The highest praise given to a king in antiquated history books was that he was just, helped the poor, and punished the wicked. Law-abiding citizens in those days desperately needed protection from powerful lawbreakers. The state’s authority is well established in modern times. While it is true that many crimes go unnoticed, no criminal has a chance of openly defying society. If we read about a man being hunted in the country, we give the poor wretch at most two weeks because we know that by then, the armed forces of the law will undoubtedly have caught up with him. But because of its overwhelming strength over an individual delinquent, it can afford to be kind. Making an effort to comprehend the offender is the least we can do for him. In fact, any wrongdoer who is not simply a born criminal or an incurable maniac is usually only a step away from being a decent person.
Knowing how a crime was committed requires being aware of a criminal’s mental state and deciphering his thoughts. As a result, criminal psychologists play a part. They dissect the incident’s emotional, personal, mental, and societal components. Lawyers frequently interact with criminals to establish a virtual relationship with them and work together to locate the crime scene. Together, criminal psychologists and attorneys work to understand the traits, language, actions, and biases of criminals. Criminal profiling is the official name for it.
WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY?
As psychology strives to scientifically study behavior, it has undergone significant transformation and diversification. There are now more focused paradigms in place of the globalization and liberalization paradigms that were very popular in the 20th century. Diversification is becoming increasingly necessary in order to comprehend the theory and application of particular aspects. At the same time, a holistic approach is necessary and cannot be disregarded. Thus, it is clear that the notion that interdisciplinary, multicultural, and eclectic approaches are more practical is exemplary.
Governmental organizations must intensify their focus on enhancing legal services as a result of the rising crime rate. Finding the causes of crime, understanding the psychology of criminals, and being able to design interventions at the individual and social levels are also crucial if society is to improve. In sum, it is clear that in order to strengthen community involvement and reduce crime, governmental organizations must intensify their focus on enhancing legal services as a result of the rising crime rate.
From a single murder to a massacre! Have you ever considered the causes of the Holocaust? How can a single person, like Hitler, order the killing of millions of people? And discriminate against people and give orders to kill them based on factors such as caste, religion, race, and political beliefs. Without hesitation, his troops carried out his orders. Crime history is full of cases that raise many questions that can only be clarified by comprehending how people behave. Criminal psychology is important to control the growth of crime and to be able to assist those in need, not just to understand criminal minds or predict criminal behavior.
WHAT IS CRIME?
According to the law, a crime is an act that is either committed or disregarded in violation of public laws. It is also referred to as a crime. There are two parts to it- Mens Rea and Actus Reus. Crime can be characterized as an act that infringes on people’s rights, has an effect on society as a whole, inspires or influences sociopaths and psychopaths, and fosters a culture of mistrust and fear in society.
“It can be challenging to prove that a crime has been committed.” It is situation-based in addition to being contextual. When a soldier in a war situation kills a member of the opposing army, it is regarded as a display of bravery and pride. But it’s regarded as a crime by the general public. It is crucial to take into account whether a civilian crime was committed in self-defense, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or under social pressure. As a result, while the legal definition of crime emphasizes an action that violates the law, the normative definition of crime emphasizes an action that violates our moral standards. To sum up, it is ambiguous to categorize an act as a crime because there is no clear definition of what constitutes a crime. Only in relation to the social culture, legal system, and context of the act can the meaning of crime be understood.
RELATION BETWEEN THE TWO: CRIMINAL PSYCHOLOGY
Criminal psychology is the study of criminal behavior, whereby the term “behavior” includes personality, attitude, physiology, learning, motivation, thinking and other cognitive factors that contribute to the act of crime or criminal intentions. Police work also heavily utilizes psychology. Through the examination of a crime scene, investigative psychology, and other behavioral sciences, forensic psychologists or criminal anthropologists assist in identifying the suspects. These professionals are frequently used by law enforcement agencies to gain insight into the minds of potential offenders by determining the offender’s most likely personality type, way of life, and peculiarities.
