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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77889 Find in a Library
Title: National Study of Ethical Dilemmas of Psychologists in the Criminal Justice System (From Who Is the Client, P 126-153, 1980, John Monahan, ed. - See NCJ-77884)
Author(s): W G Clingempeel; E Mulvey; N D Reppucci
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: American Psychological Assoc
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Sale Source: American Psychological Assoc
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper presents findings of the 1976 American Psychological Association's Task Force study of the ethical dilemmas of psychologists working for the criminal justice system.
Abstract: Answers of 203 psychologists to a questionnaire were analyzed. The sample was predominantly male (82.8) and white (98.4 percent). The most frequently provided services were psychological assessment of offenders (75.4 percent) and their psychological treatment (73.9 percent). Other significant services included consultation to administrators and training and screening of personnel. The questionnaire addressed such issues as the right to rehabilitation, the right to refuse treatment, indeterminate sentences, effectiveness of treatment, and prediction of violence. The findings indicated three major problem areas: (1) psychologists were frequently forced to make decisions of client versus societal welfare with inadequate decision-making instruments, (2) the linkage of treatment participation with reduction of sentence contaminated psychologist-client relationships, (3) with competing interests frequently at work, psychologists had to determine whether their loyalties lay with professional, institutional, or societal interests, even though their training emphasized individual client welfare. The choices were further complicated by confusion of treatment and punishment. Other findings and relevant case law are discussed. Statistical data, the questionnaire form, notes, and about 40 references are included.
Index Term(s): American Psychological Association; Professional conduct and ethics; Psychologists; Surveys
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