Outside the criminal mind

ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind recently had a fascinating programme on the science behind offender profiling and whether it lives up to its ‘inside the criminal mind’ image.

If you’re not familiar with the debates about criminal profiling you may be surprised to hear that a fair few forensic psychologists think it’s a waste of time.

Even while studies can show a statistical link between certain psychological characteristics and crime features, it’s not clear whether applying this to individual criminals gives us reliable enough results to guide police investigations.

This edition of All in the Mind explores the various types of criminal profiling and the evidence behind their accuracy.

Although it is somewhat annoyingly cut with scenes from Silence of the Lambs (which has about as much to say about criminal profiling as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has to say about psychiatric nursing) it is still a fascinating and insightful look into a little understood practice.

And if this isn’t enough criminology for you, a recent Radio 4 documentary (podcast here) discussed the evidence behind ‘miracle’ crime and violence reduction schemes.

Link to All in the Mind on ‘Profiling the Criminal Profilers’.
Link to streamed BBC doco on ‘crime cutting miracles’.
Podcast for same because putting the mp3 on the same page is hard.

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