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Evaluation of Sexually Violent Predators (Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment) Paperback – September 15, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0195322644 ISBN-10: 0195322649 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (September 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195322649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195322644
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.3 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"[Witt and Conroy] provide perhaps the most thoughtful, concise, and practical guide available for assessing relevant mental conditions, volitional control, and recidivism risk...They have made an important contribution toward consensus building in this field. Their book, a well-organized guide for best practices, successfully adds theory-driven and empirically supported structure to SVP evaluation while alerting clinicians to the limits of our expertise. It elucidates what we know now, and perhaps more important, what we do not know now. Any student, academician, clinician, or lawyer who has an interest or stake in the accurate assessment of sexual offenders will benefit from reading it."--PsycCritiques


About the Author

Philip Witt is a Psychologist at the Associates in Psychological Services, Pennsylvania.

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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Karen Franklin on September 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was looking forward to reading this book, as the editors of this new "best practices" series are some of the luminaries in forensic psychology and there is a need for a thoughtful and objective analysis of forensic psychology practice in this controversial niche. Unfortunately, I found this book both simplistic and one-sided.

The book seems geared toward novice psychologists who are just preparing to step into this specialty area and to conduct their first Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) evaluation. However, if someone reads this manual and thinks she is prepared, she will be walking into a minefield, as the book skirts the major controversies with which even a beginning evaluator should be familiar. For example, controversial "actuarial" instruments are presented as if they are much more scientifically validated and generally accepted in the field than is the case. Other major controversies, such as those pertaining to treatment efficacy and to diagnostic validity (of paraphilia, antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy, pedophilia, and personality disorder "not otherwise specified" - the main psychiatric conditions used to justify civil commitment), are presented superficially or not at all. The authors' extensive reliance on material written by state evaluators perpetuates a subtle bias. Critical scholarship is barely mentioned or omitted altogether.

Anyone who relies on this manual to prepare herself to work in this complex and controversial area will find herself in a deep sea of trouble.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jackson Tay Bosley on October 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book provides the reader with a solid overview of the major issues in a complicated area of sexual offender assessment. Risk, mental disorder and the elusive "nexus" between the mental disorder and risk, the issue of "volitional control", are discussed at length. That said, each state has its own unique way to accomplish this task, with different foci, and variations in interpretations of the legal language. It would be impossible to cover all these variations in a single book of reasonable length. This book is cogently written, if a little stilted at times, due to the structure imposed by the series editors.

Anyone actually intending to do these evaluations and testify in civil commitment hearings should read this book (and Dennis Doren's 2002 book, and The Sexual Predator series from Civic Research Institute, and Brodsky's books on testify in court, and ...) before attempting this incredibly difficult and important task. There is no one book (yet) that covers this specialized field with enough breadth and depth to explain it all. I welcome this addition and consider it an excellent text for a graduate-level class in Forensic Psychology.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Marcellino Jr. on November 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent review, incorporates current research, the authors and editors are the top experts in the field.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By GREGORY DECLUE on October 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book provides a solid foundation for people who conduct psychological or psychiatric evaluations relevant to sexually violent predators. It is clear and well written. No single book can encompass everything known in the field, nor can it encompass all the controversies. But this book provides good background understanding and practical, how-do-you-do-it guidance, all within a solid framework for conducting forensic evaluations.
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