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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 67306 Find in a Library
Title: WHAT CAN PSYCHIATRY GIVE CRIMINOLOGY TODAY?
Journal: MONATSSCHRIFT FUER KRIMINOLOGIE UND STRAFRECHTSREFORM  Volume:62  Issue:4  Dated:(AUGUST 1979)  Pages:194-205
Author(s): S QUENSEL
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PSYCHIATRY AND CRIMINOLOGY AND NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL COOPERATION ARE EXPLORED.
Abstract: FOR OVER 100 YEARS, UNTIL THE 1960'S, THE ACTIVITY OF PSYCHIATRISTS IN CRIMINOLOGY WAS LIMITED TO PROVIDING EXPERT OPINIONS ON MENTAL COMPETENCE AND PERSONALITY DISTURBANCES. SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY BROUGHT NEW CONCERN FOR CRIMINALIZTION OF THE LOWER CLASSES. DEVELOPMENT WAS IN TWO DIRECTIONS: (1) THE HISTORICAL APPROACH, WHICH CONCENTRATES ON THE LEGAL APPARATUS AND MACROSOCIAL INFLUENCES, AND (2) THE SOCIAL WORK/SOCIAL PEDAGOGY APPROACH WHICH ADVOCATES DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT FOR THE FULL RANGE OF DEVIANCE FROM SPECIAL TO EVERYDAY DELINQUENCY. PSYCHIATRY HAS RECENTLY COME TO VIEW BOTH CRIME AND MENTAL ILLNESS AS INDIVIDUAL RESPONSES TO PROBLEMS INHERENT IN THE HISTORICAL AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT OF PARTICULAR SOCIAL CLASSES AND TO STUDY THE FUNCTIONS OF THIS BEHAVIOR WITHIN SOCIETY (E.G., CERTAIN GROUPS BEING USED AS SCAPEGOATS). BOTH RESEARCH AREAS HAVE THUS BEEN CONTRIBUTED TO PRACTICAL EFFORTS SUCH AS COMMUNITY PREVENTION APPROACHES, COUNSELING AND THERAPY TECHNIQUES, AND TREATMENT INSTITUTIONS. HOWEVER, PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH HAS NEGLECTED DEVELOPMENTS IN RELATED SOCIOLOGICAL FIELDS (E.G., EPIDEMIOLOGICAL PREVELENCE STUDIES, VICTIMOLOGY STUDIES, AND DARK FIGURES). UNFORTUNATELY, BOTH PSYCHIATRY AND CRIMINOLOGY HAVE ESTABLISHED HUGE, MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE BUREAUCRATIC STRUCTURES DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY FACE THE SAME FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS. THE DIFFERENTATION OF CLIENTS BETWEEN PSYCHIATRIC OR CRIMINAL JUSTICE INTERVENTION MEASURES STILL DEPENDS ON THE OUTDATED AND SIMPLISTIC CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENDERS AS EITHER MENTALLY ILL AND MERITING TREATMENT OR MORALLY DEFICIENT AND DESERVING PUNISHMENT. IN REALITY, THE TWO OVERLAP AS THEY DEAL WITH THE COMPLEXITY OF PROBLEMS AND NEUROSES EXHIBITED BY ALCOHOLICS, DRUG ADDICTS, AND OTHER ALIENATED DEVIANTS WHOSE DILEMMAS ARE NOT ENCOMPASSED BY EITHER PSYCHOLOGICAL OR LEGAL DEFINITIONS OF DELINQUENCY. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT HUMAN BEHAVIOR BE VIEWED AS A CONTINUUM BY BOTH DISCIPLINES, SO THAT CRIMINAL DELINQUENCY IS RECOGNIZED AS AN INTENSIFIED FORM OF EVERYDAY TRANSGRESSIONS (LITTERING, CASUAL DECEPTIONS), JUST AS MENTAL ILLNESS AND ADDICTIONS REPRESENT MORE SEVERE FORMS OF EVERYDAY PSYCHOPATHOLOGY (STUTTERS, TICKS). THIS APPROACH SHOULD GUARD AGAINST TOLERANCE OF CRIMINALITY OF THE POWERFUL (ILLEGAL ARMS TRADE, INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION) AND PROFESSIONAL ABUSES, BUT IT COULD PROVIDE A NEW AVENUE TO UNDERSTANDING DEVIANCE THROUGH PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. PSYCHOLOGICAL AND CRIMINAL DEVIANCE, CONCEPTUALIZED AS CONTINUUMS, WOULD CONVERGE IN A COMMON REDEFINITION OF 'NORMALITY', OPENING NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR RELIEF OF RECOGNIZED DISTURBANCES AS WELL AS FOR OTHER SOCIAL ILLS (STRESS, OPPRESSION) CURRENTLY ACCEPTED AS UNAVOIDABLE. IN THE FUTURE, PSYCHIATRY AND CRIMINOLOGY SHOULD EMPHASIZE THE COMMON CAUSATIVE AND SYMPTOMATIC ASPECTS OF DELINQUENCY STUDIED BY BOTH FIELDS AND INTENSIFY THE MUTUAL EXCHANGE OF PRACTICAL AND THEORETICAL INSIGHTS. NOTES ARE FURNISHED. --GERMAN. (KMD)
Index Term(s): Competency to stand trial; Criminal responsibility; Criminology; Forensic psychiatry; Mentally ill offenders; Research; Sociology
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67306

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