Sample Psychology Paper on Forensic Psychology

In the legal system, psychologists have roles that place them in contact with the law enforcement officers, offender, victims of a crime and even members of the jury. When in contact with each of the groups of people in the legal system, the psychologist play varying roles. The major functions that psychologists have in the legal system are law enforcement and corrections. They can be employed as a part of the staff or as consultants by a law enforcement agency to assess the officer candidates, risk assessment, stress management, hostage negotiations and in the counseling of the officers and their families. A forensic psychologist can take the role of a trial consultant to help legal professionals prepare for a case. They are often summoned in courts as expert witnesses in matters relating to mental health.

Forensic psychologists are used to evaluate whether a defendant is fit enough to stand trial and provide treatment if the defendant is mentally unstable. In correctional settings, psychologists offer evaluation and treatment services to the inmates and offenders. Some of the ethical issues that can arise in the law enforcement roles include confidentiality and possible conflict of interest with regards to the work in the legal system and the requirements of the psychologist profession. In the correction settings, the psychologist is required to make assessments and recommendations for the management of these facilities. Most of the information about the inmates given to the management should be confidential under ordinary contexts. The recommendations provided by the forensic psychologists are at times ignored by the agencies they work for, straining their work in the process. The legal system places a lot of trust on the expertise of forensic psychologists. Therefore, incorrect evaluations can lead to injustice.