A History of the Assessment of Sex Offenders: 1830-2020

D. Richard Laws
Pacific Behavioural Assessment, Canada

Product Details
14 Feb 2020
Emerald Publishing Limited
224 pages - 152 x 229mm
Most forensic psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers involved in the assessment of sex offenders today have a good grasp of where the field stands. Many of their colleagues do not have an appreciation of why we are where we are. This book is an attempt to bridge that gap, to provide some historical background of sex offender assessment from 1830 to the present. 

Topics covered in this book include early efforts to identify and describe criminal populations statistically; the introduction of phrenology as a description of brain function; the efforts of criminal anthropologists to develop criminal taxonomies; the technology of anthropometry to identify individuals by measurement of bodily structure; and the introduction of fingerprinting which replaced anthropometry and remains largely unchanged to the present day. The guiding principle of the book is to help the reader understand that all of this represents a continuous thread of development and, disparate as they might seem, all of them are connected. 

This book is essential reading for undergraduates in psychology and sociology, as well as professionals in training and early stages of practice.
Part 1: Introduction 
Chapter 1. Contemporary psychological assessment: Two approaches  
Part 2: Assessment of Criminal & Sex Offenders, 19th and 20th Centuries 
Chapter 2. Criminal statistics and the identification of populations
Chapter 3. Offender classification and registration 
Chapter 4. Phrenology: Pseudoscience of the Mind or Precursor Science? 
Chapter 5. Criminal anthropology: Lombroso's search for Criminal Man 
Chapter 6. Anthropometry: Bertillon's measurement of Criminal Man 
Chapter 7. Fingerprinting: A document complete in itself 
Part 3: Assessment of Sex Offenders, 20th and 21st Centuries 
Chapter 8. Psychophysiological assessment: Penile plethysmography 
Chapter 9. Viewing time: An attention-based measure 
Chapter 10. Attention-based measures: Supplementary procedures 
Chapter 11. Polygraphy: Valid procedure or bogus pipeline? 
Part 4: Assessment of Sex Offenders: Possible Futures 
Chapter 12. Virtual reality assessment: Is anybody there? 
Part 5: Conclusions 
Chapter 13. What we learned in 190 years: 12 takeaways
D. Richard Laws received his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1969. He was director of the Sexual Behavior Laboratory at Atascadero State Hospital in California from 1970-1985; project director at the Florida Mental Health Institute, Tampa, from 1985-1989; manager of forensic psychology at Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta from 1989-1994; and as a forensic psychologist with Adult Forensic Psychiatric Community Services in Victoria, British Columbia from 1994-1999. Dr Laws has published widely in the area of sexual abuse and is best known as a developer of assessment procedures and behavior therapies.

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