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CUTV News Radio spotlights Reneau Kennedy Clinical & Forensic Psychology

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Honolulu, HI – Sometimes even judges don’t have all the information they need to make rulings. In these instances, our justice system relies upon expert witnesses whose testimony assists in rendering decisions on questions before the court.

Forensic psychology is a marriage between psychology and the law. Dr. Reneau Kennedy is a clinical and forensic psychologist who specializes in providing expert witness testimony for both criminal trials and civil litigation. 

“Behind every one of these incidents is a very important story and I listen to every person’s story,” says Dr. Kennedy. “My job is to learn about an individual’s worldview to see where it clashes with legal questions and help courts make determinations that are fair and equitable.”

Forensic psychologists are most commonly used to determine an individual’s sanity at the time of a crime. Once a determination has been made about how an individual goes into the system, the question remains how long can they be kept within the confines of the system before they can be released.  Psychologists like Dr. Kennedy study these individuals to understand the concept of dangerousness: the risk factors associated with recidivism.

“It’s one thing to study someone who is still very angry, psychotic, dangerous,” explains Dr. Kennedy. “It’s another thing to sit across from someone who has killed their wife or their child and is in deep remorse for taking the lives of someone they loved. Those moments require us to understand how they came to be where they are. We do what we can to protect society, but we also help these individuals make meaning of their life as they go forward.”