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 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. The team of expert contributors includes Karen Terry, author of Sexual Offenses and Offenders, and others who bring a wealth of insight to the field of sex offense.

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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826111098
  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/16/2009
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 548
  • Sales rank: 527,615
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard G. Wright is a nationally known expert on the issue of sexual offender laws. He has been a practitioner, researcher, scholar, public speaker and teacher on issues of sexual offending, federal crime control, racial inequality, and domestic violence for twenty years. After many years of community-organizing, policy advocacy, program development and implementation, he received his Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2004.

He has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Criminology & Public Policy, and legal journals on federal sex offender laws including the Adam Walsh Act, the 2003 Protect Act and the 1994 enactment of the Jacob Wetterling Act.
He has been interviewed and cited by numerous media outlets including USA Today, Newsweek, the Boston Globe and National Public Radio. His intellectual and scholarly agenda includes examining the growth of preventive detention, the balance between civil liberties and the War on Terror, sexual assault and moral agency.

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Table of Contents



hapter 1 Introduction: The Failure of Sex Offender Policies

Richard G. Wright

Chapter 2 The Problem of Sexual Assault

Francis M. Williams

Chapter 3 A Brief History of Major Sex Offender Laws

Karen J. Terry & Alissa R. Ackerman

Chapter 4 The Politics of Sex Offender Policies: An Interview with Patricia Wetterling

Patricia Wetterling & Richard G. Wright


Chapter 5 Internet Sex Stings

Richard G. Wright

Chapter 6 Mandatory HIV Testing

Cheryl Radeloff

Chapter 7 Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification

Lisa L. Sample & Mary K. Evans

Chapter 8 GPS Monitoring of Sex Offenders

Michelle L. Meloy & Shareda Coleman

Chapter 9 Sex Offender Residence Restrictions

Jill Levenson

Chapter 10 Chemical and Surgical Castration

Charles Scott, MD & Elena del Busto

Chapter 11 The Civil Commitment of Sexual Predators: A Policy Review

Andrew J. Harris

Chapter 12 The Death Penalty

Corey Rayburn Yung


Chapter 13 Leaders in Sex Offender Research and Policy

Alissa R. Ackerman & Karen J. Terry

Chapter 14 The Containment Approach to Managing Sex Offenders

Kim English

Chapter 15 Sexual Violence and Restorative Justice

Jo-Ann Della Giustina

Chapter 16 The Impact of Sexual Offender Policies on Victims

Rachel Kate Bandy


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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Sex Offenders: What you should know

    R.G. Wright does an excellent job of introducing and providing an overview of sexual offender policies,laws and information regarding prevention of sex offender recidivism. The text explains the beginnings of the laws and how they have affected the general public as well as the sexual offender. It provides thought provoking issues of the results of the laws toward the safety of our children. While this population is often despised and hated, this text discusses why specific policies based on high profile cases are not always the best in the long run. Changing laws and attitudes toward sexual offenders is by no means approval and leniency towards this crime. However, if we do not take care of our own children, families and even the perpetrators correctly post incarceration, we are only causing more potentials for re-offending behavior. This is a social and public problem and until now has been treated in a secondary and tertiary manner. We need to look at sexual offending from a primary prevention modality and to treat offenders with a hope for better choices and support within the community. 90% of sexual offenses are by persons the victim knows. This means family and friends. The offender is not the boogey-man you don't know. He/She is often someone you trust. It is time to look at this problem realistically, putting our hate aside and to do something constructive to prevent more offenses from happening.
    This text provides empirical research and references to studies done, opinions regarding castration, residency restrictions, HIV testing and more. If you want to lynch them all up and throw away the key, you may just be locking up your neighbor, your coach, your teacher or even your own family member. Education is still the best American freedom.

    Wright also provides some thought provoking insights from Patty Wetterling whose 11 year old son was abducted and never found and the Wetterling Act was the first Federal Policy which created each state to create a registry for offenders convicted of sexual offenses against children in 1994. This text is a good resource for current information and thought provoking insights into this social and public issue. I recommend it highly as it is put together well, organized and easy to follow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2009

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