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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Aimee St. Pierre, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: With this book the author addresses the importance of establishing effective treatment programs for incarcerated sexual offenders. He also specifically discusses the need for mandatory post-release treatment for offenders as they return to the community.
Purpose: The author's stated intention is to provide an overview and rationale for a comprehensive intervention program for sexual offenders, based on an established program which he has been instrumental in developing. The program is integrated into the community, and is staffed by both mental health professionals and correctional personnel. This topic is timely and meritorious, and the author's stated objectives are met.
Audience: The audience, according to the author, includes correctional agencies and mental health practitioners who work with this population. The book would also be of interest to general forensic psychiatrists and psychologists. The author, an administrator of a prison in Edinburgh, has experience in the incarceration and treatment of sexual offenders.
Features: The nature of sexual offenses is addressed, with emphasis on the impact of these crimes on their victims. While the author emphasizes that sexual behavior disorders cannot be cured, he makes an impassioned plea for the protection of future victims, and argues that appropriate intervention, which he feels must begin in prisons, will decrease sexual victimization. Accepting that curative treatment does not exist, the author describes a comprehensive treatment program in detail, including the establishment of continuity of care in the community. An appendix provides clinical case vignettes. However, pharmacological treatment approaches to sexual offenders are not addressed.
Assessment: The author presents an interesting and potentially useful approach to the treatment of sexual offenders in this book. The emphasis that this program places on continuing care after release from prison is a valuable contribution to the ongoing public discussion of strategies to reduce recidivism in this and other inmate populations.