As courts censure civil detention practices, is it time for professionals to speak up?

[Note: Friends of Justice is a personal blog. I speak only for myself.]

“At what point do professionals in these settings openly acknowledge to them/ourselves that we are participating in systems that are openly unconstitutional and therefore unlawful according to the standards of much of the Western world? Even beyond American law, consider the case of Shawn Sullivan, who fled the US and was on Interpol’s most-wanted list. One of the UK’s highest courts denied a U.S. extradition request on the basis that Minnesota’s program to commit sex offenders indefinitely to treatment violates European human rights law. Lord Justice Alan Moses said returning Sullivan for trial with the possibility of later being placed in the sex offender system would be a “flagrant denial of his rights” under European law.

“With that in mind, professionals might also want to ask at what point we are violating basic human rights when we render “treatment” that no one can ever complete.

“As a profession, we have the research, the tools, and the templates to provide prompt and adequate treatment and to reduce the harm of sexual abuse, and yet we find ourselves in political climates where we cannot use them. At what point do we as individual professionals, or as professional organizations, take a stand against practices that are clearly not working to anyone’s long-term benefit? One need only look at the recent scandal of the American Psychological Association and its involvement with torture to see how collective inaction can ultimately bring disgrace to a profession.”

Read the full article by David Presoctt in Forensic Psychologist.