Impact of Mental Health in Criminal Profiling
This can be defined as a phenomenon for all human beings that take care of our emotions, social relations and psychological well-being. Mental health has a great impact on the way our mind works, our feelings and also our actions. Mental health also has got an influence on the manner in which we handle certain things like stress, social relationships and the ways of making choices. The above phenomenon is crucial at different phases of life cycle i.e. childhood, youth, and adulthood.
Mental health problems are one of the major areas we must understand in this phenomenon where it affects the brain’s thinking capacity, social and work moods and the individual behavior in different setups. Biologically, factors like the brain chemistry and genealogy may affect and contribute to high mental health issues. Additionally, different lifestyles and experiences e.g. abuse and trauma contribute to the emergence of mental health problems and diseases. Family background and living styles also contribute to bringing up mental health problems.
Some signs have been characterized by people having mental health problems. Drug abuse has been widely associated with people who have in one way or another embraced mental health issues as a way to solve it. Committing suicide has also been linked to people who have got various mental problems running through and they commit the same as a way of getting rid of them. Many more signs are manifested by people with mental health problems but most of the actions taken by the victims usually don’t solve their problems.
According to Turvey, offender profiling is creating interfaces based on visible , traditions, feelings and also psychological vocational characteristics of victims.This is a system tool used by law enforcing agencies in investigations and in determining the most likely suspects. It is also known as offender profiling. It is used in analyzing a series of patterns that are believed to have the capacity to predict other crimes and criminals.
Ainsworth in 2001 discovered several major approaches to criminal profiling: demographical, investigative psychology, typological, and clinical profiling. Offender profiling involves analyzing the criminal act and laws and using them in comparison to similar offenses in the past. It involves considering the suspect’s background and for motive possibilities. Psychological profiling which the major approach used in suspect identification can be explained to be the tool of victim determination that finds by determining the victim’s mindset, feelings characteristics and personal descriptions.
There are two crucial assumptions in criminal profiling. Behavior consistency is assumed in providing identical crimes having little or no evidence to identify them with the criminal on the basis of identities. Homology is another assumption and it can be defined as the idea that identical offenses are committed by similar criminals possessing identical characteristics.
Another mode of offender profiling is called Linkage analysis. This is the form of individual behavioral scrutiny and tool used in identifying the probability of offenses having been committed by a single victim. This method uses historical data on the habits and tendencies for a specific period of time and also uses the victim’s signature observed and collected at an earlier time. This method is commonly used where physical evidence is not visible e.g. DNA.
Three main approaches in the offense profiling include offense investigative system, clinical practitioner approach, and scientific statistical approach. The current practice in criminal profiling is the investigator’s toolkit. This technique has outdone other peripheral law enforcement tools like witness statements, evidence collection etc.
Profiling inputs entails collecting data and learning all the information related to either the crime or the suspect in this manner the offender. Several analyses are carried out among the four various phases of criminal profiling. The four major phases of crime in murder case include: antecedent which is described as the offender’s motivation, manner phase which is described as the location of the criminal and the method used in the criminology, body disposal which is described a method of disposal, post-offence conduct which is described as the response to the investigation and press information
Decision process method is the stage where on studies and organizes data and information in a certain order in pursuit to finding reliable patterns that which would be used in predicting the probability in which one victim could do a certain crime. It takes into consideration the victim’s motivation in determination of the possibility.
Offense assessment and determination is where the offense is identified as a series of individual events taking place and involving those that are interested. Crime can be recreated in a certain manner that suggests whether the crime data is reliable, organized or disorganized.
Offense profiling is a stage where the victim’s background information, physical description, habits, myths and many others are studied and arranged systematically based on the historical data and information as obtained from the crime scene. The criminal profiles recommended was made to continue determining the crime and the criminal in a way leading to identifying the both.
Investigation involves application of the profile investigation. Included here is the mainly called the predictive profiling. This profiling includes identifying the victim with a serial crime where he or she is expected to commit a similar offense or an additional crime. In various assault crimes, the crime behavioral and individual recollection of the responded vocal, odor, manners, and other visible traits can help the agency with suspect identification information or profile. A case linkage is characterized by profiling modes used to connect systematically to the unprojected crimes to an individual victim or group of offenders.
Mental Health Professionals and Criminal Profiling
An example of mental health professionals is Psychiatrists and psychologists. They made a very crucial contributions to the early development of criminal profiling. Real profiles created by these practitioners were highly based on clinical apparatus and presiding theories of personality and psychopathology. These profiles focused on the probable interpersonal functioning and psychopathology of the person likely to committing a similar crime.
The fact that some offense profiling work and duties are done by mental health professionals e.g. psychologists, a large proportion of it is done by law trainees and agents who are professional criminal profilers. It is hard to get or estimate the total number of mental health professionals involved in the exercise of profiling due to the related activities originated in medicine and the that contributes to the profiling. The application of Bartol’s findings to various groups of mental health professionals was not very clear to them.
A pattern determined by Bartol in the 1996 survey showed that a small number of psychologists participated in profiling duties and the majority professionals avoided it due to individual concerns based on reliability and validity. The relationship fitted well with the perception and expectation of the psychologists and the criminal profiling during the past years. A changing pattern dominated the criminal profiling exercise for the recent issue of the American Psychological Association’s frequent press release about the magazine and monitoring on Psychology, highlighted the role of psychology and psychologists in criminal profiling.
A number of psychologists who made active profiling duties were interviewed by the relevant men and women although the articles did not clearly acknowledge thae numerous concerns on the scientific validity and reliability of profiling and projecting the criminal and the crime too, the reader was left with the impression that interest in profiling work by psychologists was on the rise. This trend is also evident in the recent publication of profiling research by suggesting that professional interest and practice in this area also may be on the rise. Indeed, the use of psychological profiles in criminal investigations has been described as the main contribution made by the mental health professionals to the current inventions.
Attitudes about Profiling and Criminal Investigative Analysis
Forensic mental health professionals’ attitudes about the scientific merit and utility of profiling and criminal investigative analysis. Fewer than half of the forensic mental health professionals felt that either profiling or criminal investigative analysis was reliable, was valid, or had enough scientific support to be admitted into court. Perceptions were especially negative among those who received the version of the survey using the term profiling. These forensic mental health professionals rated profiling to be significantly less reliable and valid than those who were given the term criminal investigative analysis for the same process. These findings support the position that profiling is likely to be viewed more favorably if it is referred to by another name.
Mental Health Professionals’ Involvement in Profiling
A few real mental health professionals responding to the criminal profiling survey had ever conducted a profile or criminal investigative analysis, yet a some professionals were not dedicated to performing such duties. The larger portion of psychologists considered themselves knowledgeable about these techniques but did not agree to perform the duties in good faith. Why would those who claim to be knowledgeable about profiling not conduct profiles. Three possible interpretations for this pattern of findings are offered here: one that argues against mental health professionals’ involvement in the practice of profiling, one that is more positive about involvement in profiling, and one that is open-minded about involvement in profiling. The effects for such people in the criminal profile has indeed changed the whole platform.
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