Forensic Psychology
Forensic Psychology Mar 11, 2024

Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology is a rising field that is the interface between psychology and regulation. Including medical and psychological concepts and techniques for knowledge and resolving criminal problems. It entails studying the mechanisms involved in criminal conduct and the traits of people concerned in criminal behavior.

Forensic psychology is particularly new, but its use has now multiplied dramatically. They are used in quite a few contexts, from criminal investigations to civil court complaints, and are important part of evidence in legal complaints

The phrase ‘forensic’ comes from the Latin ‘forensis’ meaning “forum” or the courtroom word used in ancient Rome. The American Psychological Council describes this as the utility of psychology to problems of law and criminal policy.

So, what does a forensic psychologist do?

 Forensic psychologists work with law enforcement, prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges, and mental health professionals to evaluate and assess criminal behavior, mental health, and risk assessment. They also provide psychological evaluations and testimony in court and assist in rehabilitating offenders and preventing future crime.

A forensic psychologist is responsible for offering mental evaluation and testimony to the court system. They may also use numerous techniques to evaluate a person’s intellectual state, using interviews, mental status examinations, and remarks.  

They might also work with other people to expand treatment plans and provide help and rehabilitation for offenders.

Additionally, forensic psychologists may offer expert testimony in court about someone’s mental fitness, risk evaluation, and criminal behavior.

On many occasions, experts practicing in forensic psychology do not call themselves “forensic psychologists.” These professionals might be clinical psychologists, school psychologists, neurologists, or counselors who use their psychological expertise to provide testimony, evaluation, or suggestions in legal or criminal lawsuits.

For example– A clinical psychologist may offer intellectual health offerings including assessment, diagnosis, and therapy to those involved inside the criminal courtroom.

Clinicians may be asked to establish if a suspected criminal has any mental health issues or to deal with the ones affected by substance abuse and dependence.

Another example is that of a school psychologist. While practitioners in this field normally deal with kids in School, a school psychologist working in forensic psychology can compare children in suspected abuse cases, help them to present a testimony in a courtroom, and so forth.

Basic Functions of a Forensic Psychologist

Observation and inquiry: Their most important job is to write reports and accounts. These papers address criminal issues, criminal responsibility, and state of mind.

Reports and Articles- Many forensic psychology researchers publish professional articles with the field sharing new findings

Presentation of Expert Evidence: Another important responsibility of forensic psychologists is the presentation of expert evidence in court proceedings. They readily apply their intellectual training and expertise to provide sentencing and treatment recommendations, skills, and valuable insights into future risk factors in criminal behavior

Counseling and therapy: Forensic psychologists provide counseling and therapy. They provide supportive treatment for victims of crime and develop and implement counseling programs for individuals convicted of crimes committed with sex offenders

Supervision- Forensic psychologists often supervise trainees and do supervised work to help them earn their credentials. This gives them the experience and knowledge they need to do their jobs well.

Witness Preparation: Witness preparation helps individuals to give their testimony effectively without changing the facts. This includes guiding presentations, addressing related emotions, and preparing individuals to be confident witnesses in court.

Expert witness: An expert witness helps the court understand and analyze evidence or discover disputed facts. The court may call the defendant or the plaintiff’s attorney to testify. The judge decides whether a person can claim expert status and testify.

Competency Assessment: Competency attempts to judge a person’s ability to understand and deal with legal problems. It also refers to the ability to waive rights upon complaint, while competence is the criminal will of the court..

Insanity Assessment: When the jury considers the mental state of the defendant at the time of the crime. The psychologist provides a professional opinion on the insanity defense, which includes examining the psychological state of the client to determine the nature of their understanding of what they have done. 

Lethality Assessment: Lethality assessment are studies of the probability of serious injury or death at certain times. Psychologists use their data to look for potential risk factors and assess current risk accordingly.

Custody Assessment: Custody assessment is a legal form where a court-appointed psychologist or a case-appointed expert evaluates your family situation and makes recommendations to the court regarding child custody problems . . . . This typically includes residential care, preparation for visitation, and the development of a parenting plan based on the child’s primary best interests

While forensic psychology is not always limited to crime prevention or offender psychology, it presents many challenges. These experts examine the complexity of human behavior and emotions in the web of crime, and painting a complex picture to provide valuable insight and support for all people involved

The challenge of forensic psychology

Forensic psychology, while an exciting and influential field, has its own set of challenges. Forensic psychologists must go through complex criminological tools to ensure the accuracy and reliability of their tests, while maintaining ethical requirements They must be aware of power biases and cultural factors that may influence their opinion and suggestion influence as well.

Moreover, forensic psychologists are often faced with the task of operating with individuals who have committed heinous crimes or who have experienced severe trauma and to balance the need for empathic skills with the responsibility for justice afterwards, it can be emotionally stressful. But the work of forensic psychologists is critical to ensuring that prison cases are honest and straightforward.


Forensic psychology is a dynamic and evolving discipline that plays an important role in shaping legal outcomes. Using psychological theories and techniques, forensic psychologists help to understand criminal behavior, assess psychological strength, and rehabilitate offenders As investigators, therapists, and expert witnesses, the cases ensure direct criminal prosecution. As the world continues to grow, forensic psychology will continue to play an important role in the pursuit of justice.

About author

Karuna Kaul is psycho socio clinical psychologist, who works with all age group people. Her profession motivates her to serve people who are facing behavioral issues. She has over 8 years of experience and has successfully established credibility in the areas of counselling and wellness. Assessment and behavioral analysis and training and coaching. She has been an active advocate of mental health awareness. And all her endeavors in the field are primarily focused on educating more and more people about Mental Health concerns and promoting Holistic Wellbeing. She has done master in clinical psychology PG Diploma in counselling and guidance and certified in drug addiction counselling Also she has done neuro medicine psychology from London University, Kent College of United Kingdom. With an experience of six years, she had worked with various organization which provides mental health services.