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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69694 Find in a Library
Title: Psychology and Psychiatry in Courts and Corrections - Controversy and Change
Author(s): E A Fersch
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 381
Sponsoring Agency: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
Sale Source: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book considers the inordinate use of psychology and psychiatry in the courts as a serious problem that should be strictly circumscribed.
Abstract: The author advocates rethinking the interaction of psychology and psychiatry in courts and corrections; arguing that psychological and pyschiatric intervention must be on a voluntary basis. Three methods of handling problems arising out of the interaction of psychology and psychiatry and the law in courts are detailed: the traditional, the reform, and the rethinking methods. Focus is primarily on the liberal reform method and on the rethinking method. The liberal reform method emphasizes rehabilitation, a strong belief in psychology and psychiatry, and tolerance for diversity. The rethinking method is characterized by an emphasis on mandatory punishment--humane, swift, and sure--and voluntary rehabilitation (including the use of psychology and psychiatry). Drawing on case materials and on media accounts, the book documents the failures of the reform method and suggests ways in which rethinking the problem leads to more effective solutions. Some propositions contained in the volume are as follows: (1) forensic psychologists should not predict the future dangerousness of individuals, (2) courts should not validate deprogramming of religious converts or excuse illegal acts based on brainwashing defenses, (3) the insanity defense and parole should be abolished (4) marihuana and heroin should be legalized, and (5) statutory rape and incest, as well as child and parent abuse, should be reconceptualized. Approximately 750 references and author and subject indexes are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Court reform; Court rules; Criminology; Forensic psychiatry; Psychiatric services; Psychological evaluation; Trial procedures
Note: Wiley Series on Personality Processes
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