Treatment of Sex Offenders: Strengths and Weaknesses in Assessment and Intervention

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D. Richard Laws, William O'Donohue
Springer, Feb 29, 2016 - Psychology - 348 pages
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This rigorous survey offers a comprehensive rethinking of the assessment and treatment of sexual offenders for a bold challenge to practitioners. It critiques what we understand about offenders and the mechanisms of offending behaviors, and examines how this knowledge can best be used to reduce offending and relapses.

To this end, experts weigh the efficacy of common assessment methods and interventions, the value of prevention programs, and the validity of the DSM’s classifications of paraphilias. This strengths/weaknesses approach gives professional readers a guide to the current state as well as the future of research, practice, and policy affecting this complex and controversial field.

Included in the coverage:

  • Strengths of actuarial risk assessment.
  • Risk formulation: the new frontier in risk assessment and management.
  • Dynamic risk factors and offender rehabilitation: a comparison of the Good Lives Model and the Risk-Need-Responsivity Model.
  • The best intentions: flaws in sexually violent predator laws.
  • Desistance from crime: toward an integrated conceptualization for intervention.
  • From a victim/offender duality to a public health perspective.
  • A call to clear thought and accurate action, Treatment of Sex Offenders

    will generate discussion and interest among forensic psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and social workers.


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    Problems in the Classification and Diagnosis of the Paraphilias What Is the Evidence That the DSM Warrants Use?
    A Brief History of Sexual Offender Risk Assessment
    Strengths of Actuarial Risk Assessment
    Risk Formulation The New Frontier in Risk Assessment and Management
    Measurement of Male Sexual Arousal and Interest Using Penile Plethysmography and Viewing Time
    Polygraph Testing of Sex Offenders
    The Strengths of Treatment for Sexual Offending
    Responsivity Dynamic Risk Factors and Offender Rehabilitation A Comparison of the Good Lives Model and the RiskNeed Model
    Early Detection and Intervention for Adolescents at Risk for Engaging in Abusive Sexual Behavior A Case for Prevention
    Community Control of Sex Offenders
    The Best Intentions Flaws in Sexually Violent Predator Laws
    The Shortcomings of Sexual Offender Treatment Are We Doing Something Wrong?
    Desistance from Crime Toward an Integrated Conceptualization for Intervention
    Changing Course From a VictimOffender Duality to a Public Health Perspective

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    About the author (2016)

    D.Richard Laws, Ph.D., was the director of the Sexual Behavior Laboratory at Atascadero State Hospital in California from 1970-1985; project director at the Florida Mental Health Institute from 1985-1989; manager of forensic psychology at Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta from 1989-1994; and most recently a psychologist with Adult Forensic Psychiatric Services in Victoria, British Columbia from 1994 until his retirement in 1999. Dr. Laws is known in the field of sexual deviation as a developer of assessment procedures and in program development and evaluation. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters in this area and serves on the editorial board of several journals. He is past president of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. He is adjunct faculty at the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and is Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham (UK) and Cardiff University (UK). William O’Donohue, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and chairman and professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno, and an adjunct professor in the department of philosophy and a faculty member of the National Judicial College. He has published over 70 books and 150 journal articles and book chapters. He holds advanced degrees both in philosophy and psychology. For the past 14 years, he has been director of a free clinic that treats children who have been sexually abused and adults who have been sexually assaulted.

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