1st Edition

Dangerous People Policy, Prediction, and Practice

Edited By Bernadette McSherry, Patrick Keyzer Copyright 2011

    Experienced legal academics and mental health professionals explore the current approaches to “dangerousness” and preventive detention. The defining characteristics of those deemed dangerous by society vary according to culture, place, and time, and the contributors to this text have gathered to analyze the policies and practices related to current out-groups such as sex offenders, suspected terrorists, and young offenders in the United States, Scotland, England, and Australia. Dangerous People is the result of their research, workshopping, and writing. The text is organized logically and begins with a section on Parameters that explores the international human rights and legal limitations related to preventive detention schemes. It moves on to Policy, where contributors examine legislative policy, and Prediction, or risk assessment, especially in terms of violent crimes in youth. The section on Practice focuses on recent schemes to prevent re-offending. This text is indispensible as a resource that deals with the practical issues surrounding preventive detention and supervision schemes, the assessment of the risk of future harm in offenders, and different programs and sentencing options for high-risk offenders with mental illnesses. It contains case examples that bring real-life issues to light and sets forth an agenda to provide effective ways to protect communities from harm.

    Part I: The International Framework
    Chapter 1: Managing High-Risk Offenders, McSherry & Keyzer
    Chapter 2: An International Law Overview of Preventive Detention, Sifris
    Part II: Theorizing Preventive Detention and Its Parameters
    Chapter 3: Managing High-Risk Offenders: When Bad Law Makes Bad Policy and Bad Practice Worse, Petrila
    Chapter 4: Legal Limitations on the Scope of Preventive Detention, Slobogin
    Chapter 5: Preventing Sexual Abuse through Preventive Detention: Some Practical Problems, Janus
    Chapter 6: Human Rights Issues in Prospective Sentencing, McManus
    Part III: Managing Sex Offenders and Other Violent Offenders
    Chapter 7: Sexual Offender Commitment Laws in the USA: The Inevitable Failure of Misusing Civil Commitment Power to Prevent Future Sex Crimes, LaFond
    Chapter 8: Arbitrary, Retrospectively Applied Double Punishment: Australia's Solution to the Challenge of Rehabilitating High-Risk Sex Offenders, Keyzer
    Chapter 9: The Scottish Approach to High-Risk Offenders: Early Answers or Further Questions, Gailey & Walsh
    Chapter 10: Intensive Risk Management in the Community with High-Risk Ex-prisoners who have a Personality Disorder: Lessons Learned in the North West of England, Logan
    Part IV: Managing Individuals with Serious Mental Illness
    Chapter 11: Case Managing High-Risk Mentally Disordered Offenders in Scotland, Crichton
    Chapter 12: The Role of Forensic Mental Health Services in Managing High-Risk Offenders--Functioning or Failing? Thomson
    Chapter 13: The Preventive Detention of Insanity Acquittees: A Case Study of the System in Victoria, Australia, Freckelton
    Chapter 14: Toward Research-Informed Policy for High-Risk Offenders with Serious Mental Illness, Skeem
    Part V: Managing Other Special Groups: Young Offenders and Suspected Terrorists
    Chapter 15: Assessing and Managing High-Risk Youth, Johnstone
    Chapter 16: Detaining and Managing Suspected Terrorists: Better Safe than Sorry? McSherry
    Part VI: Assessing the Risk of Future Harm
    Chapter 17: The Assessment and Management of High-Risk Offenders in Scotland: A Forensic Clinical Perspective, Darjee
    Chapter 18: Fourth Generation Violence Risk Assessment: Violence Risk Formulation-- From What? to Why? Cooke


    Bernadette McSherry, PhD, is an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow and a Professor of Law at Monash University in Australia.

    Patrick Keyzer, PhD, is the Director of the Centre for Law, Governance and Public Policy, and Professor of Law at Bond University.

    “Bernadette McSherry and Patrick Keyzer have brought together an elite group of cutting-edge scholars to critically examine how we manage—or fail to manage—those who frighten us. The contributors have carefully integrated scientific rigor and clinical insight with a keen sensitivity to human rights. Cogently organized and lucidly written, Dangerous People will have an important and lasting influence on international risk assessment policy and practice.”–John Monahan, Shannon Distinguished Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry, University of Virginia, USA

    Dangerous People is an excellent resource and very good read. Drawing together international experts from different disciplines, it brings a much needed level of depth and sophistication to the vexed question of how we protect society from ‘dangerous people.’ A must-read for clinicians, lawyers, and policy makers alike!” – James Ogloff, Director, Psychological Services, Forensicare, Victoria, Australia