Ethics in correctional and forensic psychology: Getting the balance right
Taylor and Francis
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science / Social Justice Research Centre
Compared to their peers, correctional and forensic psychologists are more likely to encounter legal-ethical problems and have complaints lodged against them. The problems that confront them are often novel compared to those their peers deal with. They therefore often feel unsupported and disheartened. Further, they may drift away from the norms that govern the profession and behave in a manner that erodes the trust of the public in the profession and leads to division within the profession. To meet their legal-ethical responsibilities, it is essential that correctional and forensic psychologists should have a good knowledge and understanding of the norms that regulate them. In this article, I will identify the norm systems that guide the professional behaviour of psychologists and examine their content and the manner in which they are related, interact, influence each other, and impact on the professional behaviour of correctional and forensic psychologists. I will pay special attention to the psychology profession's ethical principles that underlie the profession's codes of ethics and examine how the other norm systems influence the interpretation of codes and these ethical principles.