Assessing Sex Offenders: Problems and Pitfalls

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Charles C Thomas Publisher, May 14, 2014 - SOCIAL SCIENCE - 377 pages
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This book reviews the scientific evidence relevant to assessing the recidivism risk of sex offenders, as well as the issues related to sex offenders, in considerable detail. It is not an attempt for creating sympathy for sex offenders. Substantial numbers of psychologists claim they can accurately identify the recidivism risk of sex offenders. Despite the very limited, peer-reviewed data related to these claims, many psychologists insist the scientific evidence supports their efforts in this regard. Too often, the issues detailed in these chapters have been overlooked and/or misinterpreted. As a result, the likelihood of psychologists misusing and abusing scientific data when assessing sex offenders should not be underestimated. This book identifies numerous instances of such misuse and abuse. Topics include: sexually violent person civil commitment statutes, clinical judgment and clinical experience, guided clinical risk assessments, actuarial assessment of recidivism risk, actuarial instruments for assessing recidivism risk, computing classification accuracy, supplementary assessment procedures, adjusted actuarial assessments, diagnostic classification, treating sex offenders, and ethical obligations. Ultimately, however, the book challenges psychologists to recognize and respond to their scientific and professional responsibilities. When testifying as expert witnesses, ethical obligations prohibit psychologists from misinforming and misleading legal proceedings. These same obligations necessitate that psychologists support their opinions with relevant research data.

 

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Contents

Chapter 1 SEXUALLY VIOLENT PERSON
3
Chapter 2 CLINICAL JUDGMENT
31
Chapter 3 GUIDED CLINICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS
60
Chapter 5 ACTUARIAL INSTRUMENTS
115
Chapter 6 COMPUTING CLASSIFICATION ACCURACY
145
Chapter 7 SUPPLEMENTARY ASSESSMENTPROCEDURES
183
Chapter 8 ADJUSTED ACTUARIAL ASSESSMENTS
215
Chapter 9 DIAGNOSTIC CLASSIFICATION
234
Chapter 10 TREATING SEX OFFENDERS
266
Chapter 11 ETHICAL OBLIGATIONS
292
NAME INDEX
333
SUBJECT INDEX
341
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