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A CRIMINOLOGIST LOOKS AT PRIVILEGE
AUSTIN MACCORMICK
Am J Psychiatry 1959;115:1068-1070.
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University of California, Berkeley, Calif.

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Abstract

The usefulness of psychiatry and acceptance of its enormous potential value in the law enforcement and correctional fields are growing steadily. The development of programs of individual and group therapy in correctional institutions seems to me the most significant thing that has happened in the correctional field in the past 40 years. Psychiatrists can speed their acceptance by fitting easily into the prison setting, and by making compromises that will make them more acceptable to old-line institution officials. I hope nothing I have said will sound as though I advocate such trimming of one's sails to the wind. In dealing with questions of privilege and in every other professional relationship, I believe unequivocally that principle, not mere practicality, should prevail. As an old hand in "the prison business," however, I do not believe they are always incompatible.

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