Human Welfare and Improvement of Quality of Life
Forensic psychology is concerned with treating offenders, understanding their criminal behavior, and how psychology can be applied in courts of law. It is an important branch of psychology because offenders’ recidivism and criminal activity are frequently brought to the public’s attention. The forensic psychologist performs different tasks, including implementing offender’s treatment programs, transforming the behavior of offenders, and reducing stress attributed to prisoners and prison staff. Moreover forensic psychologists are also involved in training prison officers concerning decisions made about releasing prisoners, including working with the victims of crime. It might be said that since the criminal justice system works for the welfare of the community, forensic psychologists are primarily concerned with the welfare of the offender. Simply put, forensic psychologists help the criminal justice system to prevent crime and safeguard society.
Forensic psychologists develop a relationship with criminal offenders by providing personalized therapy sessions in cases where the police are involved or when there is a court order. The therapy sessions are not only used for study reasons and research but also for therapeutic purposes for the welfare of the client. For example, forensic psychologists help prisoners handle stressful prison life to deal with mental issues. Such assistance helps the prisoner to improve their quality of life while incarcerated. Furthermore, it helps the offender rehabilitate and become a good member of society upon release. Society views criminals and offenders as having the potential to cause harm but disregards their personal goals and aspirations, which can be achieved through therapeutic relationships with forensic psychologists. Managing the life of an offender by a forensic psychologist is regarded as a means of enhancing the safety of the community. However, considerations should also be made concerning the personal values and goals of the offender, including the outcomes of interventions on their quality of life. This intervention has a positive impact on human welfare since it takes care of the prisoner’s welfare and safeguards society from repeat criminal activity. Therefore, forensic psychologist helps maintain peace and harmony in society, a factor that improves the quality of life.
Within the mental-health practice, the assessment of the risk of violence is an essential public safety issue undertaken by forensic psychology. Risk assessment forms the basis for assessing the risk of violence, including the formulation and implementation of appropriate interventions to reduce the risk for both the patient and the community. Forensic mental health professionals conduct violence risk assessments in various situations, focusing on criminal dispositions and sentencing and civil commitments. Moreover, risk assessments may be conducted when an offender is considered for parole into the community from jail. Additionally, an organization might want risk assessment evaluations to be conducted concerning the security concerns of their employees or others. Forensic psychologists are called upon to discharge these duties to protect both the public and the individual’s civil liberties (Weinberger & Sreenivasa, 2018). In this regard, the forensic psychologist needs to balance the interest of both parties by following their ethical principles and code of conduct which stipulates that no harm should be done.
However, this code of conduct does not stipulate whose interests should be prioritized between the two parties. It is used to caution forensic psychologists against unjust practices and encourages the use of rational judgment. In this light, forensic psychology contributes to having a positive impact on human welfare and the improvement of quality of life. It protects the civil rights of the offender and safeguards society from potential harm. Forensic psychologists’ treatment programs and interventions presuppose some specific notions of what is meant by a worthwhile and meaningful life. Its intervention is aimed at protective factors, dynamic risk factors, psychological problems, and mental disorders.
Reflection: Curbing Violence and Aggression
To understand how to curb violence and aggression, one must answer the question of why people seek to harm others. Psychologists believe that humans have a natural tendency to be aggressive and violent. However, forensic psychologists always aim to reduce violence and aggressiveness exhibited by individuals by understanding these behaviors’ neurological and psychological processes. Some psychologists believe that violence and aggression are addictive and can be treated in the same manner in which drug and alcohol addiction can be treated. Negative emotions such as anger and fear are major contributing factors that drive violence and aggression. For instance, an individual might be aggressive because of being enraged by another person or are afraid of being hurt by them. Likewise, positive emotions can also play a major role in violent and aggressive behavior. Positive feelings of dominance and power can reinforce put, aggressive and violent behavior.
Therefore, some forensic psychologists have concluded that aggressiveness and violence could be curbed or treated in the same manner as addiction. They argue that some pharmacological interventions can be used to curb an addiction to aggressiveness and violence. Such a remedy can only be possible by understanding the biological markers associated with violence and aggressiveness, including understanding how such behavior can be potentially adaptive or maladaptive (McNeill, 2017). Through such an understanding, psychologists can be able to develop early rehabilitative programs and intervention strategies to curb violent and antisocial behaviors. The acquisition of such knowledge can enhance efforts to target potential strengths of the adaptive features of violence and aggression. Therefore, forensic psychology plays a pivotal role in understanding the root causes of violence and aggressiveness to come up with interventions for curbing the behavior.
McNeill, B. (2017). What is the psychology behind violence and aggression? A new VCU lab aims to find out. Virginia Commonwealth University. Web.
Weinberger, L. and Sreenivasa, S. (2018).Addressing Ethics Dilemmas in Violence-Risk Assessment: A Forensic Psychologist Perspective. Colombia University Press.