To Catch a Predator, and Then Commit Him for Life Sexual Offender Risk Assessment — Part Two The Champion, March, 2009
There are various issues, such as the assessment of psychiatric diagnoses, that a practicing attorney should be knowledgeable about in civil commitment cases. Part One discussed the legal constructs of the Adam Walsh Act, with a particular emphasis on the civil commitment of sexually dangerous persons. Part Two has a clinical focus, with an emphasis on the fields of forensic psychology and psychiatry and how they function within the psycholegal landscape of sex offender risk assessment in civil commitment cases. Included is a discussion of factors predicting the selection of sexually violent predators for state civil commitment.
To Catch A Predator, and Then Commit Him for Life Sexual Offender Risk Assessment — Part One The Champion, February, 2009
The Adam Walsh Act (AWA) became law on July 27, 2006, and is the most complex, progressive, and punitive sex offender law ever enacted, responding to a public and political outcry of concern over sex offenders and their potential threat to society. The law has its conception grounded in public attention on several noteworthy sexual homicides towards children, and in fact recognizes by name a handful of these children including Jacob Wetterling, Jessica Lunsford, Megan Kanka, Jimmy Ryce, and Adam Walsh.
Sex Crimes: How to Utilize Forensic Psychological Evaluations Within Internet Online Solicitation and Pornography Sex Crime Cases Voice for the Defense, June 2007
Importantly, a thorough and context specific forensic psychological evaluation in a pornography sex crime case is critical to the development of litigation as there may be too much focus on sophisticated and complex computer evidence such as expert authenticity of images. The criminal defense attorney may educate the jury or judge of their client’s potential low risk of sexual recidivism, amenability to treatment, and the causes of the illegal behavior that might have their roots in psychiatric impairments that are responsive to intervention.
Megan’s Law and Sexual Violence Risk Assessment Cuyahoga County Bar Association, Volume 83, Issue 1 January, 2007
The purpose of this article is to address current practices and standards in sexual violence risk assessment pursuant to Megan’s Law type forensic psychological examinations. The author will describe sex offender typologies, risk assessment practices/procedures, and applications of risk assessments in legal proceedings.
Current Standards and Practices in Violence Risk Assessment and Communication at a Maximum Security Forensic Hospital Following a High Profile Sexual Homicide Elseviers, Agression and Violent Behavior, Volume 13, No. 5, October, 2008
Often high profile cases impact the standards for ethical practices in forensic psychology and psychiatry. In Minnesota, a high profile sexual homicide allegedly committed by a parolee who was not civilly committed as mentally ill and dangerous or sexually dangerous (likely due to older age) has brought to question the state’s risk assessment policies. Due to the high profile nature of this case, the State Operated Forensic Services (SOFS) in Minnesota has attempted to implement heightened standards in their violence risk assessment policy for both mentally ill and dangerous and sexually violent offender populations. The rationale for this article is to outline how the publicity of a high profile sexual homicide can result in changes in a state’s risk assessment procedures. The author will briefly outline the revised risk assessment standards within a state operated civil commitment forensic hospital and describe a case study of a civilly committed sex offender who was examined under these new standards. The author will also question whether more is better. Specifically, the question will be asked whether such standards and practices are efficient and necessary given the issues of incremental validity and the fact that there will always be false negatives (an offender who is deemed to be nondangerous, who ultimately is).
A Literature Review of the Utility of Selected Violence and Sexual Violence Risk Assessment Instruments Journal of Psychiatry and Law, 34 Fall/2006
The rationale for this article is to comprehensively outline and describe the strengths and weaknesses of various risk assessment instrumental tools relevant to the evaluation of sexually violent and violent offenders. The author will briefly discuss ethical obligations the forensic mental health professional (FMHP) must consider when conducting risk assessments.
The Risky Business of Conducting Risk Assessments For Those Already Civilly Committed As Sexually Violent Predators William Mitchell School of Law, Volume 32, No. 1, 2005
The sexually violent predator is defined as “any person who has been convicted of or charged with a crime of sexual violence and who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder which makes the person likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility.”The legislature also found that “sex offenders’ likelihood of engaging in repeat acts of predatory sexual violence is high.” The prognosis for curing sexually violent offenders is poor, and the treatment needs for this population are very long-term in nature. Moreover, the treatment modalities for the population of sex offenders are very different from treatment modalities for people committed under the customary involuntary commitment system for traditional mental illnesses.
Examining Our Approaches to Sex Offenders & the Law: Kansas v. Hendricks, Crane and Beyond: “Mental Abnormality,” and “Sexual Dangerousness,”: Volitional vs. Emotional Abnormality and the Debate Between Community Safety and Civil Liberties William Mitchell School of Law-Law Review, Volume 29, No. 4, 2003
The vicious and brutal rape and murder of Megan Kanka drew national attention to child sexual abuse and concerns on how to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future.1 Soon after, national attention focused on this case, as well as the term “sexual predator,” and various pieces of legislation were considered to prevent further similar occurrences.2 More specifically, issues of sexual predator registration, community notification and sexual predator civil commitment laws came to be topics of discussion.
Getting Tough on Sex Offenders: The Adam Walsh Act & Ohio SB 10, John Matthew Fabian, PSY.D., J.D. and Ian Friedman, Esq. 2006
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, herein (AWA) became law on July 27, 2006, and is likely the most wide-ranging, progressive, and punitive sex offender legislation ever enacted. This legislation responds to public and political concern about sex offenders and recognizes a handful of highly publicized sexual homicides towards child victims including Jacob Wetterling, Jessica Lunsford, Megan Kanka, and Adam Walsh. The State of Ohio’s enactment of the AWA is incorporated through Senate Bill 10.
On October 15, 2007, the Office of the Ohio Public Defender, the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, ACLU of Ohio Foundation, and Equal Justice Foundation filed a direct action in the Supreme Court of Ohio, challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 10’s retroactive application. The complaint asserts that SB 10 violates the ex post facto, double jeopardy, and separation of powers provisions of the Ohio Constitution and the United States Constitution. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief description of some of the significant areas of this new legislation.