Evaluating Sex Offenders is the first and only "how to" book describing the complete sex offender civil commitment evaluation. Aimed at helping practitioners, clinicians, counselors, and parole officers assess risk and evaluate offenders who have been convicted of a sex crime, the text offers readers a step-by-step description of what examiners need to know, including information gathering, interviewing offenders, and writing reports. Chapter topics include: defining risk; data gathering; diagnostic issues; recidivism base rates; risk factor lists; actuarial scales; instrumentation (violent and sexual); the evaluation report; presenting in court; ethical issues.

Clinical Adjustments

Clinical adjustments

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.

— Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

This chapter is designed to describe what we know about the process of clinically adjusting actuarial findings and how to conduct those adjustments. Conceptually, this chapter exists essentially because of the perspective that the currently best method for evaluating a sex offender's recidivism risk is the clinically adjusted actuarial model (though the information herein could also be used in a research-guided approach to a risk assessment).

The idea that such a chapter should exist is quite commonly though not universally accepted. Quinsey, Harris, Rice, and Cormier (1998) have argued for clinicians to employ a purely actuarial approach, a methodology that ...

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