Fieldwork Report

| November 23, 2015



In this module, conduct your first fieldwork on observations and interactions with forensic psychology professionals. Your interaction with these professionals can be face-to-face, as with a tour of a facility or an interview, or it can occur over the phone when face-to-face meetings are not practical. If you are unable to complete a face-to-face meeting, then follow up with your instructor.


  • Create a fieldwork report of your observations and interactions, including the following:
    • Name of the professional
    • The professional’s affiliation and agency’s affiliation
    • Degrees and licensure
    • Type of training in forensic psychology (if applicable)
    • Primary job responsibilities
    • Client population served
    • Any ethical conflicts the professional routinely encounters
    • Recommendations to a graduate student in forensic psychology
    • Other observations as deemed appropriate
    • Reflection on what you learned from the fieldwork experience and how you can apply it in your professional life

Write your report in a 2- to 3-page Microsoft Word document. Please follow the attached grading rubric.

Follow APA guidelines for writing and citing in-text references. All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.

Your report should rely upon at least two sources from additional professional literature; the sources must be cited in APA format. The literature may include relevant textbooks, peer-reviewed journal articles, and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu, .org, or .gov).




Fieldwork Observation

Psychology & the Legal System | FP6010 A01

November 18, 2015

Dr Leany


Fieldwork Observation

The Contact Person for the Fieldwork

            The contact person selected for the field work will be a former employee who has worked within a correctional setting. This may include a retired prison guard who has already established strong network of experts working in prisons, police stations, as well as juvenile detention centers. The contact person will be charged with the responsibility of providing links of information or representations between the authorities and other research participants and the fieldwork researchers. The person will also coordinate with the authorities and other research participants to determine the right time for conducting data collection and the most appropriate venue. Furthermore, the contact person will update the data collecting agents on any possible changes that may come up, especially with respect to the schedule or place of data collection. The contact person will have to be a reliable person whom the fieldwork team will be a reliable individual that the field work team may contact on a regular basis.

The type of fieldwork that will be conducted

            Since the research will entail visiting many sites, the type of field research that will be carried out is referred to as the multi-field site approach (Burgess, 2003). Some of the sites or locations that will be visited include: prisons and other community correctional institutions; police stations, as well as juvenile detention centers. The multisite field study is both qualitative and quantitative research approach that is meant for gaining a comprehensive understanding of different phenomenon within the correctional setting, especially issues that are rarely studied. It is a form of strategic scanning, since it merges various approaches to case studies, drawing from the positivist culture, the interpretative approaches as well as the qualitative study corpuses (Hannerz, 2003). This type of fieldwork is important since it entails the observations and evaluation of various locations using namely cross-case comparisons and explanation developing strategies for data analysis.

The organizations that will be visited

For the field work to be successful, various organizations will be selected as the research sites. The main organization that will be visited is the Illinois River Correctional Center and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. These organizations have data and information that is relevant to the topic under investigation (IDOC, 2015). They include: prisons and other community correctional institutions; police stations; as well as juvenile detention centers. The reason for choosing these firms as the potential research sites is that the three selected organizations are significant for gathering knowledge since they have forensic psychologists who work in such areas.  For instance, the juvenile detention centers have forensic psychologists who may offer valuable knowledge regarding juvenile delinquency, and the reasons their expert views on the subject. In police stations forensic psychologists working there may provide the field work teams with knowledge concerning ways of assessing mental fitness for trial or why it is important to measure fitness to stand trial (IDOC, 2015).

Background information of the organization

            The Illinois River Correctional Center is correctional institution for adult men. The organization is made up of twenty-nine buildings, which occupy a total area of four hundred thousand square feet (IDOC, 2015). The living sections are made up of four x-type housing units, each getting an orientation unit, segregation unit, as well as a healthcare facility containing fifteen beds. Furthermore the organization is managed by a special unit, which offers special security services for the prisoners that are hosted there. The firm rests on a total of approximately 100-acre piece of land, 40 of which are encased by a long fence (IDOC, 2015). The main mission of the institution is to safeguard the public from criminals by embracing a system of incarceration, supervisions, as well as programs that are aimed at returning appropriate criminals to the society with skills that are helpful in making them productive to the nation.

The date of the fieldwork

            The fieldwork will be conducted for three consecutive days. This is because there will be many sites to be visited. Therefore, the date for conducting the field study in the Illinois River Correctional Center will be on 5th December 2015, while the appointment date for visiting the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice will be 6th December 2015.

Expectations regarding the fieldwork

After the fieldwork, there are many expectations of the course areas that will be covered. First, the study will help in understanding the causes of recidivism and the necessary steps that can be taken to avert this trend. Secondly, the study will help in understanding the measures used by forensic psychologists to understand the level of sanity of suspects and what can be done to ensure that they are fit to stand trial. Thirdly, the field work will help in evaluating the methods used to treat various psychiatric disorders that patients may be suffering from. For instance, the fieldwork will assess the intervention strategies used to treat substance abuse and major depression among inmates.




Fieldwork plan

Interview with Prison Warden 8.00AM 10.00 AM 2 HOURS
Walking around and observing the Correctional Facilities under the Guidance of the Prison Warden 10.30 AM 12.30 PM 2 Hours
Taking Lunch 12.45 PM 1.30 PM 45 Minutes
Interview with the Forensic Criminal Psychologist 2.00 PM 4.00 PM 2 Hours
Touring the Case management facilities and the psychiatric hospitals within the prison 4.00 PM 6.00 PM 2 Hours


Alternative Fieldwork Plan

Activity Start time End time Duration
Interview with the Assistant Prison warden in case of absence of Prison Warden 8.30 AM 9.30 AM 1 hour
Touring and observing the correctional facilities 10.00 AM 11.30 AM 1 ½ hours
Interview with the Correctional Case Manager or his assistant 11.30 AM 1.00 PM 1 ½ hours
Seeking Organizational publications and data 2.00 PM 3.00 PM 1 Hour


Burgess, R. G. (Ed.). (2003). Field research: A sourcebook and field manual. London:




Hannerz, U. (2003). Being there… and there… and there! Reflections on multi-site ethnography.


Ethnography, 4(2), 201-216.


IDOC. (2015). Illinois River correctional center. Retrieved from






Assignment 2 Grading Criteria Maximum Points
Summarized the following details of the professional:

  • Name
  • His or her affiliation and agency’s affiliation
  • Earned degrees
  • Licensure
Described the professional’s training in forensic psychology and discussed it in relation to the individual’s primary job responsibilities and client population served. 32
Elicited and described any ethical conflicts the professional routinely encounters and assessed how the professional resolves these conflicts. 32
Elicited and described the professional’s recommendations to a graduate student in forensic psychology. 32
Elicited and provided other observations relevant to the practice of psychology. 32
Described what was learned from the fieldwork experience and reflected on how it can be applied to the professional’s life. 32
Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation. 8
Total: 200


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