Psychological Jurisprudence: Critical Explorations in Law, Crime, and Society (SUNY series in New Directions in Crime and Justice Studies)

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A critical look at the relationship between law and psychology.

Psychological jurisprudence—or the use of psychology in the legal realm—relies on theories and methods of criminal justice and mental health to make decisions about intervention, policy, and programming. While the intentions behind the law-psychology field are humane, the results often are not. This book provides a “radical” agenda for psychological jurisprudence, one that relies on the insights of literary criticism, psychoanalysis, feminist theory, political economy analysis, postmodernism, and related strains of critical thought. Contributors reveal the roots of psycholegal logic and demonstrate how citizen justice and structural reform are displaced by so-called science and facts. A number of complex issues in the law-psychology field are addressed, including forensic mental health decision-making, parricide, competency to stand trial, adolescent identity development, penal punitiveness, and offender rehabilitation. In exploring how the current resolution to these and related controversies fail to promote the dignity or empowerment of persons with mental illness, this book suggests how the law-psychology field can meaningfully contribute to advancing the goals of justice and humanism in psycholegal theory, research, and policy.

“From his interdisciplinary background in psychology, sociology, and criminal justice studies, Arrigo has succeeded in adding a highly original voice of dissent to contemporary conversations—both scholarly and clinical—about the relevance of law and psychology to the regulation of mentally ‘disordered’ offenders and other psychiatrized populations.” — Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice

“If the criminal justice system is to be improved, the issues in this book must be addressed.” — Jeffery T. Walker, editor-in-chief of Critical Criminology

“Arrigo has hit another ‘home run’ and future scholars are fortunate to share and utilize his impressive analysis of the psychological approach implicit within the legal system. We can now safely advance beyond Mens rea and Freud’s understanding of human violence.” — Lloyd Klein, Bemidji State University

Contributors include Michael P. Arena, Bruce A. Arrigo, Jeffrey L. Helms, Shadd Maruna, Phillip C. H. Shon, Véronique Voruz, and Christopher R. Williams.

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