Forensic psychological treatment is a relatively new concept. It basically means integrating clinical psychology and legal concepts to make better laws and deepen the understanding of the psychology. Better understanding clinical psychology is crucial for making good laws and implementing them. We have seen many cases where punitive actions are not the right way to solve a problem. A person who is handled with an iron hand sometimes becomes more aggressive, providing no resolution, whereas rehabilitation is a much more positive approach. The offenders are told how they have committed the wrong act and how they can better tackle such situations. This method is seen to generate much more favorable responses. The main purpose of the laws is not to punish people but rather to make them good citizens. Forensic psychological treatment accomplishes exactly that and designs such strategies which are focused on eradicating the evil versus the person himself.

This topic has gained a lot of attention over the last decade or so.  It first began 20 years ago. This was the time people started recognizing the fact that punitive actions alone cannot help eradicate crimes and that more steps needed to be taken to educate people from their wrong doings to point them towards the right path. Many authors have published work about this. There are three basic areas within this topic:  how to treat the violent offenders, how to treat the non-violent offenders, and how to treat the trauma victims (Zakheim, 2011).

There are various studies on these topics; however, there are still gaps left which will be addressed by us in this literary review. We are going to find out what the deficiencies were in the previous studies and how we can improve it by making advancements in this field of knowledge.


Forensic psychology is the professional practice of the psychologist within the areas of clinical psychology. They blend this knowledge into the legal practice these psychologists and are also known to be legal experts because they relate their knowledge of psychology to help make better laws for the public. It’s the duty of the clinical psychologist to obtain the knowledge of law so that they have a better understanding of how the laws are framed. The rules should be so good that they can be generalized and applied to a majority of the population. The population which falls under the category of clinical forensic population has some psychiatric diagnosis or they may have clinical-legal status because of their health conditions; therefore each member of the population has a medical status as well as a legal status. The clinical and legal issues can be distinguished from the psychological issues. Each of the individuals in this population can broadly be classified into two main categories (Moye and Brown). A therapeutic evaluation is also performed to help identify an individual and the purpose of their actions (Monahan, 1980).


These are the people who are mostly involved in the civil litigation, such as suits for the custody of the children and so on.


These are such cases in which the defendants ask for the competency to stand trial, sentencing considerations or when defendants are adjudicated incompetent to stand trial and such issues are dealt under the criminal proceedings. When such a population’s clinical issue is raised in a legal context then the court has to decide the case.


Violent offenders are those who are nominated on the grounds of violence against individuals which includes bodily harm, sexual harassment, forcible confinement, robbery and all the various types of sexual offences. Violent offenders are often higher on depression, psychopathic behaviors. Such types of people are more likely to have substance abuse issues, have suicidal thoughts and homicidal ideations. They have employment problems and are more likely to have personality disorders. They also tend to have cognitive disorders (Vernon Lewis Quinsey, 1988)


Depending on the offense committed by the violent offenders, various types of treatments are available.

  • Cognitive behavioral approach which includes impulse control problem solving and conflict resolution
  • Cognitive self-management or self-change programs are challenging these type of thinking and attitude i.e. pro criminal belief and attitude that is against society.
  • Anger management programs include relaxation and substance abuse education.
  • Multi modeling: it focuses on offender specific needs and attitude. Although anger management is least effective among all. (Vernon Lewis Quinsey, 1988).


These are those offenders who are not actually involved in giving physical harm but they can harm people around them from their conduct, their language abuse and so on. This is a persistent problem in many cases they are juveniles who take the law into their own hands and show little responsibility as citizens. These crimes also include property crimes, fraud, bribery and prostitution (John M. MacDonald, 2015).


Non-violent offenders are treated by doing their proper psychological counseling but often sent to jail for their offensive attitude. There should be coaching for increasing their moral and the need is to build positive attitude towards others in society. There is need to build attitude “being nice to others is great virtue” (John M. MacDonald, 2015).


Whenever you meet an accident on the road you are also accounted for psychological traumas in the civil courts. However being victimized by a criminal act or witnessing a traumatic event can also lead to significant physical trauma Oppression also results in psychological harms. Also working in a work environment of physical threats can also cause psychological traumas, even to those who are not directly involved. Recent articles discuss assessment of psychological factors involving many possibilities according to the trauma and nature of the event that caused the trauma .It’s highly recommended for anyone experiencing trauma to undergo psychological testing (Quiros, 2010). Psychological testing provides the ability to evaluate the different stress factors such as: depression, anxiety, preexisting personality disorders, cognitive and pathological psychological conditions. Psychological trauma is caused by one time event like horrible accident, natural disaster etc. It may be caused from ongoing events like struggling with serious disease like cancer etc. Main causes of trauma are

  • Breakup of any important relationship
  • Any serious disease or injury
  • Sudden death of someone close
  • Disability in life
  • Loss of precious property
  • Domestic violence in childhood


Recovery from serious traumatic event takes time .but if longer time say months has passed and you are not improving, should seek help from professionals. If you are facing these situations like having trouble in working at home at any task, feeling depression and anxiety, using drugs to forget that situation, must go to professional. He will help you to come out of this situation (Quiros, 2010).


This research tells us about different violent offenders, non-violent offenders and physical traumas, and how they differ from one another, and what methods are available to treat such cases as they are of significant importance, both legally and clinically. Violent offender is more serious situation and is very costly to treat it effectively. It is important that a new mechanism should design and implement to prevent this situation. Not only punishment is way to overcome the problem. The need is to find the causes due to which this type of behavior is caused. Non-violent offender does not cause serious harm and can be treated easily.


John M. MacDonald, A. H. a. A. R. M. (2015). Assessing the Relationship between

Violent and Nonviolent Criminal Activity among Serious Adolescent Offenders. Journal of research in crime and delinquency.

Monahan, John (1980). Psychology and Crime. PsycCRITIQUES, 25.8 (1980).

Moye, J. and Brown, E. (1995): “Postdoctoral Training in Geropsychology: Guidelines for

Formal Programs and Continuing Education”. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 26.6 (1995): 591-597.

Quiros, L. (2010). Trauma, Recovery, and Growth: Positive Psychological Perspectives on

Posttraumatic Stress. Journal of Teaching in Social Work 30(1), 118-121.

Vernon Lewis Quinsey, G. T. H., Marnie Elizabeth Rice, and Catherine A. Cormier, BA

(1988). Violent Offenders: Appraising and Managing Risk. Part of the Law and

Public Policy: Psychology and the Social Sciences Series).

Zakheim, S.F.  “Healing Circles as an Alternative to Batterer Intervention Programs For

Addressing Domestic Violence Among Orthodox Jews”. Partner Abuse 2.4 (2011): 484-496.