Forensic psychology and psychiatry attempt to understand criminality and legal reasoning and are among the most interesting areas of cognitive science, but, sadly, there are few good blogs on the internet which tackle the area. The In The News blog is an exception, however, and regularly has in-depth coverage of the psychological issues behind big legal news stories.
Like forensic psychology itself, it’s not the most instantly appealing of destinations, but the writing is fantastic. The author is California-based forensic psychologist Karen Franklin and some of the recent articles give a flavour of what to expect.
For example, coverage of the death of the oldest death row inmate at 94, and the legal battles that centred around his mental competency to appeal and be executed, discussion of whether ad-hoc diagnoses are being created to detain people whose crimes don’t amount to long-term imprisonment but are predicted to be a future menace to society, or whether the ‘war on drugs’ is being quietly abandoned by the Obama administration.
It’s probably worth noting that US forensic psychology and psychiatry can be quite different from other places, in that it is more much focused on working with courts, rather than offender treatment focused approaches which are more widespread in Europe.
However, In The News has long been a favourite read of mine and long may it stay so.
Link to In The News blog.