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(p. 60) Evaluation of Sex Offenders 

(p. 60) Evaluation of Sex Offenders
(p. 60) Evaluation of Sex Offenders

Philip H. Witt

and Mary Alice Conroy

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date: 18 October 2019

This chapter reviews concepts of forensic mental health assessment (FMHA) that are relevant to the evaluation of sex offenders. It first provides an overview of the different legal contexts in which psychological evaluations of sex offenders are relevant or typically requested by attorneys or the court, with particular emphasis on pre-adjudication and post-adjudication, community-notification laws, SVP (sexually violent predator) civil commitment statutes, and release from commitment. It then considers the best practices in conducting psychological evaluations in these various legal contexts before turning to a discussion of FMHA concepts such as mental abnormality, volitional impairment, and risk. It also examines the empirical foundations and limitations of the evaluation of sex offenders and the steps involved in an evaluation. The chapter concludes by describing key aspects of report writing and testimony by forensic mental health experts.

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