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Criminal Psychology, 2009

NCJ Number
Francis Pakes; Suzanne Pakes
Date Published
190 pages
This textbook introduces students to criminal psychology, which is the application of psychology to understanding the phenomenon of crime, criminal behavior, solving crimes, the court process and punishment, and rehabilitation.
The first chapter explains the nature of criminal psychology as an application of general psychology to criminal behavior and the behavior of criminal justice officials. One section of the chapter reviews various psychological theories of human behavior and how they apply to criminal behavior. This is followed by a discussion of the prevalence of human behavior that is labeled as crime, how statistics on this behavior are compiled, and why certain behaviors are defined as crimes. The chapter ends with an examination of the fear of crime. The second chapter addresses the causes of criminal behavior, including motivations for engaging in criminal behavior and factors in human nature and development that stimulate the motivation for and types of criminal behavior. The third chapter applies the principles of psychology to police behaviors in Great Britain that aim to detect and capture people who have engaged in criminal behavior. Various techniques of policing and their effectiveness in countering criminal behavior are examined, with attention to how police use psychological principles in their work. The fourth chapter focuses on "courtroom psychology," as it addresses the nature of the criminal trial in Great Britain, jury decisionmaking, eyewitness testimony, and miscarriages of justice and how they can be reduced. The fifth and concluding chapter examines the process of sentencing, the features of sentencing that constitute punishment for criminal behavior, and how sentencing intends to prevent offenders from committing additional crimes. Throughout the chapters, interviews are conducted with criminal psychologists who work in various criminal justice settings in Great Britain. The interviews focus on real-life applications of criminal psychology and the range of careers open to practitioners. Approximately 300 references and a subject index