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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 90523 Find in a Library
Title: Diagnostic Practices in Use in the Criminal-Justice System in England (From Criminological Diagnosis - An International Perspective, P 527-541, 1983, Franco Ferracuti and Marvin E Wolfgang, ed. - See NCJ-90506)
Author(s): D J West
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Lexington Books
866 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In England, assessments of offenders are made to help decide court dispositions, guide the institutional placement of offenders as well as their treatment, and help in parole decisionmaking, but the professional groups conducting assessments do not use any universally accepted system of diagnosis and prognosis of offenders.
Abstract: Institutional classification and parole decisions are made by the Prison Department and the Parole Board. These authorities provide little information on how their decisions are made. Their public pronouncements tend to speak of vague general aims, such as the avoidance of risk to the community, rather than specific criteria. Few publications are available describing the tests, observations, classification systems, or diagnostic practices used in making such decisions. In contrast, court proceedings are open to public scrutiny. Decisions are made according to detailed specifications of criminal law and procedure, and there are institutionalized means for challenging evidence and appealing decisions. Still, there is a lack of agreement on criteria for criminological diagnosis in the courts. Psychiatric reports, most often prepared by the prison medical service, and social-inquiry reports, prepared by probation officers, are used extensively by the courts, but these professionals do not use a systematic and uniform system of diagnosis. Twelve notes are provided. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Diagnostic and reception processing; England; Inmate classification; Presentence studies; Probation or parole decisionmaking
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