Law, Psychology, and Justice: Chaos Theory and the New (Dis)order

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SUNY Press, 2002 - Law - 277 pages
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Law, Psychology, and Justice charts a new and provocative direction in the area of mental health and justice studies. Relying on the science of chaos theory, the authors provide a series of compelling, clear, and concise arguments for why many of our current forensic psychology practices have failed, producing, in their wake, “illness politics.” In addition, the authors explain how the interests of psychiatric citizens and the social well-being of society can be reconciled at the law-psychology divide, particularly when chaos (i.e., a mix of order and disorder) is embraced as an integral and natural, rather than disruptive and unhealthy, feature of living humanely with others. Case law illustrations are used throughout the book, grounding the more theoretically animated arguments. Issues such as the insanity defense, involuntary commitment, the right to refuse treatment, and the criteria for assessing whether a person is dangerous to self or others are discussed.

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The Theoretical the Controversial and the Justice
Delineating Disorder Defining Chaos
Postmodern Law Crime and Disorder On the Limits of Modern Theory and Knowledge
The Principles of Chaos Theory
The Meaning of Mental Illness
Dangerousness and Its Prediction
Civil Commitment
The Right to Refuse Mental Health Treatment
Unclear but Convincing Evidence A Case Study
Conclusion Law Psychology and Justice
About the Authors

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About the author (2002)

Christopher R. Williams is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology at State University of West Georgia.

Bruce A. Arrigo is Professor and Chair of the Criminal Justice Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the author of several books, including Social Justice/Criminal Justice: The Maturation of Critical Theory in Law, Crime, and Deviance and Introduction to Forensic Psychology: Issues and Controversies in Crime and Justice.

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