"INTERNET LAW BOOK REVIEWS" Provided by Rob Jerrard LLB LLM (London)

The Royal College of Psychiatrists

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Drugs: Dilemmas and Choices

Edition: PB

Authors: Working Party of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of Physicians

ISBN: 1901242447

Publishers: Royal College of Psychiatrists

Price: £9.50

Publication Date: 2000

Publisher’s Title Information

The 'drug problem' is getting steadily worse. Convictions for drug offences, number of known addicts and Customs seizures have been rising inexorably for 40 years. So has the number of young people using illegal drugs.

Similar changes are occurring in other countries and the vast international drug trade defies all attempts to suppress it. Yet, remarkably, there is almost no public discussion of current control policies.

This book, written by a multi-disciplinary group of experts, aims to stimulate an informed debate about the possible alternatives to these unsuccessful policies. It describes the historical reason why alcohol and tobacco are legal while heroin and amphetamine are not. It discusses the reasons why people use drugs, the consequences of their doing so and the benefits and limitation of treatment. The authors investigate the lessons to be learnt from previous attempts to curb drug and alcohol use, how the 1.4 billion pounds that the UK Government currently devotes to drug control might be better spent in future, and what would be likely to happen if cannabis, or even heroin, were to be 'legalised'.

There are no easy answers. Read this book and draw your own conclusions.




Chapter 1. The main drugs

Chapter 2. Drugs and society – the historical background

Chapter 3. The rise of drug use in the UK

Chapter 4. The complex causes of drug use

Chapter 5. Consequences of drug use – for the individual and society

Chapter 6. The international drugs trade

Chapter 7. Policies for prevention and control

Chapter 8. Treatment of drug misuse

Chapter 9. Lessons from history

Chapter 10. The key issues



Appendix I. Working Party Membership

Appendix II. Expert witnesses who gave evidence to the Working Party


Safeguards for Young Minds: Young People and Protective Legislation

Edition: Second

Authors: Richard White, Anthony Harbour and Richard Williams.

ISBN: 1904671020

Publishers: Royal College of Psychiatrists

Price: £15

Publication Date: 2004

Publisher’s Title Information

Now in its second edition, this key title is concerned with the law in England and Wales as it applies to protecting the interests, health, safety and welfare of children and adolescents. The authors have provided a slim, up-to-date and easily readable handbook or summary of the most important legislative provisions that apply to safeguarding children and young people.

The text has been thoroughly revised and updated. Since the first edition was published, the Human Rights Act 1998 has become law in the UK. Therefore, Safeguards for Young Minds now includes a brief overview of that Act. The core of this book is a summary of the Children Act 1989, the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Code of Practice to the Mental Health Act. A series of chapters covers application of the Mental Health Act 1983 to younger people, based on material developed from the Royal College of Psychiatrists' popular section 12(2) training courses.

Also explained are amendments to the Children Act 1989 consequent on legal judgments and recent legislation, such as the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 and the Adoption and Children Act 2002. Key chapters provide an updated account of matters relating to consent given by or on behalf of minors, and there are important additions on new procedures for courts in England and Wales to follow when appointing and briefing experts and about what is required of them.

 This new edition will meet the needs of child and adolescent psychiatrists who are training for approval under section 12(2) of the Mental Health Act 1983. It is also appropriate for social workers who are training as ASWs as it is directly relevant to assessing and managing young people under the age of 18.

 Suitable for the day-to-day needs of all practitioners who work with children and young people.

Ideal for psychiatrists in training for section 12(2) approval.

Valuable for approved social worker training.

Recent case and statute law described and explained.

Issues of consent and capacity, and work with courts, covered in detail.

 "The book is well laid out, in bold print and with easily digestible chapters. It would be a valuable resource to practitioners as the boundaries between social worker and mental health nurses become blurred, and we are called upon more and more to be up-to-date with matters of the law."
Mental Health Nursing


The authors



An overview of the Human Rights Act 1998.

An overview of the Children Act 1989.

Private law orders in the Children Act 1989.

