Criminal Psychology refers to the intersections of psychology, criminology and criminal justice.
It studies offenders and offending behaviour in order to improve the investigation of crime by adding a psychological component, such as in Offender Profiling. It also concerns the study of offender rehabilitation to establish what works in reducing re-offending.
Additionally, criminal psychology is concerned with analysing and improving the criminal justice system; enhancing police interviewing, detecting deception, or examining courtroom psychology and jury decision making. The study of imprisonment has taught us many important lessions about group behaviour, conformity and the ability of prisons to rehabilitate offenders.
Finally, it is closely linked to issues of offending behaviour and mental health as it is well known that many offenders have mental health difficulties, ranging from mild to severe.
Within the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, a team of criminal psychology specialists focuses on this fascinating and varied field. Their research, teaching and consultancy together aim to understand how social, criminological, psychological and cultural factors bring about offending behaviour, to share that knowledge with our students and the wider world, and to use it in order to reduce re-offending and improve the criminal justice system.
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