Topic: Considering psychological approaches in the justice system.

The assignment is designed to test student’s understanding of psychological approaches and their application to public services and criminal behaviour.


In 2016, a project called ‘Beyond Youth Custody’ found a correlation between trauma and violent crimes among young people. The project reported that 91% of young offenders have experienced trauma resulting from abuse or loss.  Following this concerning report, the Ministry of Justice has taken the initiatives to implement a trauma-informed practice across the agencies of the justice system (Tribunals, police, prisons, courts, youth offending services). Trauma-informed approach could be defined as a system of development which is rooted in a complete understanding of how the exposure to traumatic events and incidents may affect the users of public services (the justice system in our scenario) and impact their  neurological, biological, psychological and social development (Paterson, 2014).  As a civil servant, you have been tasked to present a report in which you assess the efficiency of considering psychological approaches in the justice system. Your report is expected to address the following elements. 

1. A contextual introduction which signposts the report (around 250 words)

2. Investigate psychological perspectives and how they influence behaviour (1000 words)

–           Try to keep the discussion focused and concentrated here. First, read the full task and then decide on two theories you may wish to discuss, keeping in mind how they may back up and support your overall argument for the Ministry of Justice to implement trauma-informed practices.

–           For your discussion to stand out, you may want to:

–           Assess the similarities and differences between these theories in explaining human behaviour.

–           Analyse why an understanding and knowledge of your chosen theories is relevant to public services and to understanding social influence on behaviour.

–           In the light of the findings in ‘Beyond Youth Custody’ report, how does this theoretical understanding contribute to an effective implementation of trauma-informed approach?

3. Investigate theories of criminal behaviour and casual factors (700 words)

–           Here, you may want to analyse a real-world crime, applying psychological theory and identifying causal factors, influences and contributory factors. You are also expected to link your analysis to theories of criminal behaviour and indicate how the traumatic background of the offender may have contributed to their behaviour.

4. Assess how psychological perspectives, such as trauma-informed practice, are applied in the public services. (800 words)

–           Here, you may want to explain how psychological perspectives can be applied by individuals and teams in the public services to reduce criminal behaviour.

–           Do you think the Ministry of Justice has taken sufficient measures to address the need to adopt trauma-informed approach across its agencies? What is the evidence? (Tips: consider reoffending rates, rehabilitation programmes, the use of restorative justice…etc)

5. A rational conclusion influenced by your findings (around 250 words);

6. An accurate reference list of at least 15 different sources. 

Word count: 3,000 (+/– 10%)  [not including reference list]

The final submission for task 1 is in the form of a report.

You are required to make use of appropriate headings and paragraphs. All work must be supported with research and referenced using the Harvard referencing system. Use appropriate case studies, legislation and policy, organisational examples and academic theory to support your findings.

All work to be submitted as Arial 12 font with 1.5 line spacing. Written work must state the total number of words used at the end of the report [before the reference list].

Type of assignment: Report

Subject: Psychology

Pages: 11/3000

get a custom essay

Check our prices