Public law orders in the Children Act 1989.

Orders in the Children Act 1989 for protecting children.

Consent to assessment, examination and treatment.

Admission of minors to hospital.

Restricting liberty under the Children Act 1989.

Restricting liberty under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Choosing between alternative legal frameworks.

Placements, after-care and other services.

Wardship and the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court.

Special educational needs.

Complaints procedures.

Work in the courts.

Further reading



Young People and Substance Abuse

Editors:  Hana Crome, Hamid Ghodse, Ellish Gilvarry and Paul McArdle

ISBN:  1904671012

Publishers Gaskell

Price:  RRP UK £15

Publication Date: Dec 2003

Substance misuse is one of the most common and serious yet preventable risks to a young person's health and development. This book provides an overview of the consequences of substance misuse, the interventions and services available and, most importantly, the way forward for improving treatment and services. Young People and Substance Misuse brings international expertise together with a UK health care perspective. It will give the reader an in­ depth understanding of the issues as well as suggesting practical solutions to a problem that affects so many aspects of the well-being of teenagers.

This is a book for all those who need to know more about the options for prevention and treatment - teachers, carers, parents, researchers and policy-makers as well as those working in the criminal justice system, social services and mental health care.

The book includes expert analysis of:

prevalence and routes to drug use

misuse of illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco

parental, family and social influences

treatment and prevention strategies

The Books Beyond Words Series, dedicated to people with learning disabilities or Mental Health needs.

Many people can understand pictures better than words. Books Beyond Words tell stories about important or difficult events that happen to people in their lives. The pictures speak for themselves. They tell us what could happen and show us how people deal with their feelings. "This series has established the highest reputation for tackling complex and difficult issues, clearly, compassionately and with considerable skill." - Viewpoint

Supporting Victims

Edition: 1st paperback

Authors: Sheila Hollins, Valerie Sinason & Catherine Brighton

ISBN: 9781904671527

Publishers: RCPsych Publications/St George’s University of London

Price: £10

Publication Date: August 2007

Polly is the victim of an assault. The man she accused is arrested, and she is asked to he a witness at his trial. Polly has learning disabilities.

Supporting Victims shows how the police help her to choose the special measures she needs to give her best evidence in court. All the special measures which are now available to vulnerable people are explained in this book. For Polly, as with many people, the most important thing is that she has a voice and is believed and listened to. Having a policeman, an intermediary, Victim Support and a judge all listen to you shows how powerful your voice can be. -:

The Authors

Sheila Hollins is Professor of Psychiatry of Learning Disability at St George's, University of London; Kathryn Stone is Chief Executive of VOICE UK; Valerie Sinason is Director of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies, London.

Catherine Brighton was trained at St Martin's School of Art and the Royal College of Art, and has written and illustrated many children's picture books and other titles in the Books Beyond Words series.


It is explained in the book that in the past some vulnerable people could not go to court to say what happened to them. They were not considered 'competent' to give evidence.

In 1999 the Government passed the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act, which deals with vulnerable (and intimidated) witnesses and is intended to help them to give best evidence. This Act knows that vulnerable witnesses are able to give evidence and provides for a number of things which will help them to do so.

People who are considered to be vulnerable are those:

Under 17 years old

Who have a mental disorder or a mental impairment or learning disability (which could include autistic spectrum disorders) that the court considers significant enough to affect the quality of their evidence

Who have a physical disorder or disability (which could include deafness) that the court considers likely to affect the quality of their evidence.

Therefore, people with learning disabilities can be given extra help. This is called 'special measures'. The court will decide whether or not a witness can have special measures and if so, which.

Instructions on how you should read books of this Series are given.  These include, asking questions.

Who do you think that is?

What is happening?

What is he or she doing?

How is he or she feeling now?

Do you feel like that?

This is the latest in a very useful series of books designed to convey their information in pictures.  The objective being to allow them to be read as a story.  People take the meaning they need from each picture and are encouraged to tell the story as they see it.  Alternatively, words are provided for readers or carers who want a ready-made story, rather than tell their own.  I would think a combination of both would often be better, because taking some of the pictures purely on face value could lead the victim off on the wrong tack. 

