PSY6320EN - Forensic Psychology & the Legal System

Course description

This course provides an analytical framework to evaluate the operations within the civil and criminal applications of psychology and law. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the analytical evaluation of psychology, law, and public policy and how these measures are synergistic in nature and employed within the legal arena for the purpose of exploring operations, decisions, and outcomes within legal proceedings.

How this course benefits students

The course assumes basic knowledge of the issues associated to psychology and law with the opportunity for students to advance their knowledge on an analytical level by contextually comprehending the structure of the legal system, the similarities and differences between the fields of psychology and law and the collaboration of these specializations within the legal system. Students will have the knowledge to evaluate the challenges that permeate the process of approaching the determination of competency, criminal responsibility, and risk within criminal proceedings.

Why this course is important

The legal system is complex in nature and the field of psychology is easily correlated to the legal arena due to the fact that the investigation, scrutiny, and evaluation of behavior that led an individual to act in a certain way is now in question by authorities within the legal sector. The application of psychology to law is rather simplistic from a cursory glance; however, the process of assessment for competency, mental capacity, motive, dangerousness, and the plausibility of suffering from a mental illness are just a few of the challenges pertaining to the overall assessment of treatment and legal decision making processes. Students will ascertain the ethical challenges that subsist within this industry as well as approaching the evaluation of civil and criminal proceeding with mercy, understanding, and the importance of collective wisdom.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

This course is designed to address the importance associated to the process of approaching the determination of competency, criminal responsibility, and risk within criminal proceedings; in addition, the Biblical principle and application pertains to seeking the collective counsel of the community to lead to victory while supporting the notion that a fool should not delight in your own understanding but rather delight in the measures of revealing their own mind.

Missionally driven

This course will provide students with the opportunity to investigate the purpose of responsibility and truth within legal proceedings for the purpose of representing the individual that is in need of services. In addition, the student will be able to explore and apply the element of mercy when comprehending the behaviors that others elect to participate in that are considered deviant and unlawful alike.

Contextually informed

This course will provide students with the opportunity to evaluate the strategies associated to the assessment of risk and need within both civil and criminal law for the purpose of formulating a plan to assist with the legal process.

Interculturally focused

The culture of analyzing criminal behavior centers upon the notion that behavior is fluid and dynamic in nature; criminal behavior in particular violates norms, laws, and mores that have been established within a given culture. This course merges the psychological element of assessment with the legal industry to illustrate the synergistic component that subsists within the realm of investigations, assessment, treatment, and intervention.

Practically minded

Student will have the opportunity to assess the realistic challenges regarding the assessment, treatment, and evaluation of individuals that are maneuvering through the legal system process; a practitioner lens will be employed in the exploration and investigation of these proceedings to include the assessment of disputes, ethical debates, and outcomes.

Experientially transformed

Students will have the opportunity to collaborate together on addressing the serviceable element associated to the mission of assessment and evaluation within the legal realm. There will be activities, assessments, and tasks that will address the appropriate modalities to incorporate in comprehending characteristic dynamics of individuals that are maneuvering through the legal system.