. Criminology and juveile delinquency should be understood from both a sociological and a psychological perspective. Forensic psychologists should be familiar with theory and research concerning development, mental illness, social psychology, and personality; experimental psychology and its applicability to the legal system; various forms of psychological and personality testing, their merits, and their failures; the major therapeutic modalities and their effectiveness in treating psychological problems; and the effect of environments on psychological functioning. Moreover, psychologists should be aware of current research methodologies and ongoing research. Finally, they should be familiar with correctional theory and State licensing or certification law, and they should be certified and licensed. No references are provided.