This picture story is that of a adult who has been hurt.  Perhaps it is left open in order to develop a particular type of hurt - rape, assault, indecent assault, whatever?  In the part headed ‘Support Victims’ it tells of ‘being hurt by stealing your property’! Perhaps the use of the word ‘hurt’ for theft is a bit misleading, however any crime will hurt your feelings.

There is a need for this type of book and this is well-written with particularly good chapters on special measures explaining the terms, 'Screens', 'Live Television links',  'Evidence in private', 'Removal of wigs and gowns,  'Video-recorded evidence', 'Video-recorded cross-examination'' 'Intermediary' and 'Aids to communication'. Explanations of whom they will see in court are also given. 

The book keeps the terms very simple, 'the defendant might have done (committed) the crime', and 'the defendant is a person who might have done the crime'.  Presumably this is deliberate and aimed at those of limited vocabulary. 

A good series and probably much needed.

Rob Jerrard

ALSO Available

Mugged, You're under Arrest, You're on Trial



This book tells the story of a young man who is attacked in the street and has things stolen from him. But the story could equally apply to a woman. We are not sure how many people are attacked in this way every year because they do not always report it. The book is not meant to scare anyone, but to help them deal with things better. This will mean that they don't need to be so worried. Some people may need help to work with this book or they might like to look at it by themselves and then talk about it afterwards. They may like to practise some of the ways of coping, either with friends or in a group, As well as this book, there are videos, tapes and booklets about looking after yourself. Other sorts of training can add to confidence and self-esteem and make people feel less vulnerable. Some people might need help with going on public transport again. This story doesn't explain what might happen if the muggers are arrested and taken to court. Our book Going to Court explains this very clearly. There have been some recent changes in the law to make it easier to give evidence. Details of these changes (called special measures) are described later in this book. These, when used together with Mugged and Going to Court, will help people to give best evidence.

You're under Arrest

This is a story about what happens when a person is arrested. Some people call this being 'nicked'. The police arrest people who they think have done a crime.

People who are under arrest often feel worried about what will happen. They do not know what to do. What happens to Dave in this story may not be exactly what happens to you, but it will help if you, or someone you know, are under arrest. The 'story' is told in pictures without any words although there is a text at the back of the book which may be useful too. You can make any story you like from the book as it will fit any crime.

If the police think that you have done a crime you may have to go to court. You can read about what happens at the Magistrates' Court in the book 'You're on Trial'.

The authors all work with people with learning disabilities. Sheila Hollins is Professor of Psychiatry of Learning Disability, St George's Hospital Medical School, University of London; Isabel Clare is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Lifespan Healthcare NHS Trust (Cambridge) and the University of Cambridge; Glynis Murphy is Reader in the Applied Psychology of Learning Disability at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Beth Webb is a psychological illustrator and author. This book is a joint publication between the Royal College of Psychiatrists and St George's Hospital Medical School

You're on Trial

This book is about what happens when someone is accused of a crime. It will help you if you have been accused of a crime and have to go to court for a trial.

In our story we see what happens to Dave when he has to go on trial in a Magistrates' Court, and we also see what a Magistrates' Court looks like. The 'story' is told in pictures without any words although there is a text at the back of the book which may be useful too. You can make any story you like from the book as the pictures will fit any crime and any verdict.

If the police think you may have done a crime, they will arrest you and take you to the police station. You can read about what happens at the police station in the book 'You're under Arrest'.

The authors all work with people with learning disabilities. Sheila Hollins is Professor of Psychiatry of Learning Disability, St George's Hospital Medical School, University of London; Glynis Murphy is Reader in the Applied Psychology of Learning Disability at the University of Kent at Canterbury; Isabel Clare is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Lifespan Healthcare NHS Trust (Cambridge) and the University of Cambridge. Beth Webb is a psychological illustrator and author.


·         "Internet Law Book Reviews" Copyright Rob Jerrard 2007