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NCJ Number: 68522 Find in a Library
Title: THESES ON COOPERATIVE WORK OF THE JUVENILE JUDGE WITH JUVENILE PSYCHIATRIC AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPERTS
Journal: MONATSSCHRIFT FUER KRIMINOLOGIE UND STRAFRECHTSREFORM  Volume:63  Issue:1  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1980)  Pages:54-60
Author(s): A FACKEN; C PFEIFFER
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: REASONS FOR FAILURE OF JUVENILE COURT JUDGES TO SEEK EXPERT PSYCHIATRISTS' OPINIONS, RECOMMENDED METHODS FOR SELECTING SUITABLE EXPERTS, AND THE DESIRABLE FORMAT FOR EXPERTS' WRITTEN OPINIONS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: JUVENILE JUDGES RARELY ENLIST THE AID OF PSYCHIATRIC EXPERTS BECAUSE OF THE SHORTAGE OF READILY ACCESSIBLE EXPERTS, ESPECIALLY OUTSIDE UNIVERSITY TOWNS. HEAVY CASE LOADS AND JUDGES' AND COURT ASSISTANTS' UNCERTAINTY ABOUT TYPES OF ISSUES REQUIRING EXPERT ADVICE FURTHER IMPEDE THE PRACTICE. THE INFORMATION DEFICIENCIES CAN BE REMEDIED THROUGH EDUCATION AND CONTINUING INSERVICE TRAINING FOR BOTH PROFESSIONAL GROUPS. THE LAW LEAVES DECISIONS ABOUT OBTAINING EXPERT OPINIONS TO THE DISCRETION OF THE COURT. STILL, JUDGES USUALLY ASK FOR OPINIONS ONLY IN THE MOST SERIOUS CASES AND THEN ONLY REQUEST PERSONALITY EVALUATIONS RATHER THAN DEVELOPMENTAL OR SOCIAL PROGNOSES. THE COURT REQUEST SHOULD BE VERY SPECIFIC ABOUT WHICH QUESTIONS EXPERTS ARE TO CONSIDER. EXPERTS SHOULD EITHER BE CAPABLE OF MAKING BOTH PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS, OR BOTH CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND PHYSICIANS SHOULD BE CONSULTED. EXPERTS MUST REMAIN NEUTRAL AND OBJECTIVE WITHOUT INTERFERING IN THE JUDGES' AREA OF COMPETENCE. THE WRITTEN OPINION SHOULD BE CLEARLY ORGANIZED (I.E., 1) BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION RELEVANT TO THE ISSUE AT HAND, 2) RESULTS OF THE EVALUATION, AND 3) A SUMMARY AND FINAL OPINION ON THE SPECIFIC ISSUE) AND SHOULD BE WRITTEN IN LANGUAGE COMPREHENSIBLE TO NONSPECIALISTS. THE PERSONALITY THEORIES ON WHICH THE OPINION IS BASED SHOULD BE ELUCIDATED. JUDGMENT ABOUT 'DESTRUCTIVE INCLINATIONS' ARE RESERVED TO THE JUDGE, BUT PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PSYCHIATRIC CONCLUSIONS ABOUT GENERAL INCLINATIONS MAY BE USEFUL FOR JUDGES' DECISIONS. INFORMATION RELEVANT TO PEDAGOGICAL AND THERAPEUTIC PROGNOSES FOR OFFENDERS SHOULD ALSO BE INCLUDED TO AID IN SENTENCING. OPINIONS SHOULD BE DELIVERED ORALLY AS FREE PRESENTATIONS, BECAUSE NEW FACTS MAY REQUIRE CHANGES IN THE WRITTEN STATEMENTS. --IN GERMAN.
Index Term(s): Expert witnesses; Germany; Judges; Juvenile court procedures; Psychiatry; Psychological evaluation; Psychologists
Note: RESULTS OF A SYMPOSIUM DISCUSSION HELD DECEMBER 1978, IN MARBURG, WEST GERMANY
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68522

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