The psychology of criminal behavior
devotes a lot of research and study to develop profiles of persons engaging in different types of criminal behavior
- i.e, the background and personality of the pedophile, the psychopath, the burglar, the batterer etc. Such profiles review social/familial/biological factors that are often helpful in understanding the causes of criminal behavior
but some research has also brought into question the reliability of such profiles. To complicate matters further, the definition of criminal behavior
changes over time. Some activities, which were formerly considered criminal
have legally, at least, been normalized. Alcohol consumption marijuana possession and use, homosexual acts and other behaviors
, once punishable by law, are now considered part of the normal repertoire. Still other clearly illegal behaviors
conducted by government agents, such as torture and targeted assassinations are not included in studies of criminal behavior
nor have the perpetrators been profiled.
Present your view on the issues described above, i.e., problems inherent in criminal
profiling, changing definitions of criminal behaviors
activities carried out by government agents and agencies. How do these issues impact on the tasks of the forensic psychologist?
In writing the paper, you might find it helpful to check out the following sources:
1. Snook, Cullen, Bennett, Taylor, Gendreau: The Criminal
Profiling Illusion: What's Behind the Smoke and Mirrors. Criminal
Justice ad Behavior
, (Oct 2008) Vol 35. No.20-,pp. 11256-1276
2. Brandon Smith: The Database: Why Criminal
Governments Spy on Citizen. http://www.infowars.com/the-database-why-criminal
3. After Creating 352 New Crimes in a 7 Year Period, Congress Looks at Laws that Criminalize non-Criminal Behavior
This is an opinion paper, not a research paper, and its purpose is to ponder the questions raised and offer a considered point of view.
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