skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 135582 Find in a Library
Title: Forensic Evaluation and Treatment in the Same Institution: A Moral Dilemma (From Correctional Psychiatry, P 187-195, 1989, Richard Rosner and Ronnie B Harmon, eds. -- See NCJ-135571)
Author(s): W S Packard
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 9
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: This chapter examines the dilemmas and conflicts occasioned by having the same psychiatrist both treat and conduct court-ordered examinations of an inmate.
Abstract: Confidentiality becomes an issue when a psychiatrist has been treating an inmate prior to a court order that requires the psychiatrist to provide information to the court on the inmate's mental state. In such a case, the psychiatrist is fulfilling a legal function that may or may not be in the best interests of the inmate-patient. A second issue that can cause a dilemma is when the psychiatrist may feel that the duty to the inmate patient and the preservation of the therapeutic relationship are more important than meeting the need of the court. Inmates are often concerned about whether the information they divulge to a mental health professional will be obtained by others. In order to gain the inmate's trust and confidence, there may need to be a guarantee of confidentiality. An intrusion into this confidentiality by a court-ordered revelation of information and feelings shared in the treatment relationship may irrevocably damage the inmate's treatment. One resolution of the dilemma is for the psychiatrist to refuse to reveal any information obtained from the patient without the patient's express consent, except for situations where confidentiality does not exist, such as dangerousness to self or others and child abuse. 13 references
Main Term(s): Offender mental health services; Psychological evaluation
Index Term(s): Court orders; Forensic psychiatry; Professional conduct and ethics
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.