U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Organizational Psychology Applied to Forensic Issues

NCJ Number
Australian Psychologist Volume: 31 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1996) Pages: 9-14
B Hesketh; R Rawlings; R Allen
Date Published
6 pages
This article highlights areas of organizational psychology that are relevant to the work of forensic psychologists in Australia.
Traditionally, the psychologist's contribution to forensic issues in Australia has focused on the assessment and treatment of the individual. Little attention has been paid to the potential contribution of psychological expertise in the areas of personnel selection for prison, police, or other custodial officers, officer training, and the design of human environments for both inmates and staff. Forensic psychologists could also use their expertise to benefit the organization in other ways, such as assisting in organizational change, job redesign, and human resource policy. Further, recent developments in organizational psychology, particularly in the areas of training and career development, are relevant to the traditional work of forensic psychologists at the individual level. Also, ethical concerns regarding potential conflict of interest among prison officers, inmates, and the institution are important, and psychologists should clarify for themselves and others who the client is for every function undertaken. Although it is demanding to undertake the multiple roles suggested in this article for forensic psychologists, the easier path of restricting psychological expertise to individual inmate interventions is not in the best interests of inmates, prison officers, the institution, or psychology as a profession. 1 figure and 37 references