Profiling Final Paper

Profiling Final Paper - Brown 1 Introduction Is it possible...

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Brown 1 Introduction Is it possible to profile offenders? Is it possible to link drastically different offenders under one unique classification system? Research into this question has led to the fact that criminal profiling is in fact plausible, and is momentous in the field of law enforcement. This vague research question answers the following: a brief history of profiling; the application of profiling in the field; and the empirical validity of profiling to begin with. 1 In order to discuss profiling, it must be first defined. “A process whereby police officers 2 make judgments about another, relative to possible criminal activity, based on a number of overt and subtle factors which may or may not include such things as the person’s race, manner of dress and grooming, behavioral characteristics, when and where the observation is made, the circumstances under which the observation is made, and relative to information the officer may A brief history of profiling dates it back to the poet Homer. The history section will also cover the changes in profiling over the ages. The application of profiling was most formally established by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (F.B.I.) around the 1970s. Empirical testing within the field of criminal profiling is recently new. A review of relevant literature reveals that there is a great need for further research into the empirical validity of profiling. 1 All research was conducted on the EBSCO database, and was reviewed by peers of the field. 2 For the purpose of this paper, profiling is a process whereby multiple groups make judgments and assumptions (i.e. profilers, law enforcement, etc…).
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Brown 2 Discussion Profiling can really be linked back to the poet, Homer. In his classic poem, The Iliad , he described a character as an ugly, malformed man whose appearance was suggestive of a criminal disposition. Cesare Lombrosso caught on to the idea of being predisposed to criminality by anatomically associating and classifying people. This was the first real step towards systematically classifying offenders. Modern profilers might consider Cesare as the “father of profiling”. As of yet, there was no real application of profiling in any criminal case 3 . This all changed in 1888 when a series of violent murders in London baffled the police. Investigators sought out physician Thomas Bond to provide a description of the offender based upon behaviors displayed in the murders; and thus, began the application of profiling criminal offenders 4 . Some sixty years later, investigators used a psychiatrist, James Brussel, to profile a serial bomber who had been on a rampage for about ten years in New York City. Brussel predicted the offender to be neatly dressed, unmarried, in his fifties, and probably
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2008 for the course SOCI 374 taught by Professor Dr.eith during the Spring '08 term at Towson.

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Profiling Final Paper - Brown 1 Introduction Is it possible...

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