Forensic Psychology: Is It the Career for Me?

Students have many misconceptions about forensic psychology. Here are some answers.

Film to explore gay-bashing in friendly, liberal community

When the 19-year-old son of a respected small-town physician viciously attacked a local gay man, filmmaker Daniel Bruun set out to find out why.

Film to highlight violence against trans women of color

Trans women of color are a perfect storm, producing insecurity by transgressing against dominant notions of gender, race and identity.

Squeaky Fromme Competency Tapes Unveiled 40 Years Later

Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme was never sure why she pointed a gun at President Ford. But once she was found competent to stand trial, the outcome of her fateful decision was a foregone conclusion.

“Pornography Addiction:” Science or Naked Rhetoric?

Until the data establish sexual addiction as a viable scientific construct, it’s yet another example of an over-eager industry putting the cart before the horse.

How Locking Kids in Solitary Confinement Became Normal

Like a wildfire, a moral panic over juvenile "superpredators" ignited in the 1990s and has burned out of control ever since, erasing the futures of untold children across America.

Storm Clouds Gathering Over Reid Interrogation Method

The Reid technique works great for getting suspects to confess to crimes. What it isn't so good at is distinguishing between true and false confessions.

Psychologist Whistleblower Awarded $1 Million

Landmark verdict for psychologist who complained that incompetent defendants were being certified as fit to stand trial; may change future practices at large California state hospital.

Appellate Court Rejects Pop Psychology "Past as Prelude"

The appellate court rejected civil commitment of a Native man who had rehabilitated himself in prison following his conviction for rape; future dangerousness not proven.

The Psychic Perils of Forensic Practice

Chronic exposure to images of horror poses risk to forensic evaluators as well as nurses, ambulance drivers, police, lawyers—even jurors.

Film Explores Town's Polarization Over Transgender Murder

The 2008 murder of Larry King polarized the community of Oxnard, California. The chasm widened during the highly publicized trial of 14-year-old Brandon McInerney, who invoked a gay panic defense that blamed the transgender victim for provoking his own murder. Now, HBO is tackling the case with a moving and thought-provoking documentary.

Militarization: When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary

In 1970, only Los Angeles had a police SWAT team. Now, every city's got one, and armored military vehicles are being used to serve routine drug warrants. In a culture of rampant fear, militarization looks like it is here to stay.

Efficacy of Sex Offender Treatment Still Up in the Air

Despite increasing attention to the global problem of child sexual abuse, little is known about effective treatment and prevention methods. Worse, there is mounting evidence that some treatment may actually cause harm by cementing a deviant identity in people who are already at very low risk to reoffend.

Violence Risk Assessment Tools Plagued by 'Authorship Bias'

Violence risk assessment is increasingly central to forensic practice. But is its research base accurate?

Forensic Implications of the DSM-5 (Part II of II)

The DSM-5 was not the revolutionary "paradigm shift" we were promised, but there are still plenty of pesky little changes that could cause big consequences in court.

DSM-5: Much Ado About Nothing? (Part I of II)

In the wake of massive backlash from other mental health professionals and the public, the American Psychiatric Association's revolutionary "paradigm shift" fizzled into nothingness.

Military Scandal Unearths "Illegal" Psychiatric Diagnoses

Women in the U.S. military face staggering rates of sexual assault. And the abuse doesn't stop there: Many are revictimized by their chains of command, often with bogus psychiatric diagnoses as a key weapon.

Forensic Psychology: A No-Compassion Zone?

Do empathy or compassion have a place in a forensic evaluation? Or should an evaluator turn off all feelings in order to remain neutral and unbiased?

'Digital Lynch Mob' Assaults Expert Witness in Murder Trial

A mob of cyber-bullies is intent on destroying the career of a domestic violence expert. Her crime? Testifying on the wrong side in a murder trial.

God's Jury: Exploring Inquisitions, Then and Now

Modern bureaucracies contain the raw materials of inquisitions potentially far vaster and more destructive than anything wrought by the Catholic Church.

"Narcoanalytics" Order in Aurora Massacre Case Unprecedented

A judge's order that the Aurora Colorado mass shooting suspect undergo a "narcoanalytic interview" has legal observers scratching their heads.

"The best predictor of future behavior is … past behavior"

Accompanied by incendiary metaphors about ticking time bombs and hand grenades, the mantra is creeping into forensic psychology reports and court testimony. But is it really true?

Newtown, CT Massacre Brings More Hand-Wringing

We are a nation that glorifies violence. Where is the outrage over the killings of at least 176 children by unmanned drone strikes in Pakistan over the past seven years?

New documentary targets family court abuses

New documentary claims that thousands of mothers are forced to go on the run to protect their children from abusive fathers granted custody of children.

Psychiatry Rejects Novel Sexual Disorder "Hebephilia"

Hebephilia, or the sexual attraction to young adolescents, was one of three highly controversial new sexual disorders proposed for the upcoming fifth edition of the influential Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). All three were rejected.

Parody of Justice: Shooting Fish In a Barrel

The U.S. Supreme Court holds defendants to a higher standard when they seek to represent themselves. But no one intervened when one such defendant acted out a death wish.

Freed Iran Hostage Slams US Solitary Confinement

Solitary in Iran nearly broke former hostage Shane Bauer. Then he visited Pelican Bay in California.

Forensic Psychiatrists Reject Hebephilia - Again

It is clear to most observers that hebephilia -- sexual attraction to "early pubescent" minors -- is not accepted by the professional community as a mental disorder. What remains unclear is whether the American Psychiatric Association will get the message in time.

Supreme Court Ruling on Juvenile Sentencing

Headline-grabbing rulings in Miller and Jackson do not actually ban life-without-parole sentences for juvenile killers. They just add a bit of discretion.