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NCJ Number: 50753 Find in a Library
Title: TREATMENT ISSUES
Journal: PRISON JOURNAL  Volume:58  Issue:1  Dated:(SPRING/SUMMER 1978)  Pages:3-16
Author(s): D B WEXLER
Corporate Author: Pennsylvania Prison Soc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Pennsylvania Prison Soc
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: EFFECTIVE MODES OF THERAPY FOR THE DANGEROUSLY MENTALLY ILL ARE DISCUSSED IN RELATION TO THE FORMULATION OF POLICIES REGARDING THE CONSTRUCTION OF SPECIAL FACILITIES FOR THESE PERSONS.
Abstract: SOME PROPONENTS OF SPECIAL FACILITIES FAVOR THE CONSTRUCTION AND USE OF THESE FACILITIES FOR THE FORCED REFORMATION OF MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS, CLAIMING THAT SUCH FACILITIES WILL REDUCE THE RATE OF CRIME. EVEN IF PSYCHIATRIC, PSYCHOLOGICAL, BIOCHEMICAL, AND NEUROLOGICAL TREATMENT MODES ARE EFFECTIVE, THERE IS LITTLE EVIDENCE TO INDICATE THAT THE ADMINISTRATION OF THESE TREATMENT MODES WILL LEAD TO A SIGNIFICANT OR EVEN A NOTICEABLE REDUCTION IN THE GENERAL RATE OF CRIME. FOR THE DANGEROUSLY MENTALLY ILL, THE RESULTS OF CORRECTIONAL REHABILITATION EFFORTS ARE AS IMPORTANT AS THE RESULTS OF TRADITIONAL PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC METHODS. APART FROM CONSIDERATIONS OF EFFICACY, RELEVANT TREATMENT QUESTIONS INCLUDE THE CONSTITUTIONAL OR LEGAL RIGHT TO TREATMENT AND THE EMERGING RIGHT OF PRISONERS AND PATIENTS TO REFUSE TREATMENT. THE LEGAL SYSTEM, THROUGH CASE LAW, LEGISLATION, AND ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS, IS STEADILY DEFINING AND REFINING THE RIGHT TO RESIST TREATMENT. IN VIEW OF THIS RIGHT, LEGISLATORS AND OTHER OFFICIALS WHO ARE CONTEMPLATING THE CONSTRUCTION OF LARGE SECURITY AND SPECIAL HOSPITALS IN ORDER TO FORCE TREATMENT ON RESIDENTS MUST RECOGNIZE THAT THEIR GOAL WILL NOT, FOR THE MOST PART, BE LEGALLY ATTAINABLE. IN ORDER TO PRESERVE THE BALANCE BETWEEN ACCORDING POLICE POWER PATIENTS (PATIENTS COMMITTED PURSUANT TO THE POLICE POWER OF THE STATE) THE RIGHT TO REFUSE THERAPY AND, AT THE SAME TIME, ALLOWING THEM TO SUBMIT TO THERAPY TO WHICH THEY GIVE THEIR INFORMED CONSENT, IT WILL BE NECESSARY FOR THE COURTS TO CLARIFY THE CONCEPT OF CONSENT. THE SOLUTION SEEMS TO LIE IN RECOGNIZING THAT PRESSURE TO SELECT A PARTICULAR OPTION, EVEN IF PRESSURE IS GENERATED BY A DESIRE TO AVOID OR REDUCE INCARCERATION, SHOULD NOT ITSELF BY DEEMED THE LEGAL EQUIVALENT OF COERCION. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Mentally ill offenders; Prisoner's rights; Psychology; Rehabilitation; Theory
Note: ABSTRACTED FROM 'CRIMINAL COMMITMENTS AND DANGEROUS MENTAL PATIENTS' BY DAVID B WEXLER, U S DEPARTENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE, 1976
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50753

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