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NCJ Number: 135565 Find in a Library
Title: Use of Psychiatric Evaluations in the Determination of Sentencing (From Criminal Court Consultation, P 189-208, 1989, Richard Rosner, Ronnie B Harmon, eds. -- See NCJ-135552)
Author(s): A R Felthous
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Psychiatric evaluations and recommendations affect sentencing in two ways: their consideration when treatment is an element of sentencing and their use in helping determine the severity of punishment.
Abstract: Psychiatric presentence reports can originate in several ways, depending on the laws of a particular jurisdiction. The diagnostic and therapeutic aims of these reports are consistent with the psychiatrist's therapeutic role, but in criminal sentencing the main legal concern is appropriate punishment. Thus, psychiatrists face the dilemma of whether to address dispositional issues such as the severity of sentencing or whether to address such issues only when favoring leniency. Even if psychiatrists follow the recommendation of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force and does not address disposition, they must remember that any effort to protect the public has security implications and that even clinical conclusions alone can affect the severity of punishment. Therefore, psychiatrists should aim for the ideas of both clinical and legal integrity. 46 references (Author summary modified)
Main Term(s): Presentence studies
Index Term(s): Forensic psychiatry; Professional conduct and ethics; Psychological evaluation; Sentencing recommendations
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