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.

The Evaluation Report and Court Testimony

The evaluation report and court testimony

Helen: What were you lecturing on in India?

Patterson: Harold Pinter and the failure of communication.

Helen: How did it go?

Patterson: I don't know. They didn't seem to understand a word

I said.

— Malcolm Bradbury and Christopher Bigsby, The After Dinner Game, BBC-TV, 1975

Before any sex offender civil commitment assessment is truly done, the results must be communicated to one or more nonclinicians. The importance of performing this last task skillfully should not be underestimated. As Heilbrun, Dvoskin, Hart, and McNeil (1999) have argued, “Improvements in the accuracy of predictions … will not yield a comparable improvement in risk-related decision-making unless communication is effective. Improper risk communication can render a risk assessment that was otherwise well-conducted completely ...

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