Forensic Behavior Analysis SIG

Timothy J. Templin, MA, BCBA 

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has been useful in addressing societal problems related to the criminal justice field. For example, the role of teaching family homes in reducing recidivism and prison drug programs. An important impact has been on the treatment of adolescents and children to improve parenting for conduct disorder and reduce aggressive behavior and assaults in school. 

Our Special Interest Group (SIG) has undergone some important changes in the last year. 

We have elected a slate of officers to serve four roles. We have changed the name from the previous Crime, Delinquency, and Forensic Behavior Analysis, to Forensic Behavior Analysis (FBA). We have a website under development, and have been producing newsletters and video content for our members. Our total membership has now grown over 2,000 at the time of this writing. 

To ensure that those in the criminal justice fields have access to appropriate, evidence-based, behavior analytic, therapeutic resources to reduce crime and delinquency. SIG members have testified on behavioral intervention to reduce crime. Continued advocacy and research are needed to make behavior analytic services available to criminal justice, mental health, military and veterans’ fields and to document the efficacy of behavior analysis in these applications. 

Two SIG Members to Present at ABAI 49th Annual Convention in Denver, CO. Details are below: 

Title: Behavior Analysis, Functional Relationships, and Criminal Justice Symposium #203 

Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom H Date: Sunday, May 28th, 2023 

Time: 12:00 PM – 12:50 PM 

Behavior Analysis Assists the Criminal Justice System 

TIMOTHY TEMPLIN ( Endicott College) 

Abstract: There are many uses of behavior analysis to further the study of criminology, or otherwise assist in criminal or civil legal proceedings, as well as juvenile or adult correctional programs. Areas of interest related to this field have been reviewed in the literature, and in current practice, for this presentation. Among areas where ABA can branch into criminal justice include prevention of domestic violence, organizational behavior management for police officers, and restoration programs for competency to stand trial. The dissemination of ABA within the criminal justice field is also important, and the different areas of focus are covered by the Forensic Behavior Analysis (FBA) Special Interest Group (SIG) within the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). 

Behavioral Contingencies in Homicide 

KODEY LAI (Arizona State University) 

Abstract: Behavior analysis has the goal of being able to change behavior, specifically to describe, predict and control behavior. The assumption is that an individual’s learning history will affect their chosen actions and behaviors. Using this assumption, behavior analysis claims to predict and control behavior. There should be consistency in how homicide offenders act using this principle, in their past behavior, criminal history, and behaviors at the crime scene. 

Information from an individual’s learning history of previous years should therefore make it easier to predict homicide offenders. In this presentation, behavior analytic principles will be used to analyze behaviors and permanent products that are observable at the crime scene to show characteristics that should be present in everyday life, even with offenders of homicide. 

A quarterly meeting is planned for the SIG to further the goals of improving our website, increasing membership and offering career advice for those interested in this exciting field. 

Timothy J. Templin, MA, BCBA 

Forensic Behavior Analysis Special Interest Group – Director of Public Relations 

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