Crime-Prevention Jurisprudence? A Response to Andrews and Dowden

By Birgden, Astrid | Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, January 2009 | Go to article overview

Crime-Prevention Jurisprudence? A Response to Andrews and Dowden


Birgden, Astrid, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice


Introduction

Recently, Andrews and Dowden (2007) published an article in which the risk-need-responsivity model was applied to risk assessment and justice processing regarding crime prevention and correctional rehabilitation. (1) The authors suggest that the risk--need-responsivity model can assist justice-, court-, and corrections agencies to apply a concept described as crime-prevention jurisprudence, where "a purpose of the courts is to apply sanctions in a manner consistent with legislation governing sentencing and to do so with attention to reducing offending through applications of RNR and an evidence-based, interdisciplinary understanding of the psychology of the criminal behavior of individuals" (441-442). To support this argument, the authors describe the personal, interpersonal, community-reinforcement perspective, on the one hand, and the risk-need-responsivity model, on the other (both classified as cognitive-social-learning theories) to show how these psychological theories apply to sentencing and the courts. In their introductory statements, Andrews and Dowden maintain that utilizing the risk-need-responsivity model to guide the legal and court systems in crime prevention could be "called an exercise in therapeutic jurisprudence ... but we are not comfortable with the clinical language of forensic mental health" (441; citations omitted). However, therapeutic jurisprudence is a conceptual framework (rather than a practice) developed by Professors Bruce Winick and David Wexler for the study of the role of the law and its impact upon the physical and psychological well-being of individuals who come in contact with the law (see Wexler 1990; 1995; Wexler and Winick 1996; Winick 1997; Winick and Wexler 2003).

This article will challenge three assumptions Andrews and Dowden make about therapeutic jurisprudence and the effective management of offenders to enhance community protection: (1) Therapeutic jurisprudence is therapy, (2) therapeutic jurisprudence fails to support reduced re-offending, and (3) crime-prevention jurisprudence is superior to therapeutic jurisprudence. In dismissing therapeutic jurisprudence, the authors only cite two articles published by psychologists, articles which are unrepresentative of the vast therapeutic-jurisprudence literature freely available in both Canada and internationally (see International Network). In my view, the article by Andrews and Dowden reflects an inadequate understanding of the legal concept of therapeutic jurisprudence and demonstrates a failure to consult the source articles on this burgeoning area of law.

Therapeutic jurisprudence defined

Before critically examining the three assumptions just mentioned, it is necessary to describe therapeutic jurisprudence. Professors Wexler and Winick have been publishing together in the area of therapeutic jurisprudence since 1975. Wexler describes the beginnings of therapeutic jurisprudence as follows:

I began working in the law and mental health field in the early 1970s, and wrote many different types of pieces: an empirical study of Arizona's civil commitment system, a conceptual critique of a psychosurgery case, a constitutional and behavioral look at token economies, an analysis of the links between the civil commitment and the criminal commitments systems, and a warning--which remains terribly important to the appropriate development of therapeutic jurisprudence--against subordinating justice concerns to therapeutic ones. (Wexler 1999a: 691)

While therapeutic jurisprudence initially developed out of analysis of mental-health law, three decades later, therapeutic jurisprudence analysis has moved well beyond mental-health law to utilize psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, and economics to examine the law and

[t]hus the field has transcended mental health law, and therapeutic jurisprudence has now been applied to analyze issues in correctional law, criminal law, family law and juvenile law, sexual orientation law, disability law, health law, evidence law, personal injury law, labor arbitration law, contract and commercial law, workers' compensation law, probate law, and the legal profession. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Crime-Prevention Jurisprudence? A Response to Andrews and Dowden
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.