Criminal Profiling And The Justice System Essay

1609 Words Dec 11th, 2016 7 Pages
Profiling has captured the imaginations of Hollywood filmmakers and their audiences for well over a decade. Viewers are easily captivated by Sherlockian detectives who profile perpetrators with brilliant precision, making for bewitching plotlines and intriguing character developments. Yet experts are far more critical of this lasso-like investigative tool. Research suggests that investigators cannot simply walk into a crime scene, construct a profile based on whatever information is left behind, and make predictive observations that will inevitably lead them to the right suspect, as productions like “Criminal Minds” and “Silence of the Lambs” have led many viewers to believe. However, although profiling’s omnipotent abilities are exaggerated in the media, its use in criminal investigations has not been entirely debunked, with researchers and field workers attesting to its effectiveness in certain types of cases. This paper seeks to answer how effective criminal profiling is in the justice system and why agencies continue to turn to this method when it does not provide consistent results. The premise of this paper rests on the hypothesis that criminal profiling has a number of shortcomings, with many investigators remaining skeptical about its effectiveness but turning to it under certain circumstances — often as a last resort. However, although profiling remains an unideal investigative tool, it is more effective in certain types of cases than others, such as those with…

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