We have seen T.V shows such as CSI or Criminal Minds using criminal profile to link the people responsible for the crime. The feeling of suspense when figuring out with criminal profile as it unfolds and reveals to be fallen through or the detectives are a step behind make criminal profiling intriguing. We are kept on our feet thinking what is going on in the detectives minds and what are the next events unfolding within the criminals mind. In the end the detectives usually capture the criminal and bring justice in to the family of the victim. However, what is reality and fiction when using criminal profiling to find possible criminals responsible for the crime and is it effective? The merging of psychology with criminal justice is one way of helping identify and predict occurrences of criminal activities. This merge between psychologist and law enforcement gives more opportunity to narrow the list of possible suspects.
Profiling a criminal gets the law enforcement get into the mind of the criminal themselves which help them catch up from the scene to predict the next move the criminal will act. This is important because "behavior reflects personality"(Criminal Profiling). This help lets investigators start somewhere and eventually catch the person responsible for the action. Although profiling seems to work like a charm on T.V it is not in reality. A study involving profiling was made and given about 2 cases involving murder and rape with participants writing a report on the profile. The trained profilers wrote longer reports but didn't do no better than a non profiler did (Does profiling really work?). This makes profiling like a toss of a coin and unreliable. However, it has its limitation since it is in a lab environment.
I believe criminal profiling is a big help to the law enforcement to help identify criminals and predict their next move. Like what the retired FBI agent said "I think that there is an incredible value added when applications of psychology enter into the mix of what we do" (Criminal Profiling).
"Criminal Profiling" http://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/criminal.aspx
"Does Profiling Really Work" http://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/profiling.aspx