December 22, 2008

New journal issue loaded with hot topics

The current (December) issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law has a slew of interesting articles on sex offender civil commitment, forensic brain imaging, religion and the death penalty, forensic assessment of problematic Internet use, psychotherapy with prisoners, competency case law, school shooter motivations, and other timely topics. Highlights include:

Use of DSM Paraphilia Diagnoses in Sexually Violent Predator Commitment Cases
This is the long-awaited article by DSM-III editors Michael B. First and Robert L. Halon, addressing diagnostic controversies in SVP civil commitment cases.

It is accompanied by two commentaries:
  • In Muddy Diagnostic Waters in the SVP Courtroom, forensic psychologist Robert Prentky and colleagues essentially agree with First and Halon’s critique. They state that misuse of the DSM in SVP cases is a serious form of "pretextuality."
Next comes a similar point-counterpoint series of three articles on functional brain imaging in court:
The full Table of Contents, with links to full-text pdf files, is here.

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