March 24, 2009

Sex Offender Laws: Failed Policies, New Directions

Here's an important new book for you folks who work with sex offenders:

In response to many high-profile cases of sexual assault, federal and state governments have placed a number of unique criminal sanctions on sex offenders. These include residency restrictions, exclusionary zones, electronic monitoring, and chemical castration. However, the majority of sex offender policies are not based on empirical evidence, nor have they demonstrated any significant reductions in offender recidivism. In fact, some of these policies have unintended consequences, which actually increase the likelihood of sexual offenses.

In this book, Richard Wright critically analyzes existing policies, and assesses the most effective approaches in preventing sex offender recidivism. This provocative and timely book draws from the fields of criminal justice, law, forensic psychology, and social work to examine how current laws and policies are enacted and what to-date is known about their efficacy. In response to the failed policies of sex offender laws, this book presents alternative models and approaches to sex offense laws and policies.

Topics include:
  • History and politics of sex offender laws
  • Internet sex stings
  • Registration and community notification laws
  • GPS monitoring
  • Residency restrictions
  • Chemical and surgical castration
  • Civil commitment
  • Death penalty
  • Containment approach
  • Sexual violence and restorative justice
  • Victim impact
Richard G. Wright is a criminal justice professor at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts and a nationally known expert on sex offender laws.