Studies in forensic psychiatry- Glueck Bernard

Studies in forensic psychiatry- Glueck Bernard

Studies in forensic psychiatry- Glueck Bernard


When, in 1810, Franz Joseph Gall said: “The measure of culpability and the measure of punishment can not be

determined by a study of the illegal act, but only by a study of the individual committing it,” he expressed an idea which

has, in late years, come to be regarded as a trite truism. This called forth as an unavoidable consequence a more lively

interest on the part of various social agencies in the personality of the criminal, with the resultant gradually increasing

conviction that the suppression of crime is not primarily a legal question, but is rather a problem for the physician,

sociologist, and economist. Whatever light has been thrown in recent years upon this most important social problem,

criminality, did not issue from a contemplation of the abstract and more or less sterile theses on crime and punishment as

reflected in current works on criminal law and procedure, but was the result of research carried on at the hands of the

physician, especially the psychopathologist, sociologist, and economist. The slogan of the modern criminologist is,

“intensive study of the individual delinquent from all angles and points of view”, rather than mere insistence upon the

precise application of a definite kind of punishment to a definite crime as outlined by statute. Indeed, the whole idea of

punishment is giving way to the idea of correction and reformation. This radical change of tendency cannot be looked

upon as a mere misdirected sentimentality on the part of modern society, but is the inevitable result of the final conviction

that the solely punitive criminology upon which society has been relying in its efforts to eradicate criminal behavior from

its midst has proved a total failure. The idea of punishment as a deterrent of crime is, as a consequence, gradually losing

its hold upon modern criminologists, and in its stead we have been experimenting for some time past with such measures

as probation, suspended or indeterminate sentence, and parole. Now it can not be too strongly emphasized that in giving

these measures a fair trial we ought to guard against those very same grave errors which were chiefly responsible for the

failure of the old, solely punitive methods, namely, the dealing with the criminal act rather than with the individual

committing it. If these new measures of probation, suspended sentence, and parole, which are perfectly adequate in

theory, are to justify their existence in the practical everyday handling of the problem of criminology, we must not fail to

take into full account the very obvious natural phenomenon that human beings vary within very wide limits in their

susceptibility to correction or reformation, that some individuals because of their psychological make-up, either qualitative

or quantitative, are absolutely and permanently incorrigible and present a problem which can be dealt with in only one

effective way—namely, permanent segregation and isolation from society. It is on this very important account that the

psychopathologist’s place in criminology is fully justified. In endeavoring to aid in the solution of the problem of

criminology, the psychopathologist need not seek new methods of procedure but may safely rely upon those which have

aided him in elucidating in a very large measure the problem of mental disease. For criminology is an integral part of

psychopathology, crime is a type of abnormal conduct which expresses a failure of proper adjustment at the

psychological level.

It was not until the advent of the Kraepelinian School of psychiatry, with its intensive search for facts and the

resultant more accurate delineation and classification of types of mental disorder, that we began to acquire real insight

into psychopathology and were enabled to render more accurate prognoses. This more or less purely descriptive method

of study is at present being followed by an intensive analysis of the facts thus gained as exemplified in the present

psychoanalytic movement. It is conceded by all thoughtful observers that criminology will have to follow the same route

on its way to final solution. The series of studies here presented reflect an effort in this direction. It is aimed to present a

series of well-rounded-out case histories of criminal types as studied from the psychopathologist’s viewpoint, and in one

instance, at least, an attempt is made at an accurate and intensive psychological analysis of the biological forces which

were at the bottom of a career of habitual stealing. No attempt is made at hard and fast formulations. Our knowledge

concerning the criminal is still too meager to justify one in drawing dependable conclusions. But it is felt that this clinical

material emphasizes sufficiently the necessity of the psychopathological mode of approach to the problem of criminology.

For that matter, the excellent work being carried on by Dr. William Healy in connection with the Chicago Juvenile Court

and by psychopathologists in a number of other cities attests that this need is being gradually recognized by society. One

desires only to express the hope that the time is not far distant when our penal and reformatory institutions will likewise

serve the purpose of clinics for the study of the delinquent, and that such clinical instruction will form part of the

curriculum of at least every public prosecutor.

2023

1BASKI

13.5X23.5

978-625-6699-12-0

175 SAYFA


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Etiketler: Studies in forensic psychiatry- Glueck Bernard