What is the job of a forensic psychologist?

by | Jun 7, 2013 | Health Care

A forensic psychologist is also known as a criminal psychologist; they study the actions and the motivation of people who have broken the law. The forensic psychologist in Illinois may work directly with a criminal, trying to identify patterns of behavior that can be used in their rehabilitation. The forensic psychologist may also work in law enforcement and use their innate knowledge and skill to aid in identifying a criminal or to help in interrogation. Within the legal fraternity, there are forensic psychologists that assist lawyers in case build-up and they are often called to provide expert testimony. There are many directions the training in this discipline will allow the psychologist to go; it is all up to the individual and his or her interests.


Many of the well known criminal psychologists that are often seen on TV got their start in criminal profiling. Criminal profiling is when the scene of the crime is studied intently, looking for any clue the criminal left behind and then piecing together why the crime was committed and attempting to identify who may have committed the crime. The information pulled together by a forensic psychologist Illinois is invaluable to the police in their efforts to solve the crime. Although profiling is a major part of what a criminal psychologist does, it is only one of the many aspects of the profession.

Work within law enforcement:

Criminal psychologists work closely with law enforcement in both the apprehension of the criminal as well as giving advice on interrogation techniques. The psychologist can give the police an indication of how a criminal thinks, what motivates a serial killer for example, how can the psychologist help in the identification of future victim or how can the questions asked of a suspect be worded so as to either get a confession to the crime or to get needed information.

A criminal psychologist in Illinois may start his or her career as a law enforcement officer. This experience helps the psychologist understand the criminal mind and how they function on a day-to-day level. The experience of being an officer also gives the psychologists a complete understanding of the police protocol used in evidence collecting and questioning of suspects.


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