Managing Fear

The Law and Ethics of Preventive Detention and Risk Assessment

By Bernadette McSherry

© 2014 – Routledge

242 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415632393
pub: 2013-08-19
US Dollars$68.95
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Hardback: 9781138000735
pub: 2013-08-19
US Dollars$195.00
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About the Book

Managing Fear examines the growing use of risk assessment as it relates to preventive detention and supervision schemes for offenders perceived to be at a high risk of re-offending, individuals with severe mental illness, and suspected terrorists. It outlines a number of legislative regimes in common law countries that have broadened ‘civil’ (as opposed to criminal) powers of detention and supervision. Drawing on the disciplines of criminology and social psychology, it explores how and why such schemes reflect a move towards curtailing liberty before harm results rather than after a crime has occurred. Human rights and ethical issues concerning the role of mental health practitioners in assessing risk for the purposes of preventive detention and supervision are explored, and regimes that require evidence from mental health practitioners are compared with those that rely on decision-makers’ notions of ‘reasonable belief’ concerning the risk of harm. Case studies are used to exemplify some of the issues relating to how governments have attempted to manage the fear of future harm.

This book aims to educate mental health practitioners in the law relating to preventive detention and supervision schemes and how the legal requirements differ from clinical assessment practices; examine the reasons why there has been a recent renewal of preventive detention and supervision schemes in common law countries; provide a comparative overview of existing preventive detention and supervision schemes; and analyse the human rights implications and the ethics of using forensic risk assessment techniques for preventive detention and supervision schemes.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction and Theories of Risk and Precaution. Introduction. Theories of Risk and Precaution. Risk Assessment Instruments and Techniques. Part II: The Laws of Preventive Detention and Supervision Laws of Preventive Detention. Supervision, Control, and Community Treatment Orders. Proving Risk in Preventive Detention and Supervision Proceedings. Part III: Human Rights and Ethical Issues Human Rights Issues. The Ethics of Forensic Risk Assessment. Part IV: Conclusion Conclusion. Appendix A: Table of Cases. Appendix B: Table of Statutes.

About the Author

Bernadette McSherry, BA(Hons), LLB(Hons), LLM (Melb), PhD (York, Canada), Grad Dip Psych (Monash), is a Professor and Foundation Director of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute at the University of Melbourne, and an Adjunct Professor of Law in the Melbourne School of Law and the Faculty of Law, Monash University. She was previously a Professor of Law, an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow and Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Law and Mental Health at Monash University. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. Professor McSherry is a legal member of the Mental Health Review Board of Victoria and has acted as a consultant to government on criminal law, sentencing and mental health law issues.

About the Series

International Perspectives on Forensic Mental Health

A Routledge Book Series

The goal of this series is to improve the quality of health care services in forensic settings by providing a forum for discussing issues related to policy, administration, clinical practice, and research.

The series will cover topics such as mental health law; the organization and administration of forensic services for people with mental disorder; the development, implementation and evaluation of treatment programs for mental disorder in civil and criminal justice settings; the assessment and management of violence risk, including risk of sexual violence and family violence; and staff selection, training, and development in forensic systems.

The book series will consider proposals for both monographs and edited works on these and similar topics, with special consideration given to proposals that promote best practice and are relevant to international audiences.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY014000
PSYCHOLOGY / Forensic Psychology
PSY042000
PSYCHOLOGY / Assessment, Testing & Measurement