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Blog Profile / In The News

Filed Under:Academics / Psychology
Posts on Regator:504
Posts / Week:1.7
Archived Since:August 3, 2009

Blog Post Archive

International violence risk researchers launch free news service

I don't know about you, but I find it incredibly hard to keep up with the burgeoning research in risk assessment. In this era of international fear and carceral control, disciplines from psychology to criminology to nursing to juvenile justice are cranking out more articles each month, and the deluge can feel overwhelming. Show More Summary

Newspaper unfairly maligned forensic psychologist, news council holds

In an unprecedented case, a Washington news council has determined that the Seattle Times was inaccurate and unfair to a forensic psychologist targeted in an investigative series on the state's sexually violent predator program. Reporter...Show More Summary

DSM-5: Forensic applications (Part II of II)

Courts cling to DSM as "bible" As alluded to yesterday, in Part I, mental health professionals know not to take the DSM (or the ICD, for that matter) too seriously. It's just convenient fiction, or at best "useful constructs," mainly used to attain insurance reimbursement. Show More Summary

DSM-5: Much ado about nothing? (Part I of II)

Ambitious "paradigm shift" fizzles By now, you've seen the bad press about the American Psychiatric Association's new diagnostic codebook: Media pundits are labeling it "a manual run amok," so ambitious in scope that almost everyone qualifies for some mental illness or another. Show More Summary

Military sexual assault scandal unearths "illegal" psychiatric diagnoses

If you haven't been following the sexual assault scandals in the U.S. military, tune in: It’s yet another arena where bogus psychiatric diagnoses are playing a sordid role. Women soldiers who report sexual assault are diagnosed with psychiatric conditions such as borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder that get them drummed out. Show More Summary

Miracle Village: A haven for America's social pariahs

Almost 750,000 Americans are now on sex offender registries, and the numbers just keep growing. Because the truly dangerous are mixed in with the far more numerous low-risk offenders, registries are useless from a public safety perspective. Show More Summary

Attorney-client privilege trumps child abuse reporting law, court rules

Elijah W. ruling clarifies thorny issue in California Forensic psychologists are split as to whether we must breach confidentiality when a criminal defendant divulges child abuse or threatens physical harm to others. On the one hand,...Show More Summary

Spring reading recommendations -- forensic and beyond

Marauding bands of juvenile killers. Gang rapist kidnappers. Wife beaters. We’re talking elephants, dolphins and parrots, respectively. That's my forensic psychology angle on Animal Wise, a fascinating new book by nature journalist Virginia Morell.Not long ago, it was taboo in science circles to claim that animal have minds. Show More Summary

Forensic practice: A no-compassion zone?

Murder trial prompts professional dialogue Do empathy or compassion have a place in a forensic evaluation? Or should an evaluator turn off all feelings in order to remain neutral and unbiased?That question is at the center of a controversy...Show More Summary

Diagnostic controversies: Registration open for my Hawaii workshop

A shameless plug for my upcoming training workshop in Honolulu, sponsored by the American Psychological Association. CE's in paradise; what's not to like? To register, click HERE.

'Digital lynch mob' assaults expert witness in televised murder trial

Imagine you are testifying in a high-profile murder case being live-streamed over the Internet. Suddenly, an angry mob swarms all over you. More than 10,000 people sign an online petition urging a boycott of your lecture contracts. Your book gets a thousand negative hits on Amazon. Show More Summary

Upcoming trainings: Assessment; personal injury; sexual violence; ethics in diagnosis

If you are planning to be in or around Florida, New Jersey, Hawaii or London over the next few months, here are some recommended forensic trainings on the horizon: April 19 and onwards: Sexual violence workshops (London) Building onShow More Summary

Risk screening worthless with juvenile sex offenders, study finds

Boys labeled as 'sexually violent predators ' not more dangerous Juveniles tagged for preventive detention due to their supposedly higher level of sexual violence risk are no more likely to sexually reoffend than adolescents who are not so branded, a new study has found. Show More Summary

Study links childhood trauma and adult aggression

Call for trauma-focused treatment of offenders Children who experience abuse, neglect and family dysfunction have a heightened risk of developing health problems such as obesity, drug addiction, depression and heart disease in adulthood. Show More Summary

Evaluating juveniles: Grisso's classic updated for new era

In the 1990s a moral panic swept through the United States over juvenile "super-predators," ruthless youngsters devoid of empathy or morality who would terrorize the good citizenry, raping, looting and murdering with abandon. Although the hysterical, racially coded predictions proved unfounded, politicians passed harsh new laws that set the U.S. Show More Summary

Miracle of the day: 80-year-old man recaptures long-lost youth

(Or: How committing a new sex crime can paradoxically LOWER risk on the Static-99R) "How old is the offender?" Age is an essential variable in many forensic contexts. Older people are at lower risk for criminal recidivism. Antisocial behaviors, and even psychopathic character traits, diminish as criminals reach their 30s and 40s. Show More Summary

California high court upholds parolee confidentiality right

Two years ago, I reported on a California appellate opinion upholding the sacredness of patient-therapist confidentiality even for convicted felons who are mandated to treatment as a condition of parole. Today, the California Supreme Court upheld the gist of the ruling -- but with a proviso. Show More Summary

Note: Updated version of Sunday's post on "narcoanalysis"

For those of you following the case of Aurora Colorado mass murder suspect James Holmes and the judge's order that he be subjected to a "narcoanalytic interview" if he pleads insanity, I have updated the Psychology Today version of the post. Show More Summary

"Narcoanalytics" order in Aurora massacre case unprecedented

News flash: There is no such thing as 'truth serum' The next time the court appoints you to conduct a sanity evaluation, don't forget to order up a vial of truth serum. In an court order that breaks new legal ground, the judge presiding...Show More Summary

Remarkable experiment proves pull of adversarial allegiance

Psychologists' scoring of forensic tools depends on which side they believe has hired them A brilliant experiment has proven that adversarial pressures skew forensic psychologists' scoring of supposedly objective risk assessment tests, and that this "adversarial allegiance" is not due to selection bias, or preexisting differences among evaluators. Show More Summary

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