The Juvenile Skeleton in Forensic Abuse Investigations

Overview

Juvenile homicide and fatal maltreatment remain serious and pervasive problems in the developed world and especially in the United States, where in 2005 some 1,500 children died from neglect and physical abuse. Alarming statistics such as this, as well as an upsurge in the media attention paid to all things forensic, underscore the pressing need for the utmost rigor in the scientific investigation of child abuse cases. This well timed volume is a response to the climate of public and press interest in such ...

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Paperback (2011)
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Overview

Juvenile homicide and fatal maltreatment remain serious and pervasive problems in the developed world and especially in the United States, where in 2005 some 1,500 children died from neglect and physical abuse. Alarming statistics such as this, as well as an upsurge in the media attention paid to all things forensic, underscore the pressing need for the utmost rigor in the scientific investigation of child abuse cases. This well timed volume is a response to the climate of public and press interest in such inquiries, where the forensic aspects of the casework generate an enormous amount of attention. The contributions cover a wide range of topics and explore many of the finer details of investigations into juvenile fatalities suspected of being abuse-related. The chapters reflect both the multi-disciplinary nature of such investigations, and also the need for law enforcement professionals to take a rounded, holistic approach to the casework involved. The motivational factors that lead many professionals enter this arena of investigation are, of course, personal and individual. However, at the core of their commitment and their work is a shared need for justice, plain and simple. Victim advocacy and protecting the rights of children, both living and deceased, remains a key impetus for those professionals who specialize in child abuse research. At the heart of this book is the aim of providing both a vital resource for investigators, and a purposeful voice for the young victims of abuse, unable as they are to stand up and speak for themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Jennifer Forsyth, M.D.(City of St. Louis)
Description: This is a review of the current state of knowledge regarding investigating the juvenile skeleton in cases of abuse.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a deep and detailed review of skeletal findings in cases of juvenile abuse. These objectives are indeed worthy as scientific information on this subject tends to be scattered and found only in academic journals. Unfortunately, the book fails to deliver, as it is more of an introduction to the techniques than a detailed review. With the exception of the chapter on tooth and bone comparisons, chapters are far too general.
Audience: It is written for an audience of forensic investigators, ranging from medical death investigators to forensic pathologists and forensic anthropologists.
Features: The book covers many different aspects of death investigation in cases of suspected child abuse. Several useful charts that appear throughout the chapters would be useful references for a death investigation. However, there is considerable overlap in information between the chapters and a lengthy chapter devoted to general scene investigation that is not specific to skeletal trauma. One of the major shortcomings is a lack of photographs and illustrations.
Assessment: This is a useful primer that provides a good introduction to the techniques available for the evaluation of abuse in the juvenile skeleton. The references are a great place to research the details of these techniques. The book may have been better combined with the recently published Skeletal Atlas of Child Abuse, Love et al. (Humana Press, 2011). The atlas would have provided great side-by-side pictorial representations of the text descriptions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781627038898
  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/26/2014
  • Edition description: 2011
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction.- Fatal Child Maltreatment: The Challenges of Identifying the Causes and Incidence of Deaths from Abuse and Neglect.- Basic Juvenile Skeletal Anatomy and Growth and Development.- Biomechanical and Remodeling Factors in the Interpretation of Fractures in Juveniles.- Birth Trauma.- Nonaccidental Trauma.- Scene Investigation in Juvenile Death.- Medicolegal Issues of Battered Baby Syndrome.- Evidence of Neglect from Immature Human Skeletal Remains: An Auxological Approach from Bones and Teeth.- Fatal Starvation/Malnutrition: Medicolegal Investigation from the Juvenile Skeleton.- Juvenile Stature Estimation: A Chilean Perspective.- Bone Weathering of Juvenile Sized Remains in the NC Piedmont.

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