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July 1969

The Mentally Abnormal Offender.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(1):113-114. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740190115016

For many decades now psychiatry has advanced a deterministic view of crime. Yet it is only within the past 20 years that the Law has been willing to include basic psychiatric tenets in its approach to the mentally abnormal offender. With this increasing acceptance of the psychological determinants of crime, there has also been an increased expectation on the part of jurists that psychiatrists would become more actively involved in this area, outside their traditional courtroom role, ie, prevention, detection, treatment and aftercare. Yet few members of the psychiatric community have seen fit to move into these relatively unexplored areas.

There is a great need for imaginative work in this field and improved intercommunication among the disciples involved. The Ciba Symposium on the Mentally Abnormal Offender attempted to provide a multidimensional bridge across which such communication might occur. The conference, held in July of 1967,

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