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Sex Offender Laws: Failed Policies, New Directions


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"This volume of readings provides an excellent source of information about sex offender laws and policies."--International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

"Sex Offender Laws...is a good source for balanced, objective, and thorough critique of our current sex offender policies as well as a source for accurate information about a very heterogeneous population...The message that sexual abuse is often a multifaceted and complex issue and that policy based on quick fixes or knee jerk reactions do not often work will be informative and enlightening to many readers."--Sex Roles

"[T]his fine book by Richard Wright and his distinguished collaborators provides the evidence that wise policy-makers would want to consider. It covers every major field of research concerning sex offenders and sexual offenses and provides evidence of bad practices and policies .Intellectually honest politicians should read this book."
--Michael Tonry, LL.B,
Professor of Law and Public Policy
University of Minnesota Law School (From the Foreword)

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, 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. Wright also explores critical, cutting-edge topics, such as internet sexual solicitation, the death penalty, and community responses to sex offense.

Key Features:

  • An introduction and overview of the history of sex offender laws
  • Analyzes the role of the media in sex offense and sex offender policies
  • Examines the political "untouchability" of sex offender laws and their adverse effects
  • Features interviews with victims of sexual assault, investigating their points of views on what kinds of reforms need to be made to sex offender laws

Thought-provoking and insightful, Sex Offender Laws serves as a vital resource for policy makers, researchers, and students of criminal justice, law, and social work.

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