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NCJ Number: 135554 Find in a Library
Title: Judges and Psychiatrists: The Question of a Collaborative Relationship (From Criminal Court Consultation, P 17-28, 1989, Richard Rosner, Ronnie B Harmon, eds. -- See NCJ-135552)
Author(s): H Owens
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although the relationship between psychiatrists and the courts has long been characterized by hostility, conflict, and poor communication, recent empirical findings in trial courts indicate that trial courts have positive attitudes toward psychiatrists and view their expertise as an important aid to fact-finding.
Abstract: The reasons for the negative relationships between psychiatrists and courts include the general expectation of an adversarial relationship, the experience of actual conflict in particular cases, and the unconscious processes that operate as a result of the adversarial expectations. The literature in forensic psychiatry amply confirms these problems. However, data from lower courts indicates that they are usually reluctant to set aside expert psychiatric opinion. In addition, a 1981 questionnaire survey of 53 judges from 24 states revealed positive attitudes and a desire for more psychiatric involvement. Two recent surveys in New York have confirmed the positive attitudes of lower court judges, indicating the judges have pragmatic attitudes toward their role and that of psychiatrists. Nevertheless, efforts are needed to improve the communication and cooperation between psychiatry and the courts. The most effective approach to accomplishing this is to improve the quality of training in forensic psychiatry. 26 references
Main Term(s): Forensic psychiatry
Index Term(s): Interagency cooperation; Judicial attitudes; Professional conduct and ethics; Psychiatric services
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