Forensic psychology and correctional psychology: Distinct but related subfields of psychological science and practice.

  title={Forensic psychology and correctional psychology: Distinct but related subfields of psychological science and practice.},
  author={Tess M.S. Neal},
  journal={The American psychologist},
  volume={73 5},
  • T. Neal
  • Published 12 February 2018
  • Psychology
  • The American psychologist
This article delineates 2 separate but related subfields of psychological science and practice applicable across all major areas of the field (e.g., clinical, counseling, developmental, social, cognitive, community). Forensic and correctional psychology are related by their historical roots, involvement in the justice system, and the shared population of people they study and serve. The practical and ethical contexts of these subfields is distinct from other areas of psychology-and from one… 

Tables from this paper

An overview of psychology and law and forensic psychology in Australia

Psychology’s roots in Australia go back to 1881, but the first documented evidence of psychology-and-law (psycholegal) research and psychologists working in court and correctional settings only

Psychological Assessments in Legal Contexts: Are Courts Keeping “Junk Science” Out of the Courtroom?

An investigation of psychological assessments by psychologists in legal contexts reveals that nearly all of the assessment tools used by psychologists and offered as expert evidence in legal settings have been subjected to empirical testing and there is a weak relationship between general acceptance and favorability of tools’ psychometric properties.

Demographic, clinical and forensic characteristics of alleged offenders referred to West End Specialised Hospital, Kimberley, South Africa

Offenders presenting with schizophrenia and intellectual disabilities were often declared incompetent to stand trial and were generally not responsible for alleged crimes, suggesting association between adjudicative competence and criminal responsibility.

Generalist and specialist training in professional correctional psychology are compatible: Reply to Magaletta and Patry (2020).

  • T. Neal
  • Psychology
    The American psychologist
  • 2020
Establishing a clearer identity for correctional psychology could promote the education and recruitment of the next generation of students and may accelerate the generation and cumulation of high-quality correctional psychological science.


Detention in a prison is the isolation of an individual from society, placing him in an isolated space, where the punishment is not only the lack of contact with family or loved ones, but also being

Law and psychology must think critically about effect sizes

  • J. Chin
  • Psychology
    Discover Psychology
  • 2023
This comment examines a threat to the development of law and psychology as a “public science” (i.e., one that goes beyond theory to address important issues in society), a failure to think critically

Expertise in the correctional setting: Comment on Neal (2018).

The absence of an accumulated and advanced scientific base of specialized practice, the delivery of services to psychologically healthy and pathological populations, and the need for supervised practice in an applied setting point to a developmental model in which generalist skills in an application setting are all suitable as an alternate to the specialization training model.

Inpatient prisoners: symptom checklist-90 measurement and social support’s impact on mental health

Mental health was significantly and negatively correlated with supports from friends, family and other sources (collectively known as “social support”) as well as the total scores of social support.

Income, Demographics, and Life Experiences of Clinical-Forensic Psychologists in the United States

We provide aggregate data about income, demographics, and life experiences of women and men practicing clinical-forensic psychology primarily in the United States (N = 376). We examine how these

The Importance of Work in Prison Isolation Conditions: the Polish Aspect

The paper touches upon the issue of work of persons serving a sentence in Polish penitentiaries and the specificity of convict labour was analysed considering convicts’ vocational activation, as well as tangible and intangible benefits arising out of the employment undertaken.



What Is Forensic Psychology, Anyway?

The issue of how “forensic psychology” is defined has taken on a new urgency in the context of an application to have forensic psychology designated a “specialty” by the American Psychological

The practice of forensic psychology. A look toward the future in light of the past.

Forensic psychology is now at a crossroads, and the specialty must make an effort to respond to current challenges if it is to aid in the administration of justice by assisting legal decision makers.

What is forensic psychology

Increased involvement of psychologists with legal processes and products has resulted in an indiscriminate use of the term ‘forensic psychology’. It is argued that forensic psychology denotes the

Not just welfare over justice: Ethics in forensic consultation

The ethics of forensic professionalism is often couched in terms of competing individual and societal values. Indeed, the welfare of individuals is often secondary to the requirements of society,

Irreconcilable conflict between therapeutic and forensic roles.

Through the presentation of 10 principles that underlie why combining these roles is conflicting and problematical, the authors stress the importance of avoiding such conflicts, avoiding the threat to the efficacy of therapy, and avoiding thethreat to the accuracy of judicial determinations.

Specialty guidelines for forensic psychology.

These Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology were developed by the American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of the American Psychological Association] and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology and were adopted by the APA Council of Representatives on August 3, 2011.

Education and Training in Psychology and Law/Criminal Justice

Although psychology had a brief—and rather dramatic—foray into the legal system early in this century, it was only after World War II that psychology started to systematically permeate the legal

Training in Law and Psychology: Models from the Villanova Conference

Although the domain of law and psychology is a burgeoning and popular field of study, there has never been a concerted effort to evaluate current training models or to develop newer, more effective

Educational and Training Models in Forensic Psychology

The field of forensic psychology has experienced remarkable growth over the past three decades. Perhaps the best evidence of this growth is the number of forensic psychology training programs

A National Survey of Correctional Psychologists

Eight hundred psychologists working in U.S. prison systems were surveyed to provide a comprehensive profile of correctional psychology. The number of prison-based psychologists has doubled in the