Essay On Forensic Psychology

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Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology can be described as the intersection of the justice system and psychology. It often involves the understanding fundamental legal principles and particularly to expert witness on several specific areas such as competence of the person to stand on trial, workplace discrimination and even child custody. Forensic psychologists are important in the court settings and they help in the relevant jurisdictional considerations. For example, it is of the essence to note that in the US, the definition of insanity when it comes to criminal trials often differ from one state to another. Forensic psychologists are often able to testify in the court and they are often seen as expert witnesses. They are able to reformulate different and diverse psychological findings in a legal language where the legal language can be able to providing information to legal personnel in a way that can be effectively understood.

The competence of Juveniles to stand trial over the years has become increasingly common. There exists no figures on the frequency of these issues that are being raised in juvenile proceeding. It is of the essence to understand that the practice that comes with handling juvenile separately and putting them in a different court is a fresh development in the world. In the past, it is only infants that were exempted to the law. The youths were no different from the adults and they had the same treatment under the law as the adults. Under the concept of parens patriae, the state has duty to protect incapacitated individuals, in most states juveniles are often included as such person because of the concept of their youth and childhood. The newly juvenile courts were therefore brought up in a bid to ensure that their interests were effectively secured.

The question about the assessment of the juvenile competence has been a big issue in forensic psychology. It has been proved by several forensic psychologists that juveniles have lesser in terms of their cognitive abilities and this makes it intrinsically unable to understand the issues are involved when it comes to the standing trial. It has been long argued that children in terms of their development status as well as neurological immaturity which gives them lesser abilities cognitively as compared to adults.

Further, the juveniles are not able to understand and grasp their issues that are associated with standing experience. Therefore, the juveniles cannot be able to effectively understand the different court proceedings and the issues that they are accused of. Therefore, they can be said to be incapacitated in terms of appreciating courts.

A research forensic psychologist can be able to understand how to use this research study in assessing a juvenile competency to stand trial. The research forensic psychologist can be able to understand that a juvenile cannot be able to effectively appreciate the issues that are facing him or even the court system. For this reason, it might be wrong to go ahead and take to court juveniles as they are not able to understand the system. Further, the forensic psychologists can be able to be used as expert witness in order to dismiss juveniles in courts by quoting their incapacitation. By standing as expert witnesses the forensic psychologists can be able to explain to the court the reasons as to why the juveniles might or might not be able to stand trial because of their competency to understand.


MacArthur Foundation Research Foundation . (2003). Adolescent Legal Competence in Court. Adolescent development and Juvenile Justice , 1-4.
Mart, E. (2003). Juvenile Competence to Stand Trial: Overview and Contemporary Issues. Bar Journal , 1-10.