The practice of forensic psychology. A look toward the future in light of the past

Am Psychol. 2002 Jan;57(1):5-18. doi: 10.1037//0003-066x.57.1.5.


In a 1987 American Psychologist article, Tom Grisso summarized the state of forensic psychological assessment, noted its limitations and potential, and offered suggestions for researchers and practitioners interested in contributing to its future. Since that time, there have been many important developments in the field of forensic psychology, as well as in clinical psychology more generally, some of which were anticipated and recommended by Grisso, and some of which were not. Forensic psychology is now at a crossroads, and the specialty must make an effort to respond to current challenges if it is to aid in the administration of justice by assisting legal decision makers. The need to distinguish between and identify levels of forensic knowledge and practice, establish guidelines for practice, educate legal consumers, and devote more attention to treatment issues in forensic contexts is highlighted.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Criminal Psychology / history
  • Criminal Psychology / trends*
  • Forensic Psychiatry / history
  • Forensic Psychiatry / trends*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Licensure / history
  • Licensure / trends
  • Societies, Scientific / history
  • Societies, Scientific / trends