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Journal of Human Growth and Development

Print version ISSN 0104-1282


MECLER, Kátia. Dangerousness: Historic evolution and practice of the concept. Rev. bras. crescimento desenvolv. hum. [online]. 2010, vol.20, n.1, pp. 70-82. ISSN 0104-1282.

The concept of dangerousness was created by the Positive School of Penal Law in the second half of the XIXth century. Since then, it has become one of the key concepts of the modern Penal Law.The Classical Penal Law School was oriented toward the severity of the delictuous act and its correspondent sentence. The Positive Criminal Law School took the delict as an indicator, a symptom of an abnormal personality. Although mainly dedicated for justifying discrimination and seclusion, its scientific orientation paved the way for etiologic thought that nowadays can be restored as a matter of rehabilitation for society - what was not a clear orientation by that days. Even then, however, the preventive mentality was already part of that approach, pointing out to the psychosocial factors as well as neurologic and genetic factors, which was not, however put into practice. It can be said that Classical Law used to deal with Crimes, while the Positive Law, with C riminals. This article presents the particular ways in which the historical evolution of the concept of dangerousness has affected the theory and the practice of Forensic Psychiatry until our days.

Keywords : dangerousness; violence risk; mentally disorder offender; ethics; history of forensic psychiatry.

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