Psychology 2032B-001

The Psychology of Crime and Corrections

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


This course introduces students to a broad range of issues in forensic psychology. Topics include detecting deception, eyewitness testimony, investigative interviewing, roles and responsibilities, offender profiling, correctional psychology, risk assessment, victims of crime, and fitness to stand trial. A focus will be on critical thinking, skepticism, argument, and confronting assumptions.


Antirequisites: Psychology 2031A/B, 3313A/B, the former Psychology 3314F/G


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. So if you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course.


3 lecture hours, 0.5 course


       Instructor: Kathleen McKeown                                

       Office: Ursaline Hall, Brescia University College – Rm #356 

       Office Hours: By Appointment Only              



       Teaching Assistant: Daniel Machado            

       Office: Westminster Hall – Rm # 90B                                  

       Office Hours: By Appointment Only                        



            Time and Location of Classes: Monday 2:30-5:30pm in the Health Sciences Building, Rm #40  

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit: for more information on these resources and on mental health.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.


Pozzulo, Bennell & Forth (2017) Forensic Psychology (5th Ed.) Pearson 


  1. To challenge student’s pre-conceived notions about the role of psychology within the criminal justice system;
    2.   To provide students with knowledge of the basic vocabulary, research findings, and generally accepted concepts in the field of psychology and law;
    3.   To heighten students’ awareness of the problems and advances in the study of issues in psychological research in legal contexts;
    4.   To introduce students to the applications of psychological research in shaping public policy.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

- identify some of the major milestones in the history of forensic psychology
- understand the key concepts, principles and themes relevant to forensic psychology
- understand characteristics of deception, testimonies and witness statements
- identify concerns with assessment, treatment and intervention with psychopaths, homicidal, sexual and youth offenders

- understand the Canadian justice system with respect to Jury selection, policing, policies and laws which impact crime and corrections



Evaluation of material is based on two exams, each worth 50% of the course grade. Each exam is non-cumulative. The midterm exam covers material from January 8 – February 12 and the final exam covers material from March 5 – April 9.

Midterm Exam: 50% (multiple choice)
Final Exam: 50% (multiple choice)

Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:

70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 level courses
75%     3000-level courses
80%     4000-level courses
The Psychology Department follows the University of Western Ontario grading guidelines, which are as follows (see ):

A+  90-100      One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level
A    80-89        Superior work that is clearly above average
B    70-79        Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory
C    60-69        Competent work, meeting requirements
D    50-59        Fair work, minimally acceptable
F    below 50    Fail


The Midterm Exam will be held in-class on February 26 and will cover the lectures and Chapter
Readings from January 8 – February 26 inclusive.

The Final Exam will be during the final exam period, TBA (April 14-30, 2018), and will cover course material from March 5 until the end of the course.






Jan 08


Introduction to Psychology of Crime and Corrections

 Chapter 1

Jan 15


Harder Than it Looks on TV: History & Challenges of Forensic Psychology

Chapter 2, Chapter 3

Jan 22


Interrogations, Confessions & Deception Detection

Chapter 4

Jan 29


Eyewitness Accuracy & Testimony

Chapter 5

Feb 06


Child Victims and Witnesses

Chapter 6

Feb 12


Juries: Fact Finders

 Chapter 7

Feb 19


Reading Week

 No Class

Feb 26


Midterm Exam

 In Class

Mar 05


Prisons, Sentencing and Risk Assessment

Chapter 9, Chapter 10

Mar 12


The Role of Mental Illness in the Justice System

Chapter 8

Mar 19


Understanding & Assessing Psychopathy

Chapter 11

Mar 26


Young Offenders

Chapter 12

Apr 02 


Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Offenders

Chapter 13, Chapter 14

 Apr 09


 Homicidal Offenders

 Chapter 15


Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offenses because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offense are described at the following link:

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and

Possible penalties for a scholastic offense include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.


Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:


Office of the Registrar web site:

Student Development Services web site:

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:

- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.