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Behavioral Sciences & the Law

Kimberly P Brown
Much has been written about how to conduct insanity defense evaluations, as well as how to operationalize the legal definitions of insanity. However, the insanity defense has never been categorized by a typology. This article describes a typology of six subtypes of the insanity defense: paranoid self-defense, "but it's mine," erotomanic stalking, deific decree, disorganized, and false report. Knowledge of these subtypes, while not all inclusive, can inform insanity defense evaluations, guide training, and potentially increase the reliability of forensic evaluators' opinions...
April 20, 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Caroline Titcomb Parrott, Michelle A Jones, Stanley L Brodsky, Clayton Shealy
This study used a mixed quantitative-qualitative methodology to examine whether mock jurors considered a defendant's meta-responsibility - specifically, the defendant's medication noncompliance and degree of insight into his/her schizophrenia - when determining the person's criminal responsibility. The degree of expert witness explanation regarding these factors was also varied. Participants (n = 173) were grouped into 30 juries, randomized across five conditions, and shown mock testimony and attorney arguments based on a real not guilty by reason of insanity court case...
April 20, 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Tess M S Neal
This project began as an attempt to develop systematic, measurable indicators of bias in written forensic mental health evaluations focused on the issue of insanity. Although forensic clinicians observed in this study did vary systematically in their report-writing behaviors on several of the indicators of interest, the data are most useful in demonstrating how and why bias is hard to ferret out. Naturalistic data were used in this project (i.e., 122 real forensic insanity reports), which in some ways is a strength...
April 19, 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Gianni Pirelli, Sara Hartigan, Patricia A Zapf
There is a burgeoning literature regarding using Internet-based data in employment, university admissions, and healthcare settings, but such pertaining to forensic mental health assessment (FMHA) contexts is only beginning to develop and professional ethics codes have yet to address these issues in depth. We present the first empirical investigation of mental health and related professionals' (n = 139) attitudes and practices regarding using Internet data in forensic and therapeutic contexts. Respondents reported their experiences and levels of agreement with items measuring beliefs and attitudes toward using Internet-based data in various professional situations (e...
March 25, 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Tracy D Gunter
People commonly use the Internet to search for health information and tend to use the information they find without regard to source or credibility. Although regulation plays some role in minimizing false claims made by manufacturers of self-help products, effective communication with health professionals likely offers greater protection to the patient or consumer accessing self-help materials. In order to best serve patients (or healthcare consumers), providers should educate them about their healthcare needs, inquire about self-help product use, understand appropriate use, discuss the risks and benefits of use, monitor the patients' condition during use, and document these conversations...
March 25, 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Peter Fromberger, Kirsten Jordan, Jürgen L Müller
Despite the successful application of virtual reality (VR) in a wide variety of mental disorders and the obvious potentials that VR provides, the use of VR in the context of criminology and forensic psychology is sparse. For forensic mental health professionals, VR provides some advantages that outrun general advantages of VR, e.g., ecological validity and controllability of social situations. Most important seems to be the unique possibility to expose offenders and to train coping skills in virtual situations, which are able to elicit disorder-relevant behavior-without endangering others...
March 9, 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Brian Holoyda, Jacqueline Landess, Renee Sorrentino, Susan Hatters Friedman
The last decade has seen a rapid increase in the use of smartphones among young children and adolescents. One consequence of this phenomenon is sexting. Although researchers of sexting have yet to arrive at a single, cohesive definition for the behavior, it generally involves the transmission of text, pictures, or videos containing sexual material. Different definitions of the behavior have led to widely varying estimates of its prevalence, although some studies have documented relatively high rates of sexting among teenagers...
March 2, 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Marie Henshaw, James R P Ogloff, Jonathan A Clough
Technological advances have dramatically increased the ability to access, distribute and produce child exploitation material (CEM) online, resulting in increased numbers of individuals being charged with CEM offences. This study examined the demographic, mental health, and offending characteristics of CEM offenders (n = 456) in comparison to child contact sexual offenders (n = 493) and offenders with a history of both CEM and contact offences (dual offenders, n = 256). A robust data linkage methodology was employed to link records from statewide corrections services with policing and mental health records in Victoria, Australia...
March 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Thula Koops, Arne Dekker, Peer Briken
Despite the relevance of the Internet and its increasing use for sexual purposes, research into online sexual activity (OSA) involving webcams is limited. Aside from positive experiences, OSA may implicate violations of sexual boundaries, reaching from minor issues to serious forms of sexual abuse. To provide a basis for a classification of sexual boundary violations online and a conceptualization of preventive measures, a systematic review of the literature on OSA involving webcams was conducted, resulting in publications from four thematic categories: webcam use in common OSA, psychopathological phenomena, sex work, and crime and indecency (commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, and sexual boundary violations)...
March 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Thanh Ly, R Gregg Dwyer, J Paul Fedoroff
In the realm of sexual offenses, there has been a decrease in hands-on offenses, but an increase in online offenses against children. The current issue is whether online and offline sexual offenders are alike or differ. This literature review investigates the differences among individuals who have committed child pornography offenses, individuals who have committed contact offenses against children, and individuals who have committed both. This review discusses the various typologies that have been proposed of those who have committed online offenses against children, the diagnostic implications of having committed child pornography offenses, and the current state of treatment and prevention of individuals who have committed online sex offenses against children...
