Impact of traumatic material on professionals in analytical and secondary investigative roles working in criminal justice settings: a qualitative approach

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Abstract

Professionals in analytical and secondary investigative roles are exposed to violent material on a daily basis with full immersion in the details of serious offenses. However, there is limited evidence of the impact of this on their mental health. Therefore, this research aims to explore the impact of traumatic material on the mental health of these professionals in police and law enforcement and the strategies they employ to cope with the nature of their work. Forty semi-structured interviews were conducted with these professionals from UK, Canada, and Europe. Five key themes were identified: “Analyzing material,” “Negative Influences,” “Coping Strategies,” “Additional Risk Factors,” and “Protective Factors.” From the findings, it is evident that these professionals are at significant risk of developing secondary traumatic stress, burnout, and sleep problems. The constant exposure to this material negatively influenced their feelings about their home and social lives. The implications of these findings and avenues for providing a supportive working environment are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Volume2022
Early online date21 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by AXA Research Fund.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Psychological distress
  • Mental health
  • Traumatic material
  • Distressing material
  • Analysts
  • Secondary investigators

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