Children as Victims, Witnesses, and Offenders: Psychological Science and the Law (Hardcover)

Children as Victims, Witnesses, and Offenders: Psychological Science and the Law Cover Image
By Bette L. Bottoms (Editor), Cynthia J. Najdowski (Editor), Gail S. Goodman (Editor)
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Grounded in the latest clinical and developmental knowledge, this book brings together leading authorities to examine the critical issues that arise when children and adolescents become involved in the justice system. Chapters explore young people's capacities, competencies, and special vulnerabilities as victims, witnesses, and defendants. Key topics include the reliability of children's abuse disclosures, eyewitness testimony, interviews, and confessions; the evolving role of the expert witness; the psychological impact of trauma and of legal involvement; factors that shape jurors' perceptions of children; and what works in rehabilitating juvenile offenders. Policies and practices that are not supported by science are identified, and approaches to improving them are discussed.

About the Author

Bette L. Bottoms, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Dean Emerita of the Honors College at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has published numerous articles and books about child abuse, children's eyewitness testimony, and jurors' perceptions of child victims and offenders. A past president of the American Psychological Association's Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, she is a recipient of the American Psychology-Law Society Early Career Award and eight awards for teaching excellence.Cynthia J. Najdowski, BA, is a doctoral student in social and personality psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on understanding how childhood sexual abuse and rape victims cope with their experiences. She also studies perceptions of juvenile offenders. She has received several competitive grants and awards in recognition of her work.Gail S. Goodman, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Public Policy Research at the University of California, Davis. She has received numerous awards and federal grants for research, and her studies have been cited in U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Her psycholegal research focuses on child maltreatment, trauma and memory, forensic interviewing, and juvenile delinquency.

Praise For…

"This excellent resource provides a wealth of information. Reviewing critical themes such as methods of disclosure, trauma, memory suggestibility, and the evolution of forensic interviewing, the contributors promote a more holistic approach for child victims and offenders. There are few texts that address child offenders in as comprehensive and thoughtful a fashion. Including international perspectives and visions for best practices in the future, this book is a key addition to the toolkits of psychological, medical, and legal professionals serving children involved in any aspect of the justice process."--Sharon W. Cooper, MD, FAAP, Consultant, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine

"Few topics in psychology and law have attracted as much attention as the challenging conflicts posed when children encounter the legal system as victims or offenders. This volume is both comprehensive and nuanced, assembling experts in the field to describe what we know and what we have yet to learn."--Shari Seidman Diamond, JD, PhD, Howard J. Trienens Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University School of Law; Research Professor, American Bar Foundation

"Bottoms, Najdowski, and Goodman have called on world-class colleagues to put together this definitive volume. Each state-of-the-science chapter addresses the application of research findings in legal contexts. This book will be indispensable for mental health experts in child maltreatment as well as lawyers involved in child advocacy."--Kathleen Coulborn Faller, PhD, ACSW, Marion Elizabeth Blue Professor of Children and Families and Director, Family Assessment Clinic, School of Social Work, University of Michigan

"The editors have assembled an internationally renowned group of experts to craft an authoritative volume that integrates the best behavioral science with important case law decisions. The resulting chapters do not disappoint. Readers will find the essentials they need regarding child victims and offenders, linked closely to key legal decisions and packed with valuable recommendations. Faculty teaching upper-level undergraduate seminars and graduate courses across disciplines that deal with crimes against children will want to consider adopting this book. Child protection professionals, many attorneys, and students planning to work in this arena will find it essential reading."--Gerald P. Koocher, PhD, ABPP, Professor and Dean, School of Health Sciences, Simmons College

"The fields of law and psychology have been moving toward a restructuring of justice for children--as victims and as offenders--that makes use of new, scientifically informed perspectives on child development. This volume is a definitive milestone in the progress of that movement. Above all, it is authoritative. Leading researchers have written succinct reviews of their respective areas of expertise, in a style that will be understandable to practitioners and policymakers. Offering updates on questions that have been asked for decades, the chapters also provide new information on issues addressed nowhere else. This book promises to both inform and organize our thinking about how law can best respond to children who are harmed or who harm others."--Thomas Grisso, PhD, Director, Law and Psychiatry Program, University of Massachusetts Medical School

"Although much has been written about child abuse victims and juvenile offenders in the last two decades, these literatures have not previously been presented together in such an authoritative, comprehensive, and accessible way. This book is both a resource for established scholars and a well-written introduction for students in applied developmental, forensic, and clinical psychology, as well as social work and juvenile and family law."--Michael E. Lamb, PhD, Head, Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK

"Each chapter of this book covers a crucial aspect in working with this at-risk population. It should be required reading by any clinician, forensic interviewer, attorney, student, or expert witness who works with children and families involved in our legal system. This comprehensive reference book covers topics in two areas: children as victims and witnesses, and children as offenders. The attempt made by its editors to cover research in both areas is what makes this book especially crucial reading....The editors have done an excellent job gathering a group of prominent clinicians and researchers to summarize the important topics related to children in the crossroads of the legal system. The book''s strength is in its ability to clearly and succinctly summarize the up to date research necessary for any individual working in this multifaceted field. The book is clearly state of the art and should be a resource book to every student and professional working with children involved in the legal system."--Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma

"Offers a balanced, up-to-date review and critique of issues imperative to children''s involvement in the legal system. The editors have brought together a renowned group of legal and social science scholars to address questions central in contemporary debates: When, and under what conditions, can researchers and practitioners believe children? What are children''s competencies or vulnerabilities as victims, witnesses, and offenders? How are children treated within a legal context, and what accommodations are necessary?....Throughout this volume, the editors deliver on their promise to support a holistic approach to research and practice with child victims and offenders....Perhaps most important, the contributors urge professionals to consider new paradigms and collaborations to create a deeper understanding of how the justice system can better serve children and youth."--Law and Society Review

"This scholarly book provides the clinician with essential background information about children who appear in court proceedings as a victim, a witness, or a defendant....All chapters are well referenced, with research data juxtaposed with courtroom vignettes....A useful comprehensive reference book for child and adolescent psychiatrists. The book provides a developmental perspective regarding children''s capacities as they relate to the expectations of a victim, witness, or offender in the justice system. It also provides a clear understanding of what the psychiatrist needs to know in order to work effectively within the justice system."--Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Product Details
ISBN: 9781606233320
ISBN-10: 1606233327
Publisher: Guilford Publications
Publication Date: August 1st, 2009
Pages: 412
Language: English