March 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Patricia Ortiz, Eindra Khin Khin
The role of nonfictional and fictional media in suicide contagion has been well established, ostensibly beginning with the publication of Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther in 1774. In recent decades, the emergence of several new forms of media (e.g. websites, social media, blogs, smartphone applications) has revolutionized the communication and social interaction paradigms. This article reviews "the Werther effect" (or suicide contagion related to media), special populations who are more influential or susceptible, current media reporting guidelines and their effectiveness, and the latest research on new media and its effect on suicide and suicide contagion...
March 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Patricia R Recupero, Alan R Felthous
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Nicolas P Terry, Tracy D Gunter
Mobile medical apps (MMAs) are a fast-growing category of software typically installed on personal smartphones and wearable devices. A subset of MMAs are aimed at helping consumers identify mental states and/or mental illnesses. Although this is a fledgling domain, there are already enough extant mental health MMAs both to suggest a typology and to detail some of the regulatory issues they pose. As to the former, the current generation of apps includes those that facilitate self-assessment or self-help, connect patients with online support groups, connect patients with therapists, or predict mental health issues...
March 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Frederic G Reamer
Behavioral health professionals are making increased use of cybertechnology to deliver services to patients, communicate with patients, gather information about patients, and communicate with colleagues. The advent of cybertechnology - included the Internet, text (SMS), email, video, cloud storage of electronic records, and other forms of electronic communication and documentation - has introduced novel and unprecedented ethical and risk-management challenges. This article provides an overview of emerging issues related to informed consent; delivery of services; privacy, confidentiality, and privileged communication; boundary issues and dual relationships; documentation; and practitioners' relationships with colleagues...
March 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Joshua M Stewart, William Douglas Woody, Steven Pulos
We assessed experimental false confession studies using a meta-analysis to evaluate the prevalence of false confessions across methodologies and several moderator variables. False confessions were more likely in typing task studies than in collaborative or individual cheating studies. In typing studies, speed of typing did not affect false confession rates, but placement of the forbidden key in locations that rendered errors less plausible lowered the false confession rates. False-evidence ploys increased the likelihood of false confessions...
January 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Alexandra S Wimberly, Jordan M Hyatt, James R McKay
While continuing care for substance use treatment has been associated with reduced involvement in the criminal justice system, much of this research lacks random assignment to continuing care and so is limited by self-selection bias. This study sought to determine the impact of adding telephone-based continuing care to intensive outpatient programs on criminal justice outcomes for people with cocaine dependence. In three continuing care studies, spanning 1998-2008, participants were randomly assigned to an intensive outpatient program or an intensive outpatient program plus a telephone-based continuing care intervention...
January 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Richard Rogers, Allyson J Sharf, Rachel M Carter, Darby B Winningham, Rose N Sternad
The Miranda Rights Comprehension Instruments (MRCI) are intended to be administered to legally involved youths in a setting free from distractions and stressors with the explicit goal of assessing the examinee's best understanding. However, marked disparities have been observed between juveniles' MRCI performance and their unassisted recall of a representative Miranda warning. We hypothesized that youths' very strong MRCI performance might be partially due to prompts and clarifications used whenever incomplete or ambiguous answers are provided...
January 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Victoria Talwar, Kyle Hubbard, Christine Saykaly, Kang Lee, R C L Lindsay, Nicholas Bala
The present study examined differences in children's true and false narratives as a function of parental coaching by comparing the verbal markers associated with deception. Children (N = 65, 4-7 years old) played the same game with an adult stranger over three consecutive days. Parents coached their children to falsely allege that they had played a second game and to generate details for the fabricated event. One week after the last play session, children were interviewed about their experiences. For children with the least amount of parental coaching, true and false reports could be distinguished by multiple verbal markers of deception (e...
January 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Cindy Brooks Dollar, Bradley Ray, Mary Kay Hudson, Brittany J Hood
The number of problem-solving courts has grown substantially since the mid-1990s. Research consistently indicates that participation in these courts lowers recidivism, which is often attributed to defendants' increased perceptions of procedural justice in these programs. Yet, prior studies are limited in their focus, often examining interactions with the judge in a single court or examining defendant perceptions and outcomes at a single time point. In the present study, we investigate defendant perceptions of procedural justice with judges and case managers across multiple problem-solving courts over time...
January 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Logan J Somers, Kristy Holtfreter
The procedural justice framework has been applied in the criminal justice contexts of policing, corrections, and courts. According to this perspective, fair treatment, respectful dialogue and being given a proper voice will contribute to citizens' positive views of authority figures. While this literature has grown immensely, several questions remain unanswered. Do males and females perceive similar levels of procedural justice? Does mental health status influence perceptions of fair treatment? Whether procedural justice is a general perspective that can be applied across social groupings has important implications for correctional treatment in that programs that truly "work" for all are more cost-effective...
January 2018: Behavioral Sciences & the Law
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