Criminal Psychology

Criminology / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
Looks at the uses, history and development of criminal psychology.

“Psychology is often used to profile criminals based on the nature of the crime and the manner in which it was committed. The origins of psychological profiling are not known. References to criminal psychology can be found in literature as early as 1803. The first student to relate the nature of the crime to the personality of the individual is Jacob F. Fries an author who wrote a handbook on criminal anthropology in 1820. His work lacked support because he tried to link criminal behavior to heredity, mental retardation, epilepsy, and physical appearance. Another reference of the relationship between crime and the personality of the criminal came from Dr. Hans Gross, a professor of criminal law in the 1870’s. His book, Criminal Psychology, contained little reference to the subject. The writings of Arthur C. Doyle may have been one of the most important springboards in bringing criminal psychological profiling into existence. In his Sherlock Holmes series, Sherlock used a form of psychological profiling to find the criminal. Whatever the origins of psychological profiling are, the first practitioner in modern times was Dr. James Brussel, a New York psychiatrist. He aided the New York City police and other law enforcement agencies in many cases from 1957 to 1972. In 1971, Brussel teamed up with a writer and together they combined the advantage of the psychiatric approach with the insights derived from traditional crime-scene investigations and criminal statistics. In the last decade FBI agents in the Behavioral Sciences Unit have developed the technique further. ”


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