What Is Criminal Psychology?

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Criminal psychology studies the personality and inner-workings of criminals and criminal behavior. By learning about and rehabilitating criminals, criminal psychology make help fix the personality disorders that cause criminal activity. Learn more about criminal psychology with information from a licensed mental health counselor in this free video on psychology.

Part of the Video Series: Psychology Careers & Treatments
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is John Bosworth. I'm a licensed mental health counselor in St. Pete, Florida. I'd like to talk a little bit about, "What is criminal psychology?" It's a very broad topic when it's kind of looked at at that, you know, specifically what is criminal psychology. Criminal psychology involves usually some type of work with the department of corrections or the court system or the legal, you know, legal aspects of maybe defending somebody that is a quote... or the extreme cases, you know, the serial killers, or the, you know the murderers, the rapists, that type of thing. Criminal psychology tends to delve more into the personality and the workings of the criminal behavior, and what we see is that there's usually a lot of underlying borderline, maybe borderline personality disorders or anti-social personality disorders. And by personality disorders what we really mean is a very fixed rigid way of thinking. In criminal psychology, we see a lot of that. There are a lot of, you know, illegal and anti-social behaviors that are created by people that basically have some serious serious personality disturbance. If the personality disturbance is left untreated, and incarceration, jail, probation, parole follow, we're not really getting, you know, we're not really helping the person and we're not really making the community a safer place. The community needs to be made aware the we need to rehabilitate some criminals. So criminal psychology would probably be a much more efficient field if we really focused on and advocated for rehabilitation instead of just incarceration, or some type of penalty associated with criminal behavior. There are a lot of other things to look at in criminal psychology, but basically we want to look at the underlying personality of the person that is in engaged in the criminal behavior. My name's John Bosworth and we've been discussing what is criminal psychology.

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