‘What made someone commit a crime?’ ‘What did they do after the crime was commited?’ These are just some of the questions criminal psychology looks to answer to help keep the public safe.
With the nature of their work being so interlinked, criminal psychologists typically work with law enforcement agencies, using criminal profiling to help gain a deeper psychological understanding of suspects. This work can then be used to develop strategies for apprehension and form the foundations of interview topics. They can also provide counselling to help rehabilitate offenders.
The psychology of criminal behaviour has become hugely popular, with the CSI franchise and Serial true crime podcast providing a window into a disturbing world. However, it's important to note, that it's not exclusively focused on murder but rather all kinds of crime - including fraud, terrorism and abuse.
Criminal psychologist personality traits
Our famous criminal psychologists
Netflix show, Mindhunter, explores the birth of criminal profiling in the FBI during the 1970s. Wendy Carr is a psychology professor brought into the FBI's Behavior Science Unit to help research imprisoned serial killers and build up psychological profiles of them. This is done with the aim to use this information to solve ongoing and future cases. Throughout the series, Carr works with her FBI colleagues to establish an understanding of criminal behaviour.