‘Psychology’

Fishing in Heraclitus’ River: An Examination of Criminal Psychology and Rehabilitation

heraclitus

Who was Heraclitus and why would his river have anything to do with criminal psychology or rehabilitation? Here’s an examination of some ideas that revolve around Heraclitus’ most famous saying, advances in criminal psychology and rehabilitation. Heraclitus, a Greek Philosopher Heraclitus was a Greek philosopher who said that we could never wade in the same river twice. He was referring, on one level, to the way water washes past the land and that the droplets that are there one moment are gone away downstream the next. Advances in Criminology An article written for the journal, European Psychology, entitled Heraclitus’ River and Advances in Criminology by Alexander F. Schmidt and Ruth E. Mann, suggest that “advance” might be overstating the study of criminology. They contend that many of the practices currently in use were around during the 19th century. Some of them have, they add, have proven useful, while others that are still in use are less than efficacious in reducing crime or making productive citizens out of criminals. They lay out several types of crime but focus on sex offenders – a group that is often considered… Read More

What is Forensic Psychology?

psychology in the criminal law

It might be easier to define forensic psychology by starting out with what it is not. It is not forensic science. Forensic science is what is seen on television when detectives tweeze hairs out of a blood stain or lift fingerprints off a glass. It is not a Vulcan mind meld that allows the psychologist to peer into the depths of the human brain by analyzing behavior – although behavior certainly comes into it. Most of all, it is not the means by which long-buried secrets can be unearthed, but its results can be exciting. Education Requirements Although some colleges are now offering forensic psychology as a dual major, featuring psychology and law, the usual path is to gain an advanced degree in psychology, usually a PhD or PsyD. From that point, it is simply a matter of adding on legal training for the forensic part of forensic psychology. However, it should be noted, that some psychologists might participate in FP activities as part of their psychology position. For example, a school counselor might assist with determining which parent in a family is more suited to taking… Read More

Confessions, Forensic Psychology, and DNA Evidence

criminal confession

One of the tasks of a forensic psychologist is to interview an alleged perpetrator who has given a confession with an eye toward judging whether the person understands the gravity of having confessed and whether he or she understands what it is that has been confessed. It has been discovered that confessions are not always the last word in accuracy and that they can be extracted in a variety of ways. Once there is a confession, efforts to locate new or contradictory evidence concerning a case might be diminished or completely cease. A Famous Example For example, Juan Rivera confessed to the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in Lake County, Illinois. However, the DNA evidence taken from the girl didn’t match Rivera’s. The prosecution theorized that she had had consensual sex with someone else and that Rivera had killed her in a fit of rage when he was unable to perform. Rivera was convicted. Fortunately, the story has a somewhat better ending than might be expected. Two weeks later the appellate court threw out the confession, and Rivera was not only exonerated, he was awarded… Read More

Forensic Psychologists Examine Why Criminals Post Crimes on Social Media

social media used to post evidence of criminal activity

For those of us who live quiet, law-abiding lives, it seems difficult to imagine why anyone would incriminate themselves by posting videos of a crime in progress, or activity leading up to a crime. Yet an article in the Guardian reports that crime connected with social media have risen 780% over the last four years. The posts ranged from grooming, stalking, and preparatory statements to “selfies” of violent crimes in progress. Police are challenged with having to walk a fine line between allowing freedom of speech and getting ahead of real threats. Forensic Psychologist Look for Causes Forensic psychologists are examining this phenomenon and have come to one conclusion: the people who are posting videos of violent crimes against humans, and those who post videos of cruel behavior toward animals, are seeking attention. They want to be noticed for their actions. It isn’t new behavior. Jack the Ripper, for example, sent letters about his crimes all over London. The investigative tools now available were in their infancy, so despite publicity, he wasn’t caught. Why Study the Behavior How Stuff Works has an entry that delves into the… Read More

Application of Forensic Psychology to the Criminal Justice System

forensic psychology brain image

Forensic psychology has over the years played a key role in the legal field of criminal justice. To fully appreciate how this field of psychology affects criminal justice, it is important to first understand what it is and how it is applied in court cases. Definition of Forensic Psychology Forensic psychology is a unique combination of medical psychology and criminal justice. The American Psychological Association (APA) defines forensic psychology as the use of clinical specialties in the legal system. A forensic psychologist applies psychological principles, data, research, and theory to provide an explanation for criminal acts and behavior. The practice helps to determine whether an accused person should be convicted or pardoned for his or her actions. Chapter 490 of Florida statutes, aptly titled Psychological Services, provides a basis for the application of forensic psychology in the criminal justice system in an increasingly complex society where emotional survival plays a key role in human behavior. How is it Different From Clinical Evaluation? Forensic psychology and clinical assessment follow the same the same procedures of evaluation but differ in the way each field is practiced. A person who… Read More

