Introduction This paper will explain what a subspecialty is and how forensic psychologists use their knowledge to address and use this knowledge in each subspecialty. Each subspecialty will be explained and the affect that the forensic psychologists plays and to what affect it has within that subspecialty. Understanding the part the forensic psychologist plays in each subspecialty is paramount. Be familiar with all of the subspecialties gives more flexibility to what the forensic psychologist can do, but finding the right subspecialty will allow for a greater understanding and usefulness of that forensic psychologist. “The American Academy of Forensic Psychology and the American Psychology-Law Society published the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologist (SGFO) (Committee of Ethical Guidelines for Forensic Psychologist, 1991), which is now under revision. According to Otto and Heilbrum (2002), “The primary goal of the SGFP is to improve the quality of forensic psychological services by providing guidance to psychologists delivering services to courts, members of the bar, litigants, and persons housed in forensic, delinquency, or correctional facilities.” (p. 7) (Bartol & Bartol, 2012) Having this in mind it is time to take a closer look at the subspecialties that a forensic psychologist deals with and what each subspecialty evolves. So let’s begin with what the subspecialties are and what roles and responsibility the forensic psychologist have in each.
I. Police psychology
Assist police departments in determining optional shift schedules for their employees.
Assist police in developing psychological profiles of serial offenders.
Establish reliable and valid screening procedures for law enforcement officer positions at various police and sheriff departments.
Train police officers on how to deal with the mentally ill citizens.
Provide counseling services to officers after a shooting incident.
Provide support services to the families of law enforcement officers. (Bartol & Bartol, 2012) The forensic psychologist has a large responsibility in police psychology. The roles of the forensic psychologist help screen officers for their positions, help train the officer to enable them to work with the mentally ill, provide counseling when police are dealing with hard times or a shooting death, and helping the families with the death of an officer in the line of duty. These forensic psychologists in this subspecialty also have the ability to develop profiles of serial offenders to add in their capture. Being part of the police psychologist can take up to 3 years additional after clinical and educational training. (Finn & Tonz, 1997) and should also consider being available 24 hours to the agency and be a willing participant to work in any location. If a person is interested in becoming a police psychologist they should familiarize themselves with the nature of police work, the procedures, policies, and try to gain a full understanding of what police culture truly is. II. Correctional Psychology The roles and responsibilities the forensic psychologists would contribute to in the correctional area are as follows.
Establish reliable and valid screening procedures for correctional officer’s positions at correctional facilities.
Assess inmates entering prison for both mental health issues and suitability for prison