Volitional Impairment and the Sexually Violent Predator

    Volume 48, Issue 4 (July 2003)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 1 July 2003

    Page Count: 8


    (Received 2 March 2002; accepted 2 December 2002)

    Abstract

    This article discusses psychiatry's limited conceptualization of volitional capacity and its application to sexually violent predator laws by exploring two legal opinions critical to predator case law (Kansas v. Hendricks and Kansas v. Crane). The author reviewed pertinent psychiatric literature on impaired volition to identify potential contributions and limitations that psychiatry may offer the legal field. Assessment of the ego dystonic nature of impaired self-regulation, utilization of recent advances in self-assessment and laboratory evaluation of impulsive behavior, and dimensional categorization of a volitional capacity construct are recommended as an approach to the assessment and understanding of an inability to control concept. This paper concludes that elements of volition may be psychiatrically evaluated in a way that contributes to the Court's understanding of that capacity. However, further study is needed to operationally define volitional capacity and address issues of assessment validity and reliability.


    Paper ID: JFS2002087

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS2002087

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    Author
    Title Volitional Impairment and the Sexually Violent Predator
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30