Animal Maltreatment: Forensic Mental Health Issues and Evaluations

Front Cover
Lacey Levitt, Gary Patronek, Thomas Grisso
Oxford University Press, 2016 - Medical - 378 pages
Animal maltreatment includes physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or hoarding of animals, and all states have laws prohibiting various forms of animal maltreatment. About one-half have statutory provisions mandating or allowing courts to order forensic mental health assessments of individuals convicted of animal maltreatment offenses. Yet there are few resources on this topic for mental health and legal professionals and none that offer guidance for evaluations in animal maltreatment cases.

Animal Maltreatment is the first book to provide an overview of animal maltreatment as a legal, clinical, and forensic issue. It offers guidance for mental health and legal professionals involved in the adjudication of animal maltreatment offenses, with a special focus on forensic mental health assessments in such cases. The book reviews the legal and social contexts of animal maltreatment and then describes research-based and clinical knowledge within the area. It offers perspectives on social and clinical responses in animal maltreatment cases and describes prospects for an area of forensic mental health assessment focused specifically on the forensic evaluation in cases of animal maltreatment. This is the first book that brings together descriptions of the characteristics of those who maltreat animals, factors associated with animal maltreatment behaviors, information about the impact on the animals themselves, and evaluations of offenders to assist courts in decisions about their rehabilitation. Animal Maltreatment will be of great benefit and interest to general and forensic psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers, as well as lawyers, legal scholars and students, veterinarians, humane law enforcement professionals, and others involved in animal welfare advocacy.


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SECTION II Theory and Research on Animal Maltreatment
SECTION III Responding to Animal Maltreatment
SECTION IV Forensic Evaluations in Animal Maltreatment Cases

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About the author (2016)

Lacey Levitt, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist who completed specialized forensic training at the University of Virginia's Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She was one of the key researchers involved in the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit's Criminal Histories of Animal Cruelty Offenders project. Dr. Levitt has authored or co-authored several peer-reviewed publications on issues involving forensic populations. She has worked as a forensic psychologist in a county jail and as a clinical psychologist in the assessment unit of a state prison.

Gary Patronek, V.M.D., Ph.D., is a veterinarian and epidemiologist who works as an independent consultant. He also maintains an adjunct faculty appointment at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, where he was previously the Director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy and founded the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC). Dr. Patronek has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications. He is recognized as one of the nation's foremost experts on animal hoarding.

Thomas Grisso, Ph.D., ABPP (Forensic), a clinical psychologist, is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and engages in consultation nationwide and internationally on forensic assessments and juvenile justice reform. He is nationally recognized as a leader in developing the field of forensic psychology; he pioneered concepts on which several types of forensic evaluations such as competence to stand trial have been developed. His research has focused on the development of models and methods for criminal, civil, and juvenile forensic assessments. Dr. Grisso has authored, co-authored or edited 14 books as well as a 19-volume book series for Oxford University Press on Forensic Mental Health Assessments. He serves as executive director of the American Board of Forensic Psychology.

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