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© 2016

Social Control of Sex Offenders

A Cultural History

Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. D. Richard Laws
    Pages 1-10
  3. D. Richard Laws
    Pages 11-22
  4. D. Richard Laws
    Pages 23-36
  5. D. Richard Laws
    Pages 141-155
  6. D. Richard Laws
    Pages 157-171
  7. D. Richard Laws
    Pages 201-216
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 217-238

About this book

Introduction

This book surveys the history, current status, and critical issues regarding the various mechanisms designed to control sex offenders. It shows that the social problem of sex offending is not apparently resolvable by any of the means currently employed.

A large array of procedures are used in the attempt to control the difficult population of sex offenders, including: imprisonment, institutional and community treatment, community monitoring by probation and parole, electronic monitoring, registration as a sex offender, community notification of an offender’s status, strict limits on behavioral movement in the community, and residence restrictions. However, these constraints on behavior are almost completely the result of public outrage regarding sensational sex crimes, overreaction of media coverage that produce inaccurate statements of potential community risk, and the efforts of the legal profession and politicians to quell this anger and foreboding by enacting legislation that supposedly confronts the risk. This book demonstrates that we have constructed a massive edifice of community control that is socially and politically driven and which has largely failed to contain sex crime.

D. Richard Laws received his PhD from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, USA, in 1969. He has held professional positions in California, Florida, and two Canadian provinces. He is a past president of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. He has published eight books and numerous articles on research and treatment. Currently, he is an honorary professor at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Keywords

sex crime deviance criminology offending moral panic imprisonment probation community monitoring forensic psychology media studies parole risk assessment RNR model Good Lives Model sex offender registration desistance

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Pacific Behavioural AssessmentVictoriaCanada

About the authors

D. Richard Laws received his PhD from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, USA, in 1969. He has held professional positions in California, Florida, and two Canadian provinces. He is a past president of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. He has published eight books and numerous articles on research and treatment. Currently, he is an honorary professor at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Bibliographic information

Reviews

“D. Richard Laws traces the rise of the modern sex offender containment industry back through time, from the U.S. colonial era through the 19th century’s medicalization of deviance and onward to efforts at scientific crime control and prediction by early 20th century criminologists. … Those within the industry will appreciate his insider perspective on the contemporary debates in risk assessment and treatment, while the public and policymakers will benefit from his sensible recommendations for modest reforms.” (Karen Franklin, Amazon.com, January, 2017)

“Social Control of Sex Offenders is a timely, useful, efficient, easy-to-read book that would be most appropriate for the beginning scholar or informed community member to read. … the book provides a handy reference for refreshing one’s understandings and remembering how and from where our current practices have evolved and emerged. … a book that effectively and efficiently serves the needs of multiple groups of readers, and doing it in a way that is easy and enjoyable to read.” (Richard Tewksbury, Rutgers University, clcjbooks.rutgers.edu, March, 2017)

“For those wishing to understand the historical context of sex offender management, Laws’s book is a good place to start. … He traces the history of moral panics and the resulting sex offender management methods back to colonial America, a historical analysis that I have not seen in similar works. Another unusual feature of Social Control of Sex Offenders is a chapter on international methods of sex offender management.” (Philip H. Witt, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 61 (46), November, 2016)