This eighth episode in the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Just Science podcast series is an interview with Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Speller from Purdue University, who discusses her research on the connection between disturbing media and the forensic examiners who analyze it.
The interview first focuses on the increasing volume of digital audio and visual images to which forensic analysts are being exposed in their daily work. This often involves the repetitive viewing of and listening to scenarios of human suffering and abuse, with some involving child victims. Consequently, psychological health and well-being becomes an issue in the management of personnel in a forensic crime lab. The psychological health of analysts in crime labs must be a focus of training and daily routines. Issues that must be addressed are awareness of the psychological impact of such analyses and the features and development of constructive and adverse means of coping with the stress both on and off the job.