September 26, 2008

New manual for SVP evaluators

I just finished reading the brand-new manual, Evaluation of Sexually Violent Predators by Philip H. Witt and Mary Alice Conroy, and I regret to say that I was disappointed. Perhaps the title should have been a clue: We are supposed to be evaluating convicted sex offenders to see whether they meet the legal criteria of being "Sexually Violent Predators," not making an a priori assumption that they do. At any rate, I found the book superficial and one-sided.

For more specifics, see my Amazon review - online here. (If you like the review, please click on the little "Yes" button where it says "Was this review helpful to you?" That helps to boost my Amazon ratings, which improve the placement of my reviews.)

The manual is one in a new "Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment" series from Oxford University Press. The series editors include such luminaries in forensic psychology as Thomas Grisso and Kirk Heilbrun.

The title in the Oxford series that I'm really looking forward to is The Evaluation of Juveniles' Competence to Stand Trial by Thomas Grisso and my old colleague from Washington, Ivan Kruh, both of whom really know their stuff on this topic. It's due out in November; you can pre-order it here for just $35.

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