As the field of psychology and law has developed over the past few decades, a variety of educational programs have been developed to meet the needs of students interested in interdisciplinary study and work. Detailed information on admission requirements, study programmes, internships as well as practical and employment opportunities for graduates can be found in the individual programmes. Melton, G., Huss, M., & Tomkins, A. (1999). Training in forensic psychology and law. In Hess, A. and Weiner, I. (Eds.), The handbook of forensic psychology (2nd ed.). NY: Wiley. The community psychology approach uses an ecological perspective to examine problems at the individual, social, societal and global levels. For example, a psychologist interested in the prevention of juvenile delinquency could identify individual characteristics and circumstances (e.g., mental health problems), family dynamics (e.g., conflict and parenting skills), neighbourhood parameters (e.g., social support systems), economic influences (e.g., poverty stress), and broader societal norms (e.g., emphasis on materialism).
For academic and applied community psychologists, activities include the range of policy and law formulation, implementation, evaluation and change. For example, they could design and evaluate programs for the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency, examine the capacity of young people to participate in court proceedings, examine the impact of court intervention on the functioning of victims of crime, or assess the impact of social and health reforms. While psychiatrists and behavioral scientists have been involved in the legal system in various ways for many years, more formal interactions began in the decade of the 1970s. These interactions included the creation of the first psychology-law program at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, the founding of the American Psychology-Law Society (now Division 41 of the American Psychological Association), the launch of an interdisciplinary journal (Law and Human Behavior), and a book series (Perspectives in Law & Psychology). In addition, the American Board of Forensic Psychology was established in 1978 to accredit forensic psychologists. Since that time, the field has continued to grow, with an increased number of pre-doc and post-doctoral training programs, more journals and books devoted to psychology and law, the development of a specialized set of ethical guidelines for forensic psychologists, a regular conference held annually in March in addition to the annual summer meeting at the American Psychological Association conference. participation of psychologists in the filing of amicus curiae briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court on psychological and legal issues and the regular delivery of a series of workshops in clinical forensic psychology by the American Academy of Forensic Psychology.
For psychologists who are primarily researchers, educators, court counselors, and policy makers, a permit or certification is generally not required. While such approval can sometimes increase a psychologist`s credibility in a single court, many psychological scientists do not need to obtain a license or certification status as a psychologist. It is correct to call them experts in empirical evidence relevant to a particular issue. It is not correct to describe them as a diagnostic or forensic assessment service for a particular person that is more closely related to the type of “health service” for which a licence would be important. However, psychologists must be well trained in their fundamental field and familiar with the law (particularly applicable laws, case law, rules of evidence, and general expectations in the legal context) in order to be effective in counselling and testimony. They must also have legal knowledge when conducting their research so that they can design studies and use variables to answer questions that are particularly important and relevant to the law. After earning a bachelor`s degree, forensic psychology graduates typically work in a wide variety of entry-level positions. Postgraduate opportunities may include work in social services as a victim advocate or with additional training, work in law enforcement or prison services, often as a probation officer or prison guard. Aspiring forensic psychologists must also earn a graduate degree and be licensed in their states. By Owen Kelly, PhD Owen Kelly, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, professor and author in Ontario, Ontario, specializing in anxiety and mood disorders. (2) Part B of medicare includes services and supplies related to the services of a clinical psychologist if the requirements of section 410.26 are met. The Psychology Law Section began in 1971 as a program of study in prison psychology.
As general academic knowledge and professional applications expanded to various psychological applications to legal issues, the subfield was defined as psychology and law. Researchers in this field are involved in a variety of activities. Some devote their energy to developing and studying the usefulness of specialized tests designed to help assess individuals in legal situations (e.g., tools to assess offenders` ability to participate in the criminal justice process). Others examine the effectiveness of different treatments for different types of populations (e.g., the effectiveness of specialized treatment for sex offenders or thugs). Still others examine the effects of violence or victimization, or the factors that put people at risk of violent behaviour, criminal behaviour or victimization.