When there is a lack of evidence, how do the investigators and others in the criminal justice field identify offenders? In many instances, they turn to criminal profiling.
While many cases have evidence that provides clues to the offender, some cases leave investigators with no apparent information at all. In these situations, criminal profilers are often assigned to the investigation. In many cases, the developed profiles may help detect, apprehend, and convict the offenders. There also are situations where the profile of an offender might be off the mark. As a result, it is important to bear in mind that while criminal profiling might be useful in tracking down offenders before they commit another crime, profiling should not be viewed as being 100% accurate. Much of the success of profiling hinges on whether profilers accurately identify key characteristics of offenders, such as age, race, gender, and lifestyle. Missing the mark on these characteristics might lead investigations down the wrong path and ultimately allow offenders to inflict additional harm on society.
For this Assignment, choose two of the offenders you have selected over the past 4 weeks (murderer, sexually violent offender, serial offender, and violent female offender). Consider how criminal profiling might have been effective in earlier detection and apprehension of the offenders. Next, consider specific factors that might be important to include in a criminal profile.
The Assignment (1–2 pages)
- Describe the two offenders you selected.
- Explain how criminal profiling might have been effective in earlier detection and apprehension of each offender.
- Describe factors for each offender that might be important to include in a criminal profile and explain why.
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