In today’s world crime become an essential element of society without which we can’t even imagine crime-free society. So, it is a challenge for the government to make its people feel safe and secure by preventing crime and criminals in society.
To prevent crime and criminals from society, we have to understand the cause of it –
- Why does crime happen?
- How does a criminal mind work?
- And, what is the cause behind the crime?
Answers to all these questions will be answered in either criminology and or criminal psychology. So, to prevent crime and criminals from society. One should understand and become an expert in criminology and criminal psychology.
According to psychology, criminals can be characterized under two categories:-
- Psychopaths: psychopaths are the ones, who are born with high criminal tendencies.
- Sociopaths: sociopaths are the ones, who are not born with high tendencies but due to they choose a path that ultimately leads them to a path of crime.
As we know nobody wants to become a criminal in his/her life. But unknowingly they indulge in an act which leads them to commit a crime and become a criminal.
What is a crime?
According to law, crime is an act committed or omitted in violation of public law. It is also considered as an act forbidden by law.
According to psychology, there are mostly three acceptable theories that define crime. They are:
- Consensus view
- Conflict view
- Interactionist view
- Consensus view:– According to this view, change is constant so, how can a crime stay constant with the change in society. In short crime changes with the change in society.
For example:- child marriage is considered a crime in present society but earlier in the medieval era. It wasn’t considered as a crime.
- Conflict view:- This view is exactly opposite to the consensus view.
- Interactionist view:- This is the view that falls in between the consensus and conflict view. According to this view, there is no moral right or morally wrong. Rather the change in moral standards.
What is criminal psychology?
There are so many different aspects taken to understand the nature, cause, and distribution of crime. One of these aspects is criminal psychology.
Criminal psychology is considered as one of the important branches of criminology. So many criminologists and psychologists have tried to define it but to date. There is no specific or universally accepted definition of criminal psychology.
As we know criminal psychology is the new specialization field that comes in the early 19th century. So there are no such big historic events that occurred in the history of criminal psychology. But we can trace the root of criminal psychology which was found in America. And some parts from Britain, Europe, and Russia.
Which in India, it can be traced back to the year 1916, when the first department of experimental psychology was established at Calcutta University. After which Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan national institute of criminology and forensic science come up in Delhi in 1972. Then in 2001, it achieved global recognition as a specialized field by A. P. A.
Who is a criminal psychologist?
A criminal psychologist deals with the psychological aspects of a legal process. Such as understanding psychological problems associated with criminal behavior treatment of criminals applying theory to criminal investigations.
ROLE OF CRIMINAL PSYCHOLOGIST:-
- Research evidence to support practice
- Implementing treatment programs
- Advising parole board
- Modifying offenders behavior
- Responding to the changing needs of prisoners and staff
- Appear in court as an expert witness
- Mental health tribunals
- Statistical analysis used for prisoner profiling
Scope of criminal psychology:- we can figure out the scope of criminal psychology through four basic roles.
These roles are:-
In this role, experts use an assessment of a person who had committed a crime. Or who has been declared as an accused by the courts. These assessments can be used to determine if a person is competent to stand in a trial.
In this role, experts conduct researches to help judges any jury to decide a case. By questioning the eye witness credibility and giving their observation to them.
In this role, criminal psychologists advise police in regards to an investigation. It also helps the judges to understand criminal behavior. Or psychology of the accused and helps them in establishing accurate justice.
In this role, expertly used statistics such as the probability of an event and they also use to ask the livelihood of an individual reoffending.
Conclusion:- Scope of criminal psychology is very vast. A person who studies criminal psychology and seeks a career into it can have may option to become. They can become law enforcing officers or investigating officers etc. Recently our Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah called for setting up of National Police University and forensic science University, with affiliated colleges in every state. So a person who is interested and is looking for a career in criminal psychology can find various good options for their career.
This article on Criminal Psychology is written by Kajal, student of 1st-year B.A. L.L.B., Department of Law at Maharishi Dayanand University.
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