The United States judicial system is composed of various elements. Its structure contains elements that are of both a federal and state nature. For instance, there are courts that fall under each of these categories that include trial courts at the state level, district courts at the federal level, and appeals and supreme courts at both levels. Furthermore, there are several types of adjudicative processes, such as criminal, civil, juvenile, and therapeutic. Also within the judicial system, there are many players, which include, but are not limited to, defense attorneys, prosecuting attorneys, judges, and, at times, a jury. Forensic psychology in turn can play a role in any number of these elements within the judicial system—from the initial hearing of a criminal trial in a federal district court to a posttrial status hearing of a civil commitment case.
This week’s Assignment helps you become more familiar with elements of the court system (e.g., types of courts and proceedings, personnel involved, types of adjudicative processes, etc.), as well as the individuals connected to each element. Additionally, you will examine the relationship between these elements of the courts and forensic psychology professionals.
To prepare for this assignment:
- Review Chapter 2 in your course text Psychological Evaluations for the Courts, and focus on the elements of the court system (e.g., types of courts and proceedings, personnel involved, types of adjudicative processes, etc.) that intersect with forensic psychology.
- Select three elements of the court system you find interesting that interact in some way with forensic psychology. Then consider who would be the contributors to each element.
- Think about the relationship between forensic psychology and each element of the court system that you selected.
The assignment: (1–3 pages)
- Describe the three elements of the court system you selected and the individuals connected with each.
- Then analyze and explain the relationship between forensic psychology and each element of the court system you selected.
- Finally, explain why you selected each element (e.g., what about each element interests you).
- Be specific and use the literature to justify your response.
Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.