Protecting Society From Sexually Dangerous Offenders: Law, Justice, and Therapy

Pages: 372
Item #: 431694A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-973-4
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2003
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
FREE Shipping

For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


In Protecting Society From Sexually Dangerous Offenders, legal and mental health experts explore the ramifications of the controversial sexual predator commitment laws, registration and community notification laws, and chemical castration laws that have come into existence in the past dozen years. The increasing number of sex crimes, especially those committed by released sex offenders against young victims, has struck a public nerve. Understandably, citizens are angry, vengeful, and fearful, and they demand both retribution and harsh measures to prevent these kinds of crimes from recurring. These intense public demands for retaliation and protection have shaped recent law and public policy, resulting in involuntary commitment programs, notification laws, and chemical castration laws for sex offenders in many states. These new legal strategies raise serious constitutional questions regarding the rights of those who have served their punishment. Perhaps more important is the question of whether these programs are actually effective in preventing sexual recidivism.

In this volume, contributing authors discuss the issues surrounding these new legal strategies and the alternatives to such programs. They examine the wisdom and constitutionality of post-incarceration commitment and the difficulty of determining who is most likely to offend again. Contributors propose alternatives to involuntary commitment, including community containment and programs for treating sexually abused children so as to reduce the chances of them growing up to continue the cycle of sexual abuse. They also propose ways in which these new legal approaches can be applied to increase their therapeutic potential. Psychologists and other mental health experts working with sexually dangerous offenders as well as lawyers, policy makers, and students in these fields will find this to be an indispensable sourcebook on this topic.

Table of Contents





I. Sexually Violent Predator Laws: Problems and Solutions

  1. The New Generation of Sex Offender Commitment Laws: Which States Have Them and How Do They Work?
    —W. Lawrence Fitch and Debra A. Hammen
  2. State Policy Perspectives on Sexual Predator Laws
    —Roxanne Lieb

II. Sex Offenders and Dangerousness

  1. Who Is Dangerous and When Are They Safe? Risk Assessment With Sexual Offenders
    —R. Karl Hanson
  2. Evaluating Offenders Under a Sexually Violent Predator Law: The Practical Practice
    —Roy B. Lacoursiere

III. Sex Offenders and Treatment

  1. What We Know and Don't Know About Treating Adult Sex Offenders
    —Marnie E. Rice and Grant T. Harris
  2. Treatment and the Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders
    —Eric S. Janus
  3. In the Wake of Hendricks: The Treatment and Restraint of Sexually Dangerous Offenders Viewed From the Perspective of American Psychiatry
    —Howard V. Zonana, Richard J. Bonnie, and Steven K. Hoge

IV. The Rationale, Constitutionality, and Morality of Sexual Predator Commitment Laws

  1. Matching Legal Policies With Known Offenders
    —Leonore M. J. Simon
  2. Bad or Mad?: Sex Offenders and Social Control
    —Stephen J. Morse
  3. "Even a Dog…" Culpability, Condemnation, and Respect for Persons
    —Robert F. Schopp
  4. Sex Offenders and the Supreme Court: The Significance and Limits of Kansas v. Hendricks
    —John Kip Cornwell

V. Alternative Strategies for Protecting the Community

  1. A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Analysis of Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Laws
    —Bruce J. Winick
  2. Investing in the Future of Children: Building Programs for Children or Prisons for Adult Offenders
    —William D. Pithers, Alison Gray, and, Michalle E. Davis
  3. Chemical Castration of Sex Offenders: Treatment or Punishment?
    —Robert D. Miller
  4. Community Containment of Sex Offender Risk: A Promising Approach
    —Kim English, Linda Jones, and Diane Patrick

VI. Evaluating the Wisdom of Sexually Violent Predator Laws

  1. The Costs of Enacting a Sexual Predator Law and Recommendations for Keeping Them From Skyrocketing
    —John Q. La Fond
  2. Managing the Monstrous: Sex Offenders and the New Penology
    —Jonathan Simon
  3. A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Assessment of Sexually Violent Predator Laws
    —Bruce J. Winick


Table of Authorities

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editors

Editor Bios

Bruce J. Winick is Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables, FL, where he has taught since 1974. He is co-founder of the school of social enquiry known as therapeutic jurisprudence. Winick is the author, co-author, and co-editor of numerous books, the most recent of which are Practicing Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Law as a Helping Profession (Carolina Academic Press 2000), The Essentials of Florida Mental Health Law (W.W. Norton & Co. 2000), The Right to Refuse Mental Health Treatment (American Psychological Association Books, 1997), and Therapeutic Jurisprudence Applied: Essays on Mental Health Law (Carolina Academic Press 1997). He also has authored over 80 articles in law reviews and interdisciplinary journals.

Winick is is legal advisor and a founding member of the board of editors of Psychology, Public Policy & Law, and serves on the editorial board of Law & Human Behavior. Professor Winick previously served as New York City's Director of Court Mental Health Services and as General Counsel of its Department of Mental Health.

John Q. La Fond holds the Edward A. Smith/Missouri Chair in Law, the Constitution, and Society at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. A graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, Professor La Fond is an internationally recognized scholar in mental health law, criminal law and procedure, and constitutional law. He has written extensively on involuntary hospitalization of the mentally ill, the criminal responsibility of mentally ill offenders, substantive criminal law, mental health law and policy in the United States, control and treatment of sex offenders, and therapeutic jurisprudence. He is co-author of Back to the Asylum: The Future of Mental Health Law and Policy in the United States and Criminal Law: Examples and Explanation (1st and 2nd editions).