Blog: Steven Reisner

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September 28, 2012

Psychologists Demand Accountability for Torture from APA Ethics Committee

Posted by Deborah Popowski

Last week, psychologist advocates Trudy Bond and Steven Reisner sent the open letter below to the American Psychological Association president.  The letter calls for a review of the organization’s failure to investigate allegations that APA psychologists, including current Wright State University School of Professional Psychology Dean Larry James, were implicated in torture and other forms of prisoner abuse.

Open Letter to

President Suzanne Bennett Johnson

American Psychological Association

A.P.A. has taken a very strong stance against the use of torture, inhumane, and degrading treatment, and if anyone is able to identify A.P.A. members who have been involved in such activities, we will take disciplinary action.

— Gerald Koocher, former APA President, speaking on Democracy Now! (June 16, 2006)

September 18, 2012

Dear Dr. Johnson:

We are two psychologists committed to making certain that psychologists implicated in torture and prisoner abuse are held accountable by oversight bodies for their egregious ethical violations. We believe the public trust and the reputation of our profession depend upon such accountability.

We are writing at this time regarding ethics complaints filed with the APA Ethics Office against three psychologists who remain APA members in good standing: Dr. Michael Gelles, Dr. Larry James and Dr. John Francis Leso. Based on undisputed facts, these cases cry out for investigation and appropriate censure. We would like to briefly review some of the evidence for these complaints and express our concern with regard to the status of each complaint.

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