skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

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: 35461 Find in a Library
Title: AVERSION THERAPY - PUNISHMENT AS TREATMENT AND TREATMENT AS CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT
Journal: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW  Volume:49  Issue:4  Dated:(MAY 1976)  Pages:880-983
Author(s): S N LEINWAND
Corporate Author: University of Southern California
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 104
Sponsoring Agency: University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AVERSION THERAPY INVOLVES THE SYSTEMATIC APPLICATION OF AN AVERSIVE REINFORCER ON A PERSON WHO HAS EXHIBITED UNDESIRED BEHAVIOR IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE FREQUENCY OF THAT BEHAVIOR.
Abstract: THIS NOTE EXAMINES THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF SUCH PROGRAMS UNDER THE CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS CLAUSE OF THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT. THIS EXAMINATION FOCUSES ON DISPUTING THE ARGUMENT THAT SINCE 'THERAPY' IS NOT 'PUNISHMENT', IT DOES NOT QUALIFY FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW UNDER THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT AND ANALYZES AVERSION THERAPY AS CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT BASED ON ITS INHERENT NATURE, ITS DISPORTIONALITY, AND ITS EXCESSIVENESS. THE GENERAL CONCLUSIONS OF THIS NOTE MAKE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN SEVERE AND LESS SEVERE AVERSION THERAPY PROGRAMS. UNDER THE STANDARD OF REVIEW APPROPRIATE FOR THE DETERMINATION OF CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT, THE SEVERE FORMS OF AVERSION THERAPY WOULD BE PROHIBITED FOR ALL PURPOSES BECAUSE THEY INVOLVE THE TORTUROUS INFLICTION OF PAIN. THE LESS SEVERE FORMS OF AVERSION THERAPY WOULD BE LIMITED IN USE UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES: (1) WHEN USED AS DISCIPLINE, THEY POTENTIALLY WOULD BE PROHIBITED AS ARBITRARY AND CERTAINLY WOULD BE LIMITED IN SEVERITY TO THE SAME EXTENT THAT CURRENTLY ACCEPTABLE FORMS OF PRISON DISCIPLINE ARE LIMITED; (2) AS INEFFECTIVE TREATMENT, THEY WOULD BE PROHIBITED BECAUSE THEY ARE INEFFECTIVE IN FURTHERING ANY VALID PENAL AIM; AND (3) IF (OR WHEN) THEY BECOME EFFECTIVE AS A REHABILITATIVE CURE, THEY STILL MIGHT BE PROHIBITED AS EXCESSIVE WHEN THEY DO NOT CONSTITUTE THE LEAST INTRUSIVE MEANS OF ACCOMPLISHING LEGITIMATE PENAL AIMS. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Cruel and unusual punishment; Inmate discipline; Involuntary treatment; Judicial decisions; Prisoner's rights; Punishment
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=35461

*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.