Blog Profile / In The News

Filed Under:Academics / Psychology
Posts on Regator:339
Posts / Week:0.9
Archived Since:August 3, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Study: Risk tools don't work with psychopaths

If you want to know whether that psychopathic fellow sitting across the table from you will commit a violent crime within the next three years, you might as well flip a coin as use a violence risk assessment tool. Popular risk assessment...Show More Summary

California prisons careening closer to cliff

For a minute there, it looked like California's prisons were on the verge of positive reforms. But the current situation in the state's massive prison system -- one of the largest in the world -- is far from encouraging. It's been a kaleidoscope of bad news lately. Show More Summary

Efficacy of sex offender treatment still up in the air

Sex offender group treatment, Larned State Hospital, Kansas "Did he complete treatment?" That is a front-burner question for judges and jurors in sexually violent predator trials. Understandably, before they decide to release someone...Show More Summary

Free, one-stop shopping: Bulletin lists violence articles

The first monthly bulletin from the Alliance for International Risk Research just hit my email box, collating August's journal offerings on violence risk assessment and management. A quick sampling from the 17 articles listed: LargeShow More Summary

Risk assessment tools plagued by 'authorship bias,' study finds

Reported predictive validity higher in studies by an instrument's designers than by independent researchers The use of actuarial risk assessment instruments to predict violence is becoming more and more central to forensic psychology practice. Show More Summary

Violence prevention: DC to host major collaborative venture

From U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to legal scholar Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, the speakers at next month's APA-ABA collaborative conference read like a who's who in the field of violence prevention. To give a flavor: Carl Hart, the neuroscientist whose memoir I recently featured, will speak on the contribution of U.S. Show More Summary

8-year prison term in long-running Ayres saga

The up-and-down case of a child psychiatrist who sexually molested boys sent to him by the courts for counseling has finally concluded -- at least for now. William Ayres, 81, pleaded no contest to molesting five boys and was sentenced this week to eight years in prison. Show More Summary

Forensnips aplenty, forensnips galore

Everybody knows that the war is over Everybody knows the good guys lost Everybody knows the fight was fixed The poor stay poor, the rich get rich That's how it goes, Everybody knows I can't seem to get Leonard Cohen’s haunting Everybody Knows out of my mind. Show More Summary

Deaths at Minnesota detention site bringing public scrutiny

State legislator calls SVP practices Unconstitutional Two back-to-back deaths at Minnesota's draconian Moose Lake facility have prompted new calls for reform of the United States' largest per capita preventive detention apparatus. More...Show More Summary

Cluelessness, complacency and the great unknown

The case of the self-blind psychologist An experienced forensic psychologist -- let's call him Dr. Short -- applies for a job as a forensic evaluator. He is rejected based on his written work sample. He files a formal protest, insisting that the report was fine. Show More Summary

New analyses undermine perception of DNA infallibility

Rags-against-riches case highlights technology's pitfalls If you trust in the technology of DNA matching, it was an impeccable case:Lukis Anderson's DNA matched that found on the fingernails of a San Francisco Bay Area millionaire killed in a home-invasion robbery. Show More Summary

ABC experiment exposes everyday racial profiling

In the wake of Mark Zimmerman's acquittal in the killing of Trayvon Martin, some have portrayed the killer as an outlier. But although most people aren't running around shooting down young Black men wearing hoodies, an experiment produced...Show More Summary

Dispatch from Queensland

Bond University, Robina, Queensland The blog posts are piling up like jets on a crowded runway, but I haven't been able to carve out the time to send them aloft. It’s been a busy week, lecturing to the criminology and psychology departments...Show More Summary

Most civilly detained sex offenders would not reoffend, study finds

Other new research finds further flaws with actuarial methods in forensic practice At least three out of every four men being indefinitely detained as Sexually Violent Predators in Minnesota would never commit another sex crime if they were released. Show More Summary

Summer reading, and more

My regrets for the dearth of blog posts as of late. I am feverishly working to prepare all of my upcoming seminars and trainings (while keeping up with forensic case work!). I hope to see some of you next month, either in Honolulu (at my APA workshop) or at Bond University in Queensland, where I will be hosting seminars and a forensic training. Show More Summary

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

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