February 1970

A Handbook of Correctional Psychiatry.

Author Affiliations

By W Douglas Skelton, MD, et al. Price, Not given. Pp 44. Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20537, Vol 1, 1968.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;22(2):188-189. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01740260092013

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This handbook was written to provide the reader with an insight into prison life and the role of the psychiatrist in the prison and the court. In this concise report, consisting of seven essays, the authors have successfully depicted the prisoner's predicament and the concomitant problems facing the psychiatrist.

First, the many stresses affecting the prisoner and causing anxiety are examined. A scale of values based on vocation, ability to control others, nature of offense, length of sentence, possession of commissary privileges, etc, highlight the plight of one who is forced to adapt to an unfamiliar, depreciating, and dehumanizing environment. The prisoner's concern about every aspect of a new way of living is traced through the initial, middle, and terminal phases of incarceration. In doing so the authors astutely discern the most significant cause of frustration and bitterness: the loss of personal choice

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