Myths and Facts about Sexual Offenders: Implications for Treatment and Public Policy
by Timothy Fortney, Jill Levenson, Yolanda Brannon & Juanita N. Baker
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent perceptions about sexual offenders are based on empirical evidence or misconceptions…. Results revealed that both sex offenders and the public overestimated the rate by which strangers victimize children, and overestimated the number of sex offenders who were victims of sexual abuse in childhood. Both offenders and the public overestimated the number of sex crimes that come to the attention of authorities. The public more extensively than offenders overestimated the frequency of sexual recidivism rates and underestimated the efficacy of sexual offender treatment in comparison to the literature.The Logic of Sexually Violent Predator Status in the United States of America
by Daniel F. Montaldi
Abstract: Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) laws have placed great legal weight on psychosexual evaluations of sex offenders by mental health experts. The conclusions of these evaluations are used to civilly commit hundreds of offenders throughout the United States after the completion of their criminal sentences, possibly for life. This paper examines the reasoning used by evaluators and attorneys for the state to justify the claim that someone is SVP. [The article discusses] flaws in this reasoning and show how arguments for SVP status must proceed if the case for civil commitment is to be logically coherent and consistent with constitutional values.The Therapeutic Challenge of the Learning Impaired Sex Offender
by Ron Langevin & Suzanne Curnoe
Abstract: Learning impairment in childhood and adolescence was examined in a sample of 1915 sex offenders and 279 non-sex offender and community controls. They were compared on school dropouts, grade failures, and placement in special education classes. The sex offenders showed significantly lower education and higher incidences of dropouts than community controls. The offender groups more often had failed grades and had been in special education classes than the population at large. Neurodevelopmental factors such as birth complications and defects, motor and language developmental abnormalities, ADHD, neurological disease and injuries, mental retardation, and learning disorders, all contributed to the educational deficits, but learning disorders diagnosed in childhood contributed most. The importance of assessing learning impairment for treatment compliance and effectiveness is discussed.Back issues of the Journal are also available online for free, including interesting articles on juvenile offenders, diagnostic accuracy, actuarial assessment, treatment efficacy, incest offenders, phallometric assessment, diagnosing sexual sadism, and public policy issues.