Criminal psychology aims to control criminal behavior in addition to understanding criminal behavior. Over time, a deeper understanding of psychology, human behavior, and psychiatry have contributed to several important shifts in legal scholars’ perspectives on the law as well as the way the criminal justice system handles mentally ill individuals. Counseling and intervention are therefore crucial for both criminal and victim victims. The scientific study of psychology also involves and incorporates a great deal of research. Thanks to behavioral research, psychologists and legal authorities can better understand crime, criminal intent, and criminal behavior. In the future, both criminal and civil liability will inevitably change due to these complex research practices.
THEORIES ON HUMAN NATURE AND CRIME
Assumptions about human nature are based on three main domains, which are as follows1 :
1. Conformity perspective: Humans are fundamentally good, conforming beings who are greatly influenced by the attitudes and values of the society in which they live, claims Merton R. K. ‘s theory. This theory makes the supposition that people are creatures of conformity who desire to act morally. What society deems to be right is what is right. Influence from friends, acquaintances, family and other social networks can assist in finding the right thing. Delinquency and crime happen when there is a “perceived discrepancy” between the objectives cherished and materialist values and the accessibility of legal means. High-stress individuals and groups are forced to choose whether to uphold or disregard laws and norms; as a result, they withdraw, conform, or rebel.
2. Non-conformist Perspective: According to this theory, people are essentially illegitimate creatures who, given the chance, would disregard social norms and commit crimes. According to Travis Hirschi’s social control theory, crime and delinquency occur when a person has few or no ties to normative or conventional standards, which indicates a problem with social checks and balances. According to this theory, human nature is inherently “bad” or “antisocial.”
3. According to the third viewpoint, people are essentially “neutral” at birth and pick up all of their beliefs, behaviors, and tendencies from their social environment. This theory contends that social interaction with others is where criminal behavior is learned. Criminal behavior is not brought on by mental illness, emotional instability, or inborn goodness or evilness. People pick up messages from others who were perceived as criminals and use those messages to learn how to commit crimes. This theory is aptly summarized by the axiom that “bad company breeds bad behavior.”
PURPOSE OF CRIMINAL PSYCHOLOGY
Criminal psychology aims to comprehend criminal behavior in order to be able to manage and change it. By creating a psychological profile of repeat offenders and looking into the causes and consequences of their behavior, a criminal psychologist is needed to support police and legal authorities during a case’s investigation. Understanding the offenders and the police officers working the case is important. Human error and resource constraints frequently prevent or delay personnel from accessing case-related information. In order to help investigators deal with cases of mental illness where people are involved in crime, criminal psychologists should also develop guidelines and increase their knowledge.
Criminal psychology also seeks to understand how to resolve problems that emerge between the investigator, offender, and victim during a case investigation. In addition to providing counseling to offenders and victims, it aims to maintain and develop effective interventions for mental health professionals. If schools and colleges are involving students in activities that improve their mental wellbeing and deter them from engaging in violent acts and behaviors, then the role of a criminal psychologist is also understood. Criminal psychology is a specialized field. It’s critical to comprehend the mental health of young people who have engaged in antisocial behavior while in high school or college, as well as how to help them reintegrate into society.
Criminal psychology aims to comprehend developmental problems that could result in criminal behavior. Criminal psychologists have attempted to understand, test, and develop theories to understand developmental issues that may lead to criminal intent and behavior in a lot of the past research that has been done.2 Criminal psychology deals with and aids in the resolution of cases involving disputes over child custody and marital and family disputes. It’s also important to remember that criminal psychologists are obligated to examine and confirm the mental illness certifications provided by offenders. additionally to offer treatments and counseling to help them get better.
1 The Essence of Psychology in crime, Blog Ipleaders, https://Blog.Ipleaders.In/The-Essence-Of-Psychology-In-Crimes/ (last visited 14 March, 2021).
2 Lawrence Kohlberg’s Moral Development Theory, 1958; Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development, 1963.
This article is written by Sanskar Garg, a last-year student of the School of Law, Devi Ahilya University, Indore.