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Be ready to answer a question on the
role of a forensic psychologist based on:
Who they might work for
What they do
Skills and qualifications required
Treatments they offer
What they do
Work in the courts to uncover psychological issues
Looks at psychological aspects of criminal activity
Looks at psychological issues to do with treating criminals.
Sets up and evaluates treatments
Offender behaviour – needs of the prisoner and staff
Research with other psychologists
Give evidence in court and advise on parole boards.
Assess problems with other agencies, plan interventions and develop policy.
Who do they work with
Manage and reduce stress of prisoners
Strategies to cope with bullying
Support witnesses and victims and help them to overcome their problems.
They ight work with judges and juries within the courts.
Examples of what they do. (Page 191)
Advising prison governors about prisoners, staff, implementing change or other organisational
Carrying out one-to-one assessments and treatments of prisoners as appropriate. Such an
assessment may be requested by the court or by the prison governor.
Assessing the risk of reoffending. (often using on-to-one assessments and psychometric testing.
Presenting assessment findings to others in multi-agency working.
Carrying out research projects, for example looking at drop-out rates for probation or evaluating
group programmes, such as anger management programmes in prison.
Doing crime analysis, such as using offender profiling. This is likely to be carried out to assist the
Training prison staff and others, e.g. managing behaviour or understanding mental health issues.
Evaluating and monitoring treatments.
Writing up notes and attending meetings.
The problem with Psychopathic
Psychopath: Person suffering from a chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social
If diagnosed with Psychopathic disorder they are defined as ‘having no guilt or conscience and
showing behaviour that is very aggressive.’ Do not function normally with social norms.
It is debated whether is treatability. Often kept in secure hospitals to protect the public but not
◦ So should they be in prison or in hospital.
To be treatable the prisoner must show progress, but many with psychotic disorders are not able
to do this.
The diagnosis of a psychotic disorder
A person with a personality disorder might be given a diagnosis of Psychotic disorder.
◦ This might mean its not a real disorder
◦ Meaning its hard to diagnose
◦ Hard to treat.
Quick check A
Question 1 and 2. Page 191