PSY 0900 - Introduction to Forensic Psychological Science (3 credits)
This is a survey course designed to provide students with an understanding of psychology's use in assisting the law with clinical forensic cases. Focus will involve both practical and research applications in clinical and social-cognitive psychology. Additional topics will include admissibility of psychologists to provide expert testimony in the courts; assessment of various mental states to meet legal requirements for competency, insanity, abuse syndromes, and various other psychological harm; working in the criminal justice system; and child custody and dependency issues. The legal system itself will be reviewed with a major focus on the unique aspects of the law as it applies to detained and incarcerated persons. History of the law, the U.S. Supreme Court cases that determined today'Äôs mandates, parity between physical and mental health for incarcerated persons, and recent developments will be examined. Students will be expected to review and to understand the laws and research tools used to conduct legal and psychological investigation including library databases. The social-cognitive bases of trial consultation, jury selection, and the limits of eyewitness type of testimony will also be explored.
PSY 0901 - Psychopathology, Personality Disorders, and Behavioral Interventions in Forensic Settings (3 credits)
This course is designed to provide an understanding of the various psychological disorders and their impact on behavior. Legal issues raised in both criminal and civil cases that involve mental illness will be discussed. Psychological interventions that have been determined to have empirical evidence in helping to reduce the symptoms of the various illnesses will be covered, including how to adapt them to various legal settings. In particular, group therapy and cognitive-behavioral interventions commonly used in corrections settings will be discussed. Laws dealing with medication as well as laws associated with the management of violence will similarly be covered. Students will be expected to learn about the tools used by psychologists to conduct legal and psychological research.
PSY 0902 - Methods & Tools of Psychological & Violence Risk Assessment
This course is designed to review various psychological assessment tools and techniques used by psychologists in the forensic setting. Focus will include standardization properties and interpretation of the results. Tests covered will include standardized cognitive assessments including the Wechsler scales, neuropsychological tests, objective and projective personality tests, and other measures specific to forensic settings. Students will not be trained to administer psychological tests, but rather understand the results and when to choose them for particular assessments.
PSY 0903 - Evaluation, Methodology, and Psychological Research (3 credits)
This course will cover the basics of research tools utilized by psychologists, with a major focus on program evaluation and testing scientific hypotheses. The course will describe research methodology and its application in the forensic setting. Basic statistical techniques will also be addressed in order to review research findings. Additionally, the course will address the grant writing process, with specific focus on its use to conduct program evaluation or basic research. In addition, the course will include a review of NSU's electronic databases in the library system, such as PsychInfo, as well as granting foundations.
PSY 0904 - Ethical Concerns & Multicultural Issues in Forensic Psychology (3 credits)
This course will review the ethics of forensic psychology, including the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists of the American Psychological Association (APA), as well as the American Bar Association (ABA) Ethics. Additionally, the APA Guidelines for Multicultural Psychology will be discussed, as well as their relevance in forensic psychology. Areas of conflict between the rules of legal procedure and the psychologist's administrative code will be highlighted. Ethical issues pertaining to supervision and consultation within forensic settings will also be an integral part of the course, as many psychologists engage in supervision of non-doctoral level associates. Consultation skills will be highlighted, as they are critical for the harmonious integration of laws and psychology. Finally, the ethical and legal aspects of detaining and confining people in the corrections system will be explored, with an emphasis on the responsibilities of those who work in the system.
PSY 0906 - Best Practices and Policies for the Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System (3 credits)
Studies suggest that communities can develop a best practices model to keep the mentally ill out of jail or prison, while still maintaining public safety. This course covers the approach to training law enforcement in crisis intervention skills in order to avoid making an arrest when possible. If not possible, deferral into a mental health or drug court for treatment rather than incarceration should follow the arrest. Subsequently, the availability of treatment programs in the jail or prison is important for those who need to be detained. Finally, this course will discuss practices and policies and how to implement them for seamless reentry into the community.
PSY 0907 - Gender Violence: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault & Child Abuse (3 credits)
This course reviews the victims and the perpetrators of crimes of gender, specifically those of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. The focus of this course will address the growing literature related to the psychological damage caused by these traumatic events, including the role of mental illness and how it impacts issues in criminal, civil, family and juvenile law.
PSY 0922 - Communication Skills, Tools and Expert Witness Testimony (3 credits)
Communication of psychological evaluation results is a critical part of psychological evaluations. Most communication is done with the referral source (attorney, client, judge, case manager) through oral or written reports. If sworn expert testimony is required, usually by deposition or at trial, the attorney will form the questions usually with the psychologist's assistance. Understanding the different parts of a report and preparing for expert witness testimony will also be covered including voir dire, direct, and cross-examination.