Forensic Behavior Analysis explores the fascinating world of forensic psychology. It will explore the intersection of the law and mental health and provide an understanding of the role of forensic psychology within the criminal justice system.
This course will explore social-psychological theories for criminal behavior and dissect the role of mental health and mental health treatment within the criminal justice system. Topics covered will include treating mentally ill offenders, problem-solving courts and “therapeutic jurisprudence”, trauma and victimization, gender responsive treatment, substance abuse, prevention and rehabilitation. The course will explore how expert opinions are formed and detail how forensic psychologists address a variety of issues including: not guilty by reason of mental illness pleas, competency to stand trial, prediction of violence, sexual predators, psychopaths, the forcible medication of mentally ill patients, and civil commitment. Issues of gender, race, and class will be explored.
This course is designed to allow students to examine the development of individual criminality and criminal careers, social group processes in criminal activity, varieties of criminal behavior including violent, sexual and predatory crime, mental disorders, psychopathy and crime, victims and victimization, offender profiling, and forensic criminal investigation. The course will also explore the contribution of psychology to our contemporary understanding of crime and the criminal justice processes through the application of psychological theory in investigation of crime and the efficacy of the criminal justice system. Of critical import in a course of this nature will be an explication of the complexities of ethical actions relating to the forensic analysis and implicated behavioral processes. Students should consider the moral obligations that those who are vested with the public trust must meet in undertaking their role as forensic investigators.
Forensic Behavior Analysis seeks to encourage students to engage in intelligent, informed and critical thinking regarding the intersection of psychology and the field of criminal justice.