The Assessment of Criminal Behaviours of Clients in Secure Settings

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Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1994 - Social Science - 170 pages

`…this is a book written and edited by a group of eminent forensic clinical psychologists... it is a model of brevity and clarity, managing to encompass a full appraisal of the subject from the fundamentals of behavioural analysis through the special demands of making assessments in secure surroundings to report writing and appearing as an expert witness... Quoted references appear at the end of each chapter and are distilled so that there are neither too few or too many... a thoughtful section on `professionals' issues in working in such environments, a topic often overlooked and certainly not dealt with sufficiently in many texts... This is a useful and compact volume. I expect it will become a standard text for forensic psychology courses and I think the editors' hopes that it will find a readership amongst probation officers, social workers, prison personnel and forensic nurses will be realised... As a reasonable priced paperback it should find its way onto the bookshelf of every aspiring forensic psychologist and member of other disciplines who have to work in such settings or write reports.

-Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health

`a useful handbook with an impressive number of practical guidelines and examples for assessing some of the key offence groups in the criminal justice system. A commended reference.'

-The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice

The assessment of criminal behaviours of clients in secure settings poses a number of particular problems; the behaviour in question is neither currently evident, nor can it ethically be elicited. This results in a great reliance on official records and self-report, with the inevitable attendant problems of validity. Notwithstanding this, assessment is used for making critical decisions about a person's liberty and treatment, providing information for courts before sentencing and identifying strategies to be written into sentence plans and treatment plans. Recognising the assessment of criminal behaviour to be a complex and important skill, this text draws from a wide range of professional experience to give guidance to prison officers, probation officers and social workers, as well as psychiatrists and psychologists who are involved in the assessment of criminal behaviour. Report writing and the presentation of information in court, both of which form part of the important task undertaken by the professionals involved, are explored in separate chapters.


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Background to Behaviour Analysis
Special Demands of Assessment in a Secure Setting
Assessment of Sexual Offenders
Assessment of FireSetters
Forensic Report Writing
The Psychologist as an Expert Witness

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About the author (1994)

Mary McMurran is Principal Clinical Psychologist at Rampton Hospital, and Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at Leicester University. She has ten years' experience as a Prison Psychologist, with her main area of interest being drinking and delinquency. She has several publications, mainly in the British Journal of Addiction and the British Journal of Criminology, and is Publications Editor for the British Psychological Society's Division of Criminological and Legal Psychology. John Hodge is Director of Psychological Services at Rampton Hospital, and co-editor with Ian Hanley of Psychological Approaches to the Care of the Elderly.

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