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No Remorse

Psychopathy and Criminal Justice

by Jacqueline B. Helfgott
Foreword by Robert D. Hare


Estimates are that up to 3 percent of the general population, and up to 20 percent of the prison populace, are psychopaths.

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Cover image for No Remorse

November 2018


Pages 368
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Psychology/Abnormal
  Crime/Crimes and Investigation

An in-depth interdisciplinary perspective on psychopathy suitable for those interested in criminology and criminal justice, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and other social science as well as general knowledge.

An innovative and indispensable resource for those wishing to investigate how and why psychopathy is important in understanding criminal behavior and its response, No Remorse: Psychopathy and Criminal Justice provides a comprehensive examination of the empirical research and cultural understanding of psychopathy.

The book examines ways in which the construct and concept of psychopathy have made their way into criminological theory and criminal justice practice. It offers a focused look at how the term "psychopath" is used and understood in law enforcement, the courts, corrections, victim services, and juvenile justice. Additionally, it examines historical, research, and cultural perspectives on psychopathy for understanding criminal behavior, exploring theories of and research into psychopaths, psychopathy and gender, and representations of psychopaths in film and literature.


  • Offers an in-depth, interdisciplinary perspective on psychopathy, useful across a range of fields and for general readers
  • Covers the history of the concept of psychopathy, and its move into criminal justice policy and practice
  • Examines the remorse factor and its role in criminal proceedings
  • Reflects the subject knowledge of an author who is highly respected in the field of criminal justice and has been featured by media including CNN, ABC News, Court TV, Associated Press, and Oregon Public Radio
Author Info

Jacqueline B. Helfgott is professor and director of the Crime & Justice Research Center at Seattle University's Department of Criminal Justice. She holds a PhD and an MA in administration of justice with a graduate minor in psychology. Helfgott has been involved in applied research and service in criminal justice since 1987, serving as principal investigator on projects including evaluation of the crisis intervention team model in law enforcement at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission and implementation of evidence-based practice in United States Probation and Pretrial Services Western District. She has authored or edited numerous books including Praeger's four-volumeCriminal Psychology.



"Psychopathy is considered by many to be one of the most significant challenges of the 21st century. In her new book, No Remorse: Psychopathy and Criminal Justice, Dr. Helfgott takes the reader through the complexities, applications and misrepresentations of this devastating personality disorder, and shows the reader its multidimensional perspectives, and its impact on society. In a fact vs. fiction world, where much of our understanding of psychopathy comes from social media, the Hollywood psychopath is often portrayed as an insane but glamorized hero, who is in a cage salivating through clenched teeth, while the scientific theory and legal implications of psychopathy become relegated to a mere footnote in a cheap how-to book.

Psychopathy is a very serious business, and this is a serious book. It is a must-read for professionals working in mental health, criminal justice, risk assessment, and related fields. Your lack of knowledge or misunderstanding of this disorder could prove to be far worse than professionally embarrassing for you. It could be deadly."—Mary Ellen O'Toole, PhD, Director, Forensic Science Program, George Mason University; Retired FBI Special Agent; profiler; and Author, Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Feelings Betray Us

"Helfgott masterfully guides the reader through the scientific study of psychopathy and its relevance to the criminal justice system. This text is long overdue. While there has been an exponential increase in psychopathy research in the past 25 years, the psychopath has been an orphan in the fields of criminology and criminal justice. In this engaging text, Helfgott puts that right by giving psychopathy a central place within criminological theory and the criminal justice practice.

A masterful analysis of the construct of psychopathy by a renowned scholar, this thorough and comprehensive text leaves no stone unturned in its search for the causes of psychopathy and the importance of this construct for the criminal justice system. It will be an invaluable resource for all criminal justice students - a must-read for anyone interested in understanding this devastating condition."—Adrian Raine, PhD, Richard Perry University Professor, Departments of Criminology, Psychiatry, and Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, and Author, The Anatomy of Violence

"Although the psychopath has long been recognized as posing special problems for the criminal justice system, therapists and professionals have long debated exactly how this condition should be recognized and defined, and what should be the appropriate response. In her book No Remorse, Jacqueline Helfgott has written an admirably thoughtful and perceptive survey of the issue of psychopathy, with a cutting edge account of the state of present research. This is an exceptional piece of scholarship, with far reaching policy implications. It deserves to find a wide readership."—Philip Jenkins, PhD, Distinguished Professor of History, Baylor University, and author, Using Murder: The Social Construction of Serial Homicide

"The psychopath walks the earth, littering it with broken hearts, broken minds, and broken bodies. But what are we to do? Dr. Helfgott brings us many answers in the first book to address the centrality of psychopathy in criminological theory and criminal justice and practice."—J. Reid Meloy, PhD, Forensic Psychologist and Author, The Psychopathic Mind

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