Sex Offenders: Punish, Help, Change or Control?

Theory, Policy and Practice Explored

Edited by Jo Brayford, Francis Cowe, John Deering

© 2012 – Routledge

350 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415533720
pub: 2014-03-14
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415676984
pub: 2012-06-19
US Dollars$160.00

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About the Book

Sex offending, and in particular child sex offending, is a complex area for policy makers, theorists and practitioners. A focus on punishment has reinforced sex offending as a problem that is essentially ‘other’ to society and discourages engagement with the real scale and scope of sexual offending in the UK. This book looks at the growth of work with sex offenders, questioning assumptions about the range and types of such offenders and what effective responses to these might be.

Divided into four sections, this book sets out the growth of a broad legislative context and the emergence of child sexual offenders in criminal justice policy and practice. It goes on to consider a range of offences and victim typologies arguing that work with offenders and victims is complex and can provide a rich source of theoretical and practical knowledge that should be utilised more fully by both policy makers and practitioners. It includes work on female sex offenders, electronic monitoring and animal abuse as well as exploring interventions with sex offenders in three different contexts; prisons, communities and hostels.

Bringing together academic, practice and policy experts, the book argues that a clear but complex theoretical and policy approach is required if the risk of re- offending and further victimisation is to be reduced. Ultimately, this book questions whether it makes sense to locate responsibility for responding to sexual offending solely within the criminal justice domain.


"… the desire to secure public protection has given rise to a raft of reactionary, restrictive, exclusionary and controlling approaches to contain risk which ultimately inhibit access to integrative opportunities, at the expense of investigating the dynamics of change, engaging and educating the public and critically exploring how communities and individuals might both protect themselves and support offenders’ rehabilitation and reintegration. This edited collection represents an important departure from this trend by revealing the sheer heterogeneity among this population and their behaviours, and in illuminating new lines of enquiry that have received comparatively less attention in the past." — Beth Weaver, Lecturer, University of Strathclyde, in Probation Journal

"All in all, Sex Offenders: Punish, Help, Change or Control is skillfully organized, scrupulously researched, remarkably comprehensive, and palatably verbose. It appropriately fills information gaps other texts on sexually-based offenses may purposefully overlook. Indeed, Brayford, Cowe, and Deering have been undeniably successful at constructing “more than just a series of edited collections” (p. 3), and this text will surely prove useful in a variety of contexts and to a variety of audiences."— Amber L. Morczek, PhD Candidate, Washington State University, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Table of Contents

Introduction, Jo Brayford, Francis Cowe, and John Deering, Section 1 – Setting the Scene, 1. Legislation and Sex Offending, Nigel Stone, 2. The Rise of Work with Sex Offenders, Maurice Vanstone, 3. Media Influences on Public Perceptions of Sex Offenders, Jo Brayford and John Deering, Section 2 – Types of Offences / Victims, 4. Sexual Offenders’ Construction of Identities, Kirsty Hudson, 5. Female Sex Offenders: The Betrayal of Trust, Jo Brayford and Susan Roberts, 6. Sexual Abuse and Learning Difficulties, Michelle Culwick, 7. Sexual Re-victimization, Nadia Wager, 8. Animal Abuse and Sexual Offending, Jenny Maher and Harriet Pierpoint, 9. Sexual Offending and the Internet, Majid Yar, Section 3 – Settings, 10. Hostels and Sex Offenders, Francis Cowe and Carla Reeves, 11. Prison and Sex Offender Interventions, Kate Saward and Cerys Miles, 12. Circles of Support, Chris Wilson and Andrew Bates, 13. Electronic control and surveillance of offenders, Mike Nellis, Section 4 – Skills/Policy, 14. MAPPA: The Management of Sex Offenders, Hazel Kemshall and Jason Wood, 15. PO Enforcement Practice with Sex Offenders, Pamela Ugwudike, 16. Emotional Literacy in Working with Sex Offenders, Charlotte Knight, 17. Conclusion, Jo Brayford, Francis Cowe, and John Deering

About the Series

Routledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice

Routledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice offers the very best in research on criminal justice systems around the world, offering fresh insights on a range of topics in criminal procedure, including policing, prisons, courts, youth justice, community measures, rehabilitation, victimology and forensics science.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology