Studies in Forensic Psychiatry written by Bernard Glueck emcompasses the interface between law and psychiatry. Forensic psychiatry evaluates an individual's competency to stand trial, defences based on mental disorders (i.e. the insanity defence), and sentencing recommendations. There are two major areas of criminal evaluations in forensic psychiatry. These are Competency to Stand trial (CST) and Mental State at the Time of the Offence (MSO). Prisoners are known to have high rates of ASPD and malingering of psychotic or psychiatric illness would not be uncommon. There are also of course specific syndromes associated with the prison setting such as Ganser's syndrome which appears not to be a form of malingering. This book discusses specific case studies of "true prison psychosis" and explains why they do not appear to be cases of malingering. Of course prison is a stressful experience and may well precipitate brief psychotic disorder or even the first episode of more chronic schizophrenic illness. This is the competency evaluation to determine that a defendant has the mental capacity to understand the charges and assist his attorney. Studies in Forensic Psychiatry is an excellent textbook for anyone interested in psychiatry and/or the law. It is well written and full of interesting forensic psychiatric case studies.
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