Charles C Thomas Publisher
CRIMINAL PSYCHOLOGY by Laurence Miller Summary
Criminal psychology is the application of the principles of normal and abnormal psychology to the understanding, prediction, and control of criminal behavior. Criminal Psychology: Nature, Nurture, Culture provides an in-depth yet readable introduction to the foundations of criminal psychology as it is understood and practiced from the classroom to the courtroom. The book is organized into five sections. Part I examines the nature and origins of criminal behavior. These chapters outline the role of psychology in the criminal justice system, and review the biology, psychology, and sociology of crime to develop a naturalistic model of criminal behavior that can guide theory and practice in law enforcement, criminal justice, and forensic evaluation. Part II examines the major classes of mental disorder that may be associated with criminal behavior, including psychotic disorders, mood disorders, organic brain syndromes, substance abuse, and personality disorders. Each chapter consists of a description of the syndrome, followed by applications to law enforcement, criminal justice, and forensic mental health issues of competency, sanity, and criminal culpability. Part III deals with death. Topics include homicide, serial murder, mass homicide, workplace and school violence, and terrorism. Part IV covers sexual offenses and crimes within the family, including rape and sexual assault, sex crimes against children, child battery, domestic violence, and family homicide. Part V discusses the psychological dynamics of a variety of common crimes, such as stalking and harassment, theft and robbery, gang violence, organized crime, arson, hate crimes, victimology, the psychology of corrections, and the death penalty. Each chapter contains explanatory tables and sidebars that illustrate the chapter’s main topic with examples from real-life cases and the media, and explore controversies surrounding particular issues in criminal psychology, such as criminal profiling, sexual predator laws, dealing with children who kill, psychotherapy with incarcerated offenders, and the use of “designer defenses” in court. Grounded in thorough scholarship and written in a crisp, engaging style, this volume is the definitive handbook and reference source for forensic psychologists, mental health practitioners, attorneys, judges, law enforcement professionals, and military personnel. It will also serve as an authoritative core text for courses in forensic psychology, criminology, and criminal justice practice.