Indonesia is lacking forensic psychology experts amidst the need of them in court proceedings related to crime, corruption and terrorism cases.
Chairperson of Forensic Psychology Association (APSIFOR), Dra. Reni Kusumowardhani, M.Psi, Psikolog, said the number of existing 300 members of the Association was far below the number of cases to be handled, for example for terrorism alone the case was 200.
“We recommend around 200 people suspected in act of terrorism, whether they have high radicalism level or not to be given deradicalisation treatment or imprisonment,” Reni told journalists on the sidelines of a workshop, Assessment of Forensic Psychology in Practice, organised by Faculty of Psychology UGM in cooperation with APSIFOR at the Faculty on Tuesday (29/1).
Reni said apart from terrorism cases, they were requested for help in terms of forensic psychology analysis for alleged and suspected people in corruption cases with at least 50 cases had been handled since 2010. She said some analysis and recommendation of the forensic psychology experts had become a reference for judges in issuing a verdict. She added the Association also dealt with murder, abuse or rape cases. Appreciating the Police and prosecutor’s request for their assistance, she acknowledged, however, the limited number of experts in dealing with those cases.
Reni said this was caused by the unavailability of a formal education for forensic psychology. According to Reni, up to now the members of the Association are psychologists that have been certified by the National Professional Certification Agency. “Despite no formal education, this isn’t a problem as long as the professional code of ethics are prioritised and competence test and training are conducted,” she said.
Forensic psychologist from Maastrich University, Prof. Corine De Ruiter, Ph.D., said forensic psychology area was a new profession in the world. Around the world it is not easy to place the profession among others that are considered important in legal cases settlement.
Corine said currently recommendation from forensic psychology became the consideration of the judges before issuing a verdict. “The role and recommendation of forensic psychology experts is heard and become an input for the judges,” said Corine.
Acknowledging her lack of information of forensic psychology development in Indonesia, Corine appreciates the Indonesian Association that had started to play a role in each of trials and their recommendation was heard by the judges. To get a legal umbrella and formal education for this profession, she said, was much required by this profession in the future.