Forensic psychology is the interaction of the practice or study of psychology and the law. Psychologists interested in this line of applied work may be found working in prisons, jails, rehabilitation centers, police departments, law firms, schools, government agencies, or in private practice, to name a few. They may work directly with attorneys, defendants, offenders, victims, pupils, families, or with patients within the state's corrections or rehabilitation centers. Other psychologists interested in forensic psychology focus on the study of psychology and the law. They may work in colleges, universities, government agencies, or in other settings interested in researching and examining the interaction of human behavior, criminology, and the legal system.
Psychologists working in forensic psychology often come from a wide variety of education, training, and work experiences. All hold a doctorate degree in a field of psychology. Some graduate training programs now offer specializations in the field. Some of these psychologists also have education or training in the law or even hold a Juris Doctor - the degree earned by attorneys. Most working in applied settings such as a private practice or prison also hold a license to practice granted from their state's board of psychology following the successful completion of an approved doctoral degree, pre and post doctoral training years, and passing scores on a series of board examinations. The exception to this is that some governmental agencies are considered exempt settings, which allows unlicensed psychologists to practice with supervision for a period of time.
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