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NCJ Number: 77873 Find in a Library
Title: Dangerous People or Dangerous Situations? Some Implications for Assessment and Management
Journal: Medicine Science and the Law  Volume:21  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1981)  Pages:125-133
Author(s): H A Prins
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 9
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article defines the dangerous behavior of offenders in a social and environmental context; ethical issues are highlighted, and guidelines are suggested for the therapist's assessment and management of such offenders.
Abstract: Not all mentally abnormal offenders are dangerous, however, and not all dangerous offenders are mentally disordered. Defining and predicting violent behavior can be a problem, particularly with regard to those being released from institutions. In dealing with the dangerous offender, ethical issues concerning the deprivation of liberty must be considered. Thus, property offenders should not be deprived of liberty since loss can be compensated; any feasible alternative to detention should be used. With regard to assessment and management of dangerous offenders, the individual's total social situation must be carefully reviewed. In assessing the potential for dangerous behavior, factors for consideration include the nature and extent of precipitating stress factors in the offender's social environment, the offender's capacity for sympathetic identification with others, whether the offender derives satisfaction from inflicting pain, and previous employment history. The therapist who deals with dangerous offenders must acknowledge personal weaknesses, be prepared to respond effectively (and even directly intervene) in a crisis situation, and attempt to mobilize the offender's cognitive resources. The article includes 36 references.
Index Term(s): Mentally ill offenders; Problem behavior; Psychological evaluation; Psychotherapy; Social psychology; Treatment; Victim-offender relationships; Violent offenders
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