Dangerousness, Risk and the Governance of Serious Sexual and Violent Offenders  book cover
1st Edition

Dangerousness, Risk and the Governance of Serious Sexual and Violent Offenders

ISBN 9780415668637
Published August 8, 2011 by Routledge
272 Pages

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Book Description

Dangerousness, Risk and the Governance of Serious Sexual and Violent Offenders is a fully up-to-date, comprehensive and user-friendly guide on those offenders who are often assessed as being dangerous.

Outlining, evaluating and commenting on specific methods, regimes and strategies for dealing with dangerous offenders throughout each chapter, this book begins by considering what a dangerous offender is and providing a brief historical account of how the label has been used for different types of offender over the last three or four centuries.

The book examines sentencing policy in addition to early and current dangerousness legislation, evaluating the available sentences specifically designed for dangerous offenders and assessing their use and appropriateness. The role of risk and risk assessment tools is discussed, considering what risk assessment is, the way in which it works and how over recent times it has become more reliable and valid. It looks at the practical realities of how serious sexual and violent offenders are dealt with by the penal system in England and Wales.

Finally, specific offender groups are considered, including female offenders, children and young people and mentally disordered offenders. Each chapter considers whether there are any differences in terms of policy, assessment and management strategies when sentencing and managing each distinct group; and if not whether any such modifications are required.

This book will be key reading for students of law, criminology, social policy, psychology and sociology and of interest to criminal justice professionals including the police, prison officers, probation officers, psychologists, lawyers and judges.

Table of Contents

1. Dangerousness and the Dangerous Offender  2. Sentencing Policy and Dangerousness Legislation  3. From Dangerousnedd to Risk and Risk Assessment  4. The Use of Imprisonment  5. Strategies of Risk Management  6. Strategies of Risk Reduction  7. Women Offenders  8. Children and Young People  9. Mentally Disordered Offenders

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Karen Harrison is Lecturer in Law at the University of Hull. She is an Associate Editor of the IATSO Journal (Sexual Offender Treatment), an editorial board member of both the Journal of Sexual Aggression and The Prison Service Journal and the editor of Managing High Risk Sex Offenders in the Community: risk management, treatment and social responsibility (Cullompton: Willan Publishing).


'This book provides a very clear, comprehensive and helpful overview of the intractable problem of dangerous offenders in British society. It traces in the origns of this problem group through to the welter of current legislation on them and should be read and consulted by all those interetsed in this area.' –  Professor John Pratt, Institute of Criminology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

'Karen Harrison has produced an excellent one-stop shop for those keen to understand and learn about the 'dangerousness problem' and its management. This book provides a good introductory overview of dangerousness whilst offering extensive up-to-date coverage of developments in practice. She fills an often neglected gap by offering chapters on women and children and young people and her thematic approach ensures that readers will find their knowledge suitably enhanced.

This book is a must read for practitioners and students with an interest in discovering how extensive the public protection agenda has become and how influential its practices are within criminal justice.' – Professor Mike Nash, Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth

'Dangerousness, Risk and the Governance of Serious Sexual and Violent Offenders examines the treatment of dangerous offenders in England and Wales and includes discussion of children and young people and mentally disordered offenders. It reviews relevant sentencing law and policies on serious sexual and violent offenders and because it is informed by insights from empirical work, the book provides a valuable contribution to the current debates on dangerousness. A key concern of the author is the efficacy of current policies, methods of treatment and risk assessment strategies and gaps within the current system are highlighted. Measures used within and outside prison are considered. Karen Harrison delivers a richly textured analysis of the governance of dangerous offenders and places the problem in its social, political and historical context and argues for a more therapeutic approach to dangerous offenders.

This book constitutes a useful addition to the literature. It is comprehensive and wide-ranging but also offers a detailed exploration of the issues. It will be of interest to the wider public and professionals working in the field as well as to students of law, penology and criminology.' – Susan Easton, Reader in Law, Brunel Law School, Author of 'Prisoners’ Rights: Principles and Practice' (2011)

'The strength of the book is that clear and well-written accounts of the plethora of risk-based prongs of control are matched to summaries of the efficacy of the techniques. As such, for policy makers and researchers in these difficult areas, this book provides an excellent introduction.'—Kris Gledhill, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology