This book offers a fresh perspective on treating a population that is often demonized by policymakers, the public, and even clinicians. The authors argue that most sex offenders are "people like us," with the potential to lead meaningful, law-abiding lives—if given a chance and appropriate support. They describe an empirically and theoretically grounded rehabilitation approach, the Good Lives Model, which can be integrated with the assessment and intervention approaches that clinicians already use. Drawing on the latest knowledge about factors promoting desistance from crime, the book discusses how encouraging naturally occurring desistance processes, and directly addressing barriers to community reintegration, can make treatment more effective and long lasting.
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"In an era of harsher sentences and stricter punishments, especially for sex offenders, this book is a breath of fresh air. Drawing on extensive clinical expertise and wisdom that comes from years of working with sex offenders, Laws and Ward provide an excellent guide to what needs to be done to help sex offenders change their lives and decrease recidivism. The Good Lives model is the future of sex offender treatment, and its concepts need to be incorporated into correctional programming. This book is an essential resource for clinicians, researchers, and policymakers. It would serve as a great text for courses on offender rehabilitation from a psychological or criminological perspective. Students would benefit from the excellent integration of research and theory into clinical practice, and would find the fresh perspective on rehabilitation to be eye opening."
—Elizabeth L. Jeglic, PhD, Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
"It is rare to find a book that integrates the psychological and criminological literature, particularly in the area of sex offender treatment. This important work offers a unique analysis of current treatment methods and proposes a promising model of offender rehabilitation. The authors acknowledge the complexity of factors that lead to offending and that motivate an individual to desist from offending. Their holistic, strengths-based approach, grounded in positive psychology, addresses the needs of both the offender and the community. This book will enhance the current practice of professionals who treat sex offenders, and holds promise for shifting the focus of the field."—Pamela M. Yates, PhD, Cabot Consulting and Research Services, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I. General Issues
II. The Criminological Perspective
2. Defining and Measuring Desistance
3. The Age–Crime Curve: A Brief Overview
4. Major Theories of Desistance
5. Factors Influencing Desistance
6. Two Major Theories of Desistance
III. The Forensic Psychological Perspective
7. Do Sex Offenders Desist?
8. Sex Offender Treatment and Desistance
IV. Reentry and Reintegration
9. Barriers to Reentry and Reintegration
10. Overcoming Barriers to Reentry and Reintegration
11. The Unknown Sex Offenders: Bringing Them in from the Cold
12. Blending Theory and Practice: A Crimininological Perspective
VI. Desistance-Focused Intervention
13. The Good Lives Model of Offender Rehabilitation: Basic Assumptions, Etiological Commitments, and Practice Implications
14. The Good Lives Model and Desistance Theory and Research: Points of Convergence
15. The Good Lives–Desistance Model: Assessment and Treatment
VII. Where to from Here?
16. Dignity, Punishment, and Human Rights: The Ethics of Desistance
17. Moral Strangers or One of Us?: Concluding Thoughts