This book surveys the history, current status, and critical issues regarding the various mechanisms designed to control sex offenders. It shows that the social problem of sex offending is not apparently resolvable by any of the means currently employed.
A large array of procedures are used in the attempt to control the difficult population of sex offenders, including: imprisonment, institutional and community treatment, community monitoring by probation and parole, electronic monitoring, registration as a sex offender, community notification of an offender’s status, strict limits on behavioral movement in the community, and residence restrictions. However, these constraints on behavior are almost completely the result of public outrage regarding sensational sex crimes, overreaction of media coverage that produce inaccurate statements of potential community risk, and the efforts of the legal profession and politicians to quell this anger and foreboding by enacting legislation that supposedly confronts the risk. This book demonstrates that we have constructed a massive edifice of community control that is socially and politically driven and which has largely failed to contain sex crime.
D. Richard Laws received his PhD from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, USA, in 1969. He has held professional positions in California, Florida, and two Canadian provinces. He is a past president of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. He has published eight books and numerous articles on research and treatment. Currently, he is an honorary professor at the University of Birmingham, UK.