Youngs, Donna E. (2009) Introduction to Special Issue: Investigative psychology in the courtroom: beyond the offender profile. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 6 (1). pp. 1-9. ISSN 1544-4759

When offender profiles have been presented as evidence in court, although in a few cases they may have been accepted initially, they have invariably been excluded on appeal. But with the evolution of Investigative Psychology as a systematic science with a broader remit than producing ‘offender profiles’, a framework for contributions to investigations has emerged over the last 20 years that maps out the rich potential range of contribution to the legal process. This considers not only the drawing of inferences about offenders from their actions (profiling), but also examination of testimony and what psychological processes may indicate whether it has been distorted deliberately or accidentally. Further, the decision-making processes, especially as part of the investigation that gave rise to evidence presented are also subject to behavioural scrutiny. This special issue of The Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling provides examples of these contributions as a basis for encouraging debate about links between Investigative Psychology and the courtroom.

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