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From The CriticsReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Because a significant percentage of the sexual abuse in the U.S. is committed by juveniles and studies suggest that up to half of adult sexual offenders began their criminal behavior as juveniles, this book focuses on understanding and treating adolescents with these issues.
Purpose: The authors note they have penned this work with an emphasis on "practicality and utility" for general practitioners "who may shy away from dealing with a population very much in need of their clinical child and adolescent expertise."
Audience: The book is directed at "psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals who are already skilled in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of children and adolescents, but are new to the area of forensic evaluation and sex offending." It may also prove useful to those in the legal profession who are involved with these cases.
Features: While containing much of the practical information needed to understand these complex issues, this book also includes a chapter providing context for what is considered "normal" in sexual development for various age groups, as well as suggestions for biological and pharmacological management of sexually deviant behavior. In addition, at least one chapter contains rich clinical cases with detailed questions and answers. Each chapter ends with a summary and extensive lists of references.
Assessment: Though unfamiliar with other books related to this population, I have reviewed many books that refer to adults charged with similar offenses. However, the approach of this book is unique in that it is not geared toward the forensic practitioner. Instead, it addresses the frontline mental health provider who, by choice or assignment, works with this challenging population. These pages are rich with practical knowledge that will be of benefit to virtually anyone interested in working with juvenile sex offenders, even experienced forensic practitioners.