Title

Profiling Criminal Offenders: Perspectives from Occupational Science

Start Time

20-10-2011 7:30 PM

End Time

20-10-2011 8:45 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Purpose: This literature review has been undertaken as an initial step in the investigation of the process and synthesis of the potential contributions of Occupational Science to the art and science of psychological profiling of serial offenders.

Methodology: In order to conduct an exhaustive review, the following disciplines and basic sciences were identified as potential sources of relevant literature: occupational science and occupational therapy, psychology, sociology, criminal justice, and anthropology. The databases searched included PsychInfo, CINAHL, PubMed and SCOPUS, utilizing keywords such as “psychological profiling,” “criminal profiling,” “offender profiling” and “occupational science.”

Discussion: To date, an investigation of the occupational components of crime has not been undertaken by disciplines that historically contribute to Forensic Science, or by occupational scientists. The field of Forensic Occupational Therapy, though relatively new, focuses primarily on individuals with mental illness. Where included, occupational therapy is usually involved in risk assessment for recidivism, reintegration of forensic clients into society, and addressing the issues on occupational deprivation in prisons. Although these areas are extremely relevant from the forensic occupational therapy standpoint, little research explores the role of an occupational therapist in areas pertaining to psychological criminal profiling. Psychological profiling can be described as collecting crime scene information, arranging this information into meaningful patterns, analyzing victim and offender risk, reconstructing the crime and the offender motivation, and ultimately using all of this information to create a specific description of the offender. By viewing serial crime as an occupation, the constructs of occupational science can be applied to describe the time use patterns, routines, rituals and other personal characteristics of the doer of the occupation. The knowledge base of an occupational therapist, informed by occupational science, thus allows not only for identification of the nature, structure and characteristics of the occupation, but also for investigating the subjective experience, process, and outcomes of the occupational performance of serial crimes.

Results: An occupational science perspective is employed to explore how the analysis of the occupation of specific crimes relates to the health status, quality of life, and identity of the doer or the offender. The skills required for effective profiling are also explored in light of the occupational therapist/scientist’s educational background and professional competencies.

Discussion Objectives:

  1. Reflect upon the concept of serial crime as occupation.
  2. Discuss occupational science tenets that are relevant to the committing of serial crimes.
  3. Relate the potential contribution of occupational science and occupational therapy to the profiling of serial offenders.

References

Hocking, C. (2007). Occupational science: A stock take of accumulated insight. Journal of Occupational Science, 7(2), 58-67. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2000.9686466

Kocsis, R.N. (2003). An empirical assessment of content in criminal psychological profiles. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 47(1), 37-46. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306624X02239273

Kocsis, R.N., Irwin, H.J., Hayes, A.F., & Nunn, R. (2000). Expertise in psychological profiling: A comparative assessment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15(3), 311-331. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/088626000015003006

Schlesinger, L.B. (2009). Psychological profiling: Investigative implications from crime scene analysis. The Journal of Psychiatry and Law, 37, 73-84.

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Oct 20th, 7:30 PM Oct 20th, 8:45 PM

Profiling Criminal Offenders: Perspectives from Occupational Science

Purpose: This literature review has been undertaken as an initial step in the investigation of the process and synthesis of the potential contributions of Occupational Science to the art and science of psychological profiling of serial offenders.

Methodology: In order to conduct an exhaustive review, the following disciplines and basic sciences were identified as potential sources of relevant literature: occupational science and occupational therapy, psychology, sociology, criminal justice, and anthropology. The databases searched included PsychInfo, CINAHL, PubMed and SCOPUS, utilizing keywords such as “psychological profiling,” “criminal profiling,” “offender profiling” and “occupational science.”

Discussion: To date, an investigation of the occupational components of crime has not been undertaken by disciplines that historically contribute to Forensic Science, or by occupational scientists. The field of Forensic Occupational Therapy, though relatively new, focuses primarily on individuals with mental illness. Where included, occupational therapy is usually involved in risk assessment for recidivism, reintegration of forensic clients into society, and addressing the issues on occupational deprivation in prisons. Although these areas are extremely relevant from the forensic occupational therapy standpoint, little research explores the role of an occupational therapist in areas pertaining to psychological criminal profiling. Psychological profiling can be described as collecting crime scene information, arranging this information into meaningful patterns, analyzing victim and offender risk, reconstructing the crime and the offender motivation, and ultimately using all of this information to create a specific description of the offender. By viewing serial crime as an occupation, the constructs of occupational science can be applied to describe the time use patterns, routines, rituals and other personal characteristics of the doer of the occupation. The knowledge base of an occupational therapist, informed by occupational science, thus allows not only for identification of the nature, structure and characteristics of the occupation, but also for investigating the subjective experience, process, and outcomes of the occupational performance of serial crimes.

Results: An occupational science perspective is employed to explore how the analysis of the occupation of specific crimes relates to the health status, quality of life, and identity of the doer or the offender. The skills required for effective profiling are also explored in light of the occupational therapist/scientist’s educational background and professional competencies.

Discussion Objectives:

  1. Reflect upon the concept of serial crime as occupation.
  2. Discuss occupational science tenets that are relevant to the committing of serial crimes.
  3. Relate the potential contribution of occupational science and occupational therapy to the profiling of serial offenders.