Dangerous People: Policy, Prediction, and Practice, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Dangerous People

Policy, Prediction, and Practice, 1st Edition

Edited by Bernadette McSherry, Patrick Keyzer


310 pages

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Hardback: 9780415884952
pub: 2011-07-06
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pub: 2011-11-28
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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.


“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

Table of Contents

Part I: Parameters. McSherry, Keyzer, 'Dangerous' People: An Overview. Sifris, An International Human Rights Perspective on Detention without Criminal Charge or Trial. Keyzer, The International Human Rights Parameters for the Preventive Detention of Serious Sex Offenders. Slobogin, Legal Limitations on the Scope of Preventive Detention. Part II: Policy. La Fond, Sexual Offender Commitment Laws in the USA: The Inevitable Failure of Misusing Civil Commitment to Prevent Further Sex Crimes. Petrila, Sexually Violent Predator Laws: Going Back to a Time Better Forgotten. Janus, Sexual Violence, Gender Politics and Outsider Jurisprudence: Lessons Learned from the American Experience in Prevention. Freckelton, The Preventive Detention of Insanity Acquitees: A Case Study from Victoria. McSherry, The Preventive Detention of Suspected Terrorists: Better Safe Than Sorry? Part III: Prediction. Skeem, Peterson, Silver, Toward Research-informed Policy for High Risk Offenders with Severe Mental Illnesses. Johnstone, Assessing and Managing Violent Youth: Implications for Sentencing. Cooke, Michie, Violence Risk Assessment: Challenging the Illusion of Certainty. Part IV: Practice. Thomson, The Role of Forensic Mental Health Services in Managing High Risk Offenders: Functioning or Failing? Quinn, Crichton, 'Case Managing High Risk Offenders with Mental Disorders in Scotland.' Fyfe, Gailey, The Scottish Approach to High Risk Offenders: Early Answers or Further Questions? Darjee, Russell, The Assessment and Sentencing of High Risk Offenders in Scotland: A Forensic Clinical Perspective. Logan, Managing High Risk Personality Disordered Offenders: Lessons Learned to Date. Part V: Conclusion. McSherry, Keyzer, 'Dangerous' People: The Road Ahead for Policy, Prediction and Practice.

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

International Perspectives on Forensic Mental Health

A Routledge Book Series

The goal of this series is to improve the quality of health care services in forensic settings by providing a forum for discussing issues related to policy, administration, clinical practice, and research.

The series will cover topics such as mental health law; the organization and administration of forensic services for people with mental disorder; the development, implementation and evaluation of treatment programs for mental disorder in civil and criminal justice settings; the assessment and management of violence risk, including risk of sexual violence and family violence; and staff selection, training, and development in forensic systems.

The book series will consider proposals for both monographs and edited works on these and similar topics, with special consideration given to proposals that promote best practice and are relevant to international audiences.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Forensic Psychology