International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine

Monstrous Crimes and the Failure of Forensic Psychiatry

Authors: Douard, John, Schultz, Pamela D.

  • Focuses on widely shared views about “monstrous” crimes and the “monsters” who commit them, and addresses the moral panic over sex offending, which exemplifies the phenomenon
  • Provides an analysis of both the scientific background and the ethical dimensions of forensic psychiatry and psychology
  • Provides insight as to how mass media rhetorically frame issues of public health, particularly in regard to criminal behavior
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eBook $149.00
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  • ISBN 978-94-007-5279-5
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Hardcover $199.00
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  • ISBN 978-94-007-5278-8
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $199.00
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  • ISBN 978-94-007-9605-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

The metaphor of the monster or predator—usually a sexual predator, drug dealer in areas frequented by children, or psychopathic murderer—is a powerful framing device in public discourse about how the criminal justice system should respond to serious violent crimes. The cultural history of the monster reveals significant features of the metaphor that raise questions about the extent to which justice can be achieved in both the punishment of what are regarded as "monstrous crimes" and the treatment of those who commit such crimes.

This book is the first to address the connections between the history of the monster metaphor, the 19th century idea of the criminal as monster, and the 20th century conception of the psychopath: the new monster. The book addresses, in particular, the ways in which the metaphor is used to scapegoat certain categories of crimes and criminals for anxieties about our own potential for deviant, and, indeed, dangerous interests. These interests have long been found to be associated with the fascination people have for monsters in most cultures, including the West.

The book outlines an alternative public health approach to sex offending, and crime in general, that can incorporate what we know about illness prevention while protecting the rights, and humanity, of offenders.

The book concludes with an analysis of the role of forensic psychiatrists and psychologists in representing criminal defendants as psychopaths, or persons with certain personality disorders. As psychiatry and psychology have transformed bad behavior into mad behavior, these institutions have taken on the legal role of helping to sort out the most dangerous among us for preventive "treatment" rather than carceral "punishment."

Reviews

From the reviews:

“The intended audience includes those interested in medicine and psychology and the application of information from these fields to forensic settings. … valuable for those directly engaged in clinical assessment of sex offenders in reviewing the issues and attitudes of society toward, and the ethical issues of, assessing for civil commitment of sex offenders. … Monstrous Crimes and the Failure of Forensic Psychiatry brings attention to how we treat sex offenders in our society.” (Juanita N. Baker and Vanessa A. Edkins, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 58 (45), November, 2013)

“This work is designed to stimulate discussion and offer suggestions for areas of additional research and discovery in forensic psychiatry, especially as it pertains to the evaluation and treatment of some of the more notorious criminals, sex offenders. … Though potentially enlightening for individuals from various fields of expertise (the justice system, social workers, healthcare providers), this book is targeted primarily for forensic practitioners who work, or are familiar with, this population of offenders. … The book is well written and well researched … .” (Steven T. Herron, Doody’s Book Reviews, August, 2013)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

  • Monstrous Crimes, Framing, and the Preventive State: The Moral Failure of Forensic Psychiatry

    Douard, John (et al.)

    Pages 1-11

  • Sexual Predator Laws: A Gothic Narrative

    Douard, John (et al.)

    Pages 13-33

  • Metaphor, Framing, and Reasoning

    Douard, John (et al.)

    Pages 35-50

  • Monsters, Norms and Making Up People

    Douard, John (et al.)

    Pages 51-70

  • The Sex Offender: A New Folk Devil

    Douard, John (et al.)

    Pages 71-93

Buy this book

eBook $149.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-007-5279-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $199.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-5278-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $199.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-9605-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Monstrous Crimes and the Failure of Forensic Psychiatry
Authors
Series Title
International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine
Series Volume
53
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-94-007-5279-5
DOI
10.1007/978-94-007-5279-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-94-007-5278-8
Softcover ISBN
978-94-007-9605-8
Series ISSN
1567-8008
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 200
Topics