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James Kimmel Jr, JD

Lecturer in Psychiatry

Research Summary

As a practicing lawyer, researcher, and writer, I am interested in the intersection of law, psychology, and spirituality and, in particular, the ways in which human beings respond to being wronged, how conflicts are resolved and healing takes place, and whether, and how, people control, or indulge, the desire for justice in the form of revenge/retribution--also known as motive control. I have studied, researched, and written about revenge-seeking, motive control and violence prevention for more than a decade, focusing specifically on how revenge gratification is a root cause of violence and can become a self-destructive, anti-social addiction/compulsion (justice addiction). I have developed a theoretical framework called nonjustice and an intervention called the Nonjustice System that are designed to prevent violence, promote healing, and control the desire for justice in the form of revenge. My research continues to focus in these areas using a highly collaborative process that includes medical sociology, public health, neuroscience, addiction science, psychology, spirituality, and law.

Coauthors

Research Interests

Anger; Conflict, Psychological; Dangerous Behavior; Emotions; Fear; Happiness; Hate; Hostility; Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders; Impulsive Behavior; Love; Morals; Personal Satisfaction; Power, Psychological; Risk-Taking; Social Values; Behavior Control; Intention; Pleasure; Forgiveness; Social Norms; Psychiatry and Psychology

Public Health Interests

Behavioral Health; Mental Health; Substance Use, Addiction; Health Equity, Disparities, Social Determinants and Justice

Selected Publications

  • Peer support on the “inside and outside”: building lives and reducing recidivism for people with mental illness returning from jailJ Pub Mental Health 18(3) 2019, 188-198. DOI:10.1108/JPMH-02-2019-0028
  • The Trial of Fallen Angels, a novelNew York: Penguin Random House/Putnam
  • Suing for Peace: A Guide for Resolving Life's ConflictsCharlottesville: Hampton Roads Publishing, 2005