|Faculty or Section :||Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts|
|School or Department :||School of Law and Justice|
|Student contribution band :||2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1|
|Grading basis :||Graded|
|Version produced :||24 May 2022|
Psychological approaches feature prominently in the context of criminal justice response to offenders and victims, therapeutic treatment of offenders, and the criminal justice system’s processing of criminal matters. While it can be argued that criminogenic situations and society’s institutes in place to deal with crime and offenders are socially constructed, each require human agency to occur or function. Research and practice in the field of psychology considers the human agency aspects of behaviour and seeks to understand what drives people, as individuals embedded within particular social systems, to behave, react, or function in the ways they do. This course covers topics suitable for students anticipating a career within the criminal justice, or external agencies connected with the criminal justice system. The concepts and skills taught in this course are transferrable to working with people in other social institutions outside the criminal justice system and associated agencies such as education, law, social work, psychology, and helping professions.
Psychological theories and underpinning philosophies play a large role in understanding criminal behaviour, the effects of criminal behaviour and developing responses to criminal behaviour. This course will examine some of the major theoretical propositions put forward by psychologists to explain why people commit crime, the psychological impacts of crime on victims and the psychological elements of the role of judges and juries in responding to crime. A number of psychological practices used in the broad scope of criminal justice processes will be examined including interview techniques, eyewitness testimonies, offender and geographical profiling and credibility testing. Some of the psychological challenges encountered as part of the criminal justice processes will also be explored as they relate to false allegations, reliability of confessions, child witnesses and psychological disorders. Assessing offenders' risk by the use of psychometric tests, and the range of psychological treatments for offenders will also be examined.