Cultural Influence On Crime

Japan collectivistic

One can take many different stances when asked to determine the causes of criminal activity. One area of research that has been gaining popularity views crime as a product of the culture or subculture to which one belongs, rather than strictly blaming it on individual differences. In other words, enculturation plays an important role in the development of criminal behavior; this argument is supported by recent research that will be further discussed, and the disparity in rates of crime between different cultures and subcultures. The purpose of this post is to examine any relevant statistics regarding the differences in violent and nonviolent criminal activity within and between cultures, and to discuss the various theories that have been proposed to explain the reason for imbalance in rates of crime around the world. Variations between the type of crime committed, as well as how it is committed will also be noted as it relates to the topic. Beginning with an analysis of a particular subculture within the United States, which will then lead to cross-national comparisons, the goal of this article is to illustrate how crime is a complicated… Read More

Rational Choice as a Theory of Crime

rational choice theory of crime | criminal lawyer Kenneth Padowitz

Rational choice is a prominent theoretical model in many fields of research, though many criminologists continue to doubt its applicability as a general theory of crime. Much of this skepticism can be attributed to the over-simplification of the model, and the methodologies utilized when testing it in research. Rational choice theory is conceptually broader than many researchers believe it to be, and those who explore it often leave out important variables in their testing. Numerous studies have been conducted, the findings of which have legitimized rational choice as a general theory of crime. The ability to apply rational choice theory not only to instrumental criminal acts, but also to those crimes in which there is no apparent monetary motive, has been supported through research. The goal of this article is to thoroughly explain Gary Becker’s original model of rational choice theory and to take a closer look at how it is currently utilized today in criminological research. In addition to highlighting the positive aspects of the model, its shortcomings will also be explained. Criminology is the scientific study of crime and its origins. Criminologists seek to answer… Read More

The Unflinching “Super-Optimism” of Criminals

super optimism and criminal activity | broward criminal attorney Kenneth Padowitz

The Supervillains of the Underworld You practically cannot be as super-optimistic as criminals can. It is almost as though it is a super power. However, it is one super power that has made many lose their freedom and complete liberty. The bloated population in the country’s prisons is a testament to this assertion. This super power is in one called super-optimism. Criminals always expect to achieve success in any endeavor. They plan meticulously, gather resources, and when it is time to go hot, they proceed with a maddening sense of optimism that for a moment they feel invisible and untouchable. Every idea for these super-villains of the underworld is a reality, and every decision must stand.w Their overarching certainty rests in part, on how they consider themselves unique, superior to everyone, and their preparedness to employ any means possible to achieve their objective. Now, to be clear, their super-optimism does not cloud their understanding of reality as much as you think. They do know the high costs associated with their trade. There is the possible of being caught or worse killed. However, when it is time to… Read More

Criminals and Religion: Explaining the Antithesis

religion and crime | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. | Criminal Lawyers

The Antithesis It is paradoxical that individuals who devote their life to criminality often associate with a religion and put up the notion that they are devout adherents. It might involve regularly attending a place of worship—a church, mosque, or synagogue. In addition, they may observe holidays, festivals, and read religious texts. Many go as far as adorning religious ornaments. Lifting the Veil The primary explanation for this oddity resides in the word—compartmentalization. Criminals keep their religious beliefs and practices away from their everyday lives. Thus, while religiosity may exist, it exists without substance. Take these scenarios, a man touching a cross hanging around his neck whenever he cursed but has no problem snatching purses or committing assaults. An adolescent takes the time to read a religious pamphlet, but admits to stealing the pamphlet from someone else. The Italian mafia has patron saints, and members of organized crime often build elaborate religious shrines in their homes. The disturbing fact is that they may be sincere about engaging in religious practices and following certain religious teachings. However, it does not translate to how they live day to day… Read More

Criminals: Parents Aren’t Always At Fault

does parenting play a role in whether the child becomes a criminal? | Kenneth Padowitz | Criminal Lawyer in South Florida

Parenting and Criminality Mental health professionals have been at the forefront of answering the questions that mortify the rest of us. In what environment and under what conditions did a one-time murderer, serial killer or mass shooter grow up? Among a growing number of factors, the parents of criminals receive a great deal of scrutiny. Could they have played a role in shaping up who the criminal becomes in the future? What else plays a role in determining whether juveniles or adults break the law and are charged with crimes? What We Think versus What Is True For most of us, the answer to the last question is a resounding yes. The assumption appears to be that good parents turn out good children who become respectable, law-abiding adults and vice versa for bad parents and criminals. The conviction stems from our remedial understanding of human development. The long-held belief is that at birth, children have a clean slate. They are pure, innocent, little cuties like a fertile soil. Therefore, it is the universal duty of parents all over to instill right training, much like a farmer planting… Read More