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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 181908 Find in a Library
Title: Appraisal and Management of Risk in Sexual Aggressors: Implications for Criminal Justice Policy
Journal: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law  Volume:4  Issue:1/2  Dated:March/June 1998  Pages:73-115
Author(s): Grant T. Harris; Marnie E. Rice; Vernon L. Quinsey
Date Published: March 1998
Page Count: 43
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This literature review focuses on the psychology of sex offenders, variables associated with recidivism, actuarial methods to predict recidivism, and sex offender treatment.
Abstract: Sexual deviance measured phallometrically can discriminate with high accuracy between sex offenders and other men. Sex offenders remain at risk for a long time after release; researchers have developed combinations of variables selected for the cumulative efficiency in predicting recidivism. Actuarial assessments offer the most empirically valid way to classify offenders according to risk. However, actuarial instruments and other methods cannot identify all dangerous sex offenders without an unacceptably high false-positive rate. In addition, the ability of any interventions to reduce recidivism is unknown. Existing data do not support the opinion that treatment reduces risk; volunteering for treatment and persisting with it are indicators of lower risk. Almost nothing is known about the effects of intensive supervision of sex offenders, registration, or community notification. Nevertheless, offenders should be offered clinically defensible intervention strategies, and new treatment strategies should be developed and evaluated. In addition, methodologically sound evaluations of all interventions (therapy, drugs, community notification, registration, and supervision) should receive high priority. Finally, application of the available data can increase the likelihood that new legislation intended to reduce the risk represented by sexual predators will have its intended results. Figures, footnote, and 163 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Civil commitment; Dangerousness; Evaluation measures; Habitual offenders; Legislative impact; Mandatory sex offender treatment; Offender attitudes; Offender profiles; Plethysmograph; Psychological evaluation; Recidivism prediction; Risk management; Selective incapacitation; Sex Offender Registration; Sex offenders; Sex offense causes; Treatment effectiveness
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