Psychology & Criminal Law

This course is designed to provide an overview to the interaction between psychology and the criminal law. The focus will be primarily on the three major aspects in which psychologists are involved in the criminal justice system: competence to stand trial evaluations, mental state at the time of the offense (mens rea and the insanity defense), and the assessment of risk/prediction of future dangerousness. One of the guiding principles in forensic psychology, which will be reflected in this course, is the need to understand legal standards in order to tailor psychological knowledge and practice to the courts. As such, the content of the course will be evenly divided between understanding the legal issues involved and the practical application of psychological principals and knowledge. Likewise, readings and class time will be divided reviewing legal standards and case law and the psychological reseach, theories and techniques related to these issues. In addition, specific topics such as forensic psychological assessment, report writing, and expert testimony will be discussed.
Credits: 3

Type: SEM

Does this course satisfy the writing requirement? Yes