Fear and loathing in public policy : ethical issues in laws for sex offenders

Vess, James 2009, Fear and loathing in public policy : ethical issues in laws for sex offenders, Aggression and violent behavior, vol. 14, no. 4, July-August, pp. 264-272, doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2009.04.004.

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Title Fear and loathing in public policy : ethical issues in laws for sex offenders
Author(s) Vess, James
Journal name Aggression and violent behavior
Volume number 14
Issue number 4
Season July-August
Start page 264
End page 272
Publisher Elsevier Ltd.
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2009-07
ISSN 1359-1789
Keyword(s) sex offenders
civil commitment
extended supervision
community notification
risk assessment
Summary Laws intended to increase protection from sex offenders are often prompted by sensational crimes that provoke public outrage. As public policy, questions have been raised about the legality and effectiveness of these legislative initiatives as enacted in North America, Australasia and the UK since the early 1990s. Mental health professionals involved in the implementation of these laws are faced with ethical concerns that distinguish this area of forensic practice from other clinical roles. This article presents a brief description of the impetus for specific laws allowing for involuntary civil commitment, extended supervision and community notification of sex offenders in different jurisdictions. A model of human rights is then used to consider the ways in which these laws threaten the rights of offenders, and provides a framework for identifying ethical concerns inherent in professional practice in this area.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.avb.2009.04.004
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 940403 Criminal Justice
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2009, Elsevier Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30019530

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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