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Psychopathy and Law: A Practitioner's Guide

ISBN: 978-0-470-97238-0
314 pages
April 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Psychopathy and Law: A Practitioner
Psychopathy and Law: A Practitioner's Guide provides those working in the fields of law, the military, social and health services, politics, and business with a comprehensive introduction to psychopathy and the ways of thinking that guide the psychopathic mind.

  • Features case examples and - unique from previous texts in the field - links these to theory and empirical research
  • Represents an up-to-date resource for scientists examining psychopathy
  • Covers issues that have never been dealt with in regard to psychopathy, including those relating to families, civil law, war crimes, economical crimes and organized crimes
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About the Editors xi

About the Contributors xiii

Preface xix

1 Introduction 1
Helinä Häkkänen-Nyholm and Jan-Olof Nyholm

The Nature of Psychopathy 1

Short History 5

Measurement 5

Practical Application and Study Populations 7

Future Directions 8

The Structure of This Text 9

References 12

2 Assessment 17
Michael J. Vitacco, David A. Lishner, and Craig S. Neumann

Psychometric Properties of PCL Instruments 19

Psychopathy and the Law: Focus on the Insanity Defense 22

Potential Misuses of PCL Instruments in Legal Proceedings 25

Admissibility of PCL Instruments in Adversarial Proceedings 27

Ethical Issues with PCL Measures and Predicting Risk 29

Myths Associated with Psychopathy 30

Summary and Conclusions 32

References 32

3 Psychopathy and Brain Function: Empirical Findings and Legal Implications 39
Christopher Patrick, Noah C. Venables, and Jennifer Skeem

Introduction 39

Diagnostic Distinctions 40

Brain Measurement Techniques 43

Neuroimaging Studies of Psychopathy 45

Electrocortical Studies of Psychopathy 60

Key Assumptions in Research on Brain Function in Psychopathy That Constrain Stability, Interpretation, and Practical Utility of Findings 65

Acknowledgements 70

References 71

4 Cognition–Emotion Interactions in Psychopathy: Implications for Theory and Practice 79
Arielle R. Baskin-Sommers and Joseph P. Newman

Theoretical Perspectives on Psychopathy 80

Practical Issues in Psychopathy 86

Judicial Practice: Culpability and Post-incarceration Release 88

Treatment 91

References 92

5 Psychopathy inWomen: Presentation, Assessment, and Management 99
Caroline Logan and Ghitta Weizmann-Henelius

Introduction 99

The Construct of Psychopathy and Its Presence inWomen 100

How PsychopathicWomen Present 104

The Practical Management ofWomenWith Psychopathic Traits 112

Future Directions in Practice and Research 118

References 120

6 Psychopathic Features in Adolescence 127
Nina Lindberg

Personality Disorder in Adolescence 127

The Relationship of Psychopathic Traits in Childhood and AdolescenceWith Conduct Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder 128

Biological Factors 128

Psychosocial Factors 130

Psychopathic Traits and Juvenile Criminality 130

Stability of Psychopathic Traits 131

On Treatment 133

References 134

7 Psychopathy and Violent Crime 139
Mary Ellen O’Toole and Helinä Häkkänen-Nyholm

Psychological Analyses of Violent Behavior 141

Psychopathy and Law Enforcement 142

Base Rate of Psychopathy in Criminals 143

Crime-related Behavior 145

How to Identify Psychopaths From a Pool of Suspects 149

Concluding Remarks 152

References 152

8 Predatory Violence and Psychopathy 159
J. Reid Meloy

The Science of Predatory Violence 160

Measurement 163

Predatory Violence and the Psychopath 165

Legal and Judicial Issues 168

TheWay Forward: Future Research and Applications 170

References 171

9 Psychopathy in Economical Crime, Organized Crime, andWar Crimes 177
Helinä Häkänen-Nyholm and Jan-Olof Nyholm

Economical Crime 179

Organized Crime 183

War Crimes 192

Future Research and Practical Applications 197

References 199

10 Forever a Psychopath? Psychopathy and the Criminal Career Trajectory 201
Julia Shaw and Stephen Porter

Introduction 201

Psychopathy in Children and Youth 205

Violent Offending 209

Sex Offending 212

Conclusion 214

References 214

11 Psychopathy in Prisons 223
Hannu Lauerma

Introduction 223

The Offending Psychopath and Society 224

Psychopathy and the Prison Staff 226

Psychiatric Care 228

Measures Against Psychopathic Behavior 232

References 234

12 Psychopathy in Families: Implications for Clinical Interviews and Civil Proceedings 235
Helinä Häkkänen-Nyholm

Intimate Relationships 237

Parenthood 245

Working with Psychopaths in a Clinical Setting 248

Manifestation of Psychopathy in Civil Proceedings 251

References 256

13 Interpersonal Aspects and Interviewing Psychopaths 261
Jan-Olof Nyholm and Helinä Häkkänen-Nyholm

Introduction 261

The Psychopath’s Interpersonal Behavior 264

Deception and Manipulation 267

Threat of Violence 272

Practical Tips for Interviewing Psychopathic Individuals 273

References 279

Index 287

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Helinä Häkkänen-Nyholm is CEO of PsyJuridica Ltd., and an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Psychology at the University of Helsinki. She has published over 40 scientific papers on issues relating to psychopathy, violent crime, interview and risk assessment, and is the editor of the first Finnish textbook on psychopathy, Psykopatia.

 Jan-Olof Nyholm is a founding member and the Chairman of PsyJurdica Ltd. He has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement (both at an international and national level), and has published several works on psychopathy and interviewing.

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“This book is essential reading for anyone who is involved in providing or utilising expert witness evidence in cases pertaining to individuals with psychopathic traits.”  (The Psychologist, 1 January 2013)

The eminent editors of this volume are to be congratulated for having put together such an excellent collection of relevant and highly readable chapters on the interface between psychopathy and the law. The chapter topics were well-chosen, and the contributors are among the leaders in the field. The editors themselves have addressed several topics not previously covered, including civil litigation in family law, and organized crime and war crimes. This is a very important compendium, not only of the latest thinking on psychopathy, but of useful guidelines for using this information in accordance with professional, ethical, and legal standards for clinical and forensic practice. I highly recommend this book to everyone concerned with the implications of psychopathy for the criminal justice system.
Robert Hare, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of British Columbia

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