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NCJ Number: 92470 Find in a Library
Title: Ethics and Ethical Dilemmas in the Treatment of Sex Offenders (From Sexual Aggression and the Law, P 73-96, 1983, Simon N Verdun-Jones and Alfred A Keltner, eds. - See NCJ-92464)
Author(s): R Gordon; S N Verdun-Jones
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6
Sale Source: Simon Fraser University
Criminology Research Centre
Burnaby, BC,
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: Psychologists involved with the assessment and treatment of sex offenders face numerous complex ethical issues also faced by other professionals.
Abstract: The three basic roles of the psychologist are researcher, assessor, and treater. The basic ethical concerns associated with these roles are the possibility of physical or psychological injury as a result of the research or treatment, the potential for coercion of subjects to take part in the research or treatment, the problem of maintaining privacy, and possible deception or misleading of subjects regarding the nature of the treatment or the research being undertaken. All practitioners, including psychologists, must consider the risks and benefits of any professional relationship with a subject before entering into the relationship. Formal codes of ethics, such as that developed by the American Psychological Association and followed in Canada, provide only limited and vaguely expressed practical guidance for the resolution of individual problems. The roles played by psychologists in the criminal justice system flow from the form and content of the formal structures within which they must operate. Courts are showing growing acceptance of psychological opinion and a growing emphasis on the use of both psychiatric and psychologic treatment problems rather than indeterminate incarceration. The proceedings for dangerous offenders have received the most discussions. Cases in both Canada and other countries have established the psychologist's roles as those of expert witness, treater, assessor, researcher, and custodian and have underscored the complexity of the ethical issues surrounding these roles. A total of 95 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Code of ethics; Forensic psychiatry; Forensic psychology; Psychologists role in corrections; Sex offenders
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