Advertisement

Mentally Disordered Sex Offenders

  • John Monahan
  • Sharon Kantorowski Davis
Part of the Perspectives in Law & Psychology book series (PILP, volume 6)

Abstract

“Sex,” Havelock Ellis (1936) once wrote, “is the central problem of life.” While it may not be the central problem, it is surely a major problem of law as well. Since Michigan enacted the first “sex psychopath” statute in 1937, the diversion from the criminal justice system to the mental health system of those who have committed a sexual offense and are believed to be mentally disordered has been fraught with controversy. Conservatives have charged that the indeterminate confinement that accompanies such diversion results in offenders being released “too soon,” while liberals have argued that it results in a confinement that is “too long.” A recent legislative hearing in California, the state with the largest program for mentally disordered sex offenders (MDSOs), heard a staff psychiatrist at an MDSO facility testify that “What I feel quite often is this guy ought to be in the slammer.” When a legislator stated that “any sex offender is mentally messed up, so let’s lock the SOBs up and get on with the business of the people of California,” the hearing room resounded in applause (Luther, 1981, p. 22).1 When the Wisconsin legislature considered whether to abolish that state’s Sex Crimes Act in 1979 not a single witness could be found to defend the statute. The repeal was passed unanimously by both houses of the legislature and promptly signed by the governor (Ransley, 1980).

Keywords

Property Crime Sexual Offense Defense Attorney Mental Health Facility Plea Bargaining 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Austin, J., & Krisberg, B. Wider, stronger, and different nets: The dialectics of criminal justice reform. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, January 1981, 165-196.Google Scholar
  2. Brodsky, S., Hobart, S., Skinner, L., Bender, L., & Polyson, A. Sexual assault: An annotated bibliography and literature review. Microfilm available from the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge, England, 1979.Google Scholar
  3. Cohen, M., Groth, N., & Siegel, R. The clinical prediction of dangerousness. Crime and Delinquency, January 1978, 28-39.Google Scholar
  4. Dietz, P. Social factors in rapist behavior. In R. Rada (Ed.), Clinical aspects of the rapist, New York: Grune & Stratton, 1978.Google Scholar
  5. Dix, G. Differential processing of abnormal sex offenders: Utilization of California’s mentally disordered sex offender program, journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 1976, 67, 233–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ellis, H. Studies in the psychology of sex (Vol. 1). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis, 1936.Google Scholar
  7. Forst, M. Civil commitment and social control. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1978.Google Scholar
  8. Greschler, A. California’s law concerning mentally disordered sex offenders: A model of ambivalence. Criminal Justice Journal of Western State University, San Diego, 1980, 4, 3–30.Google Scholar
  9. Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, Psychiatry and sex psychopath legislation: The 30s to the 80s. New York: Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, 1977.Google Scholar
  10. Konečni, V., Mulcahy, E., & Ebbesen, E. Prison or mental hospital: Factors affecting the processing of persons suspected of being “mentally disordered sex offenders.” In P. Lipsitt & B. Sales (Eds.), New directions in psycholegal research. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980.Google Scholar
  11. Kozol, H., Boucher, R., & Garofalo, R. The diagnosis and treatment of dangerousness. Crime and Delinquency, 1972, 18, 371–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Luther, C. Prison terms for sex crimes urged. Los Angeles Times, March 31, 1981, pp. 1,22.Google Scholar
  13. Morris, N. The future of imprisonment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  14. Pacht, A., & Cowden, J. An exploratory study of five hundred sex offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 1974, 1, 13–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Priestley, P. Community of scapegoats: The segregation of sex offenders and informers in prisons. London: Pergamon Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  16. Ramsley, M. Repeal of the Wisconsin Sex Crimes Act. Wisconsin Law Review, 1980, 941-975.Google Scholar
  17. Serrill, M., & Katel, P. New Mexico: The anatomy of a riot. Corrections Magazine, 1980, 6, 6–24.Google Scholar
  18. Steadman, H., Monahan, J., Hartstone, E., Davis, S., & Robbins, P. Mentally disordered offenders: A national survey of patients and facilities. Law and Human Behavior, 1982, 6, 31–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sturgeon, V., & Taylor, J. Report of a five-year follow-up study of mentally disordered sex offenders released from Atascadero State Hospital in 1973. Criminal Justice Journal of Western State University, San Diego, 1980, 4, 31–64.Google Scholar
  20. von Hirsch, A. Doing justice: The choice of punishment. New York: McGraw Hill, 1976.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Monahan
    • 1
  • Sharon Kantorowski Davis
    • 2
  1. 1.School of LawUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral ScienceUniversity of La VerneLa VerneUSA

Personalised recommendations