M.A in Clinical Criminology
Clinical criminology is a healthcare profession that focuses on diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, training and counseling for a population that is between mental pathology and law-abiding behavior. It is a field that applies the research progress that deals with the influence of psychological, biological, social and forensic factors on human behavior and focuses on the relationship between the mental world and the forensic / legal field.
As part of their role, clinical criminologists primarily diagnose and treat people with mental health disorders, sex offenders, victims of sexual assault, at-risk minors, and offenders. They also provide expert risk assessment and writing services for the legal system, punishment systems, and rehabilitation and supervision frameworks. Additionally, clinical criminologists evaluate the effectiveness of existing rehabilitation, treatment, and punishment approaches and offer alternatives.
In 2010, an amendment to the Health Professions Regulation was published, one that regulated the practice of clinical criminology. Today, the profession is the only one of its kind in the country and in the world, where training is conducted as part of a master’s degree with a thesis and combines in-depth learning and experience in the clinical field. The profession of clinical criminology is essentially similar to the profession known in the world as forensic psychology.
Goal of the program
The Clinical Criminology curriculum at Ashkelon Academic College was built with the vision of increasing the quantity of the clinical criminologists in Israel and enabling these professionals to enter other fields of practice in the field of criminology.
The aim of the program is to train a graduate who is required to meet rigorous standards in both the clinical forensic field and the academic field, and to expand the clinical criminologist’s knowledge on diverse crime types and on the diverse population of law abusers and victims of criminal offenses. By doing so, this program will enable the professionals’ accessibility to additional and varied treatment and rehabilitation frameworks, primarily in the periphery of Israel, that desperately seeks talented professionals in the field.
Clinical criminologists are designated to work in legal and other wards in psychiatric hospitals, mental health centers, prisons, clinics, mental health rehabilitation frameworks, addiction treatment centers, youth at-risk, sexual harassment aggressors and victims, prison rehabilitation communities and in a variety of other places.
The Master’s Program in Clinical Criminology is designed to impart knowledge that combines the fields of psychiatry, law and criminology and provides academic training and clinical accreditation for the treatment of delinquent populations of all types.
The curriculum includes theoretical and clinical courses in psychotherapy, forensic psychotherapy, psychopathology, law, addictions, types and characteristics of crime, as well as clinical, group and individual practice in various institutions, connecting academic studies to clinical experience in the field. Courses and training in methodology are also provided, which will form the basis for academic research and thesis work, required by the Health Professions Act.
The master’s degree is part of a track with a thesis (research), its duration is about two years long and it includes four semesters. First year of study: Mondays and Tuesdays + additional Practical day (not including supplementary courses)
Prof. Efrat Shoham, Head of the Department of Criminology, chair of the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority’s research committee and chair of the Research Institute for Integrating Liberated Prisoners in the Community. Professor Shoham served for many years in the position of Chairman of the Israeli Criminology Association.
Dr. Moshe Birger, Program Director, Director of the Department of Legal Psychiatry. Dr. Birger is an internationally renowned Psychiatrist expert in the field of legal competence, criminal responsibility, risk assessments and treatment of law disobedient psychiatric population. Dr. Birger also serves as an expert advisor to the Ministry of Defense and Social Security.
The program’s faculty includes leading and senior researchers from diverse fields of research such as psychology, sociology, psychiatry, and psychopathology. The faculty integrates excellence in academic teaching and active research along with clinical and applied field practice. The academic and administrative staff personally accompanies the student during and after their studies.