Supervising sex offenders in the community

Grant, Daniel Logan

Law; Law enforcement; Prisons; Sociology; Human services
July 1998

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© 1998 Daniel Logan Grant. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

At the core of this exploratory research project, which sets out to examine community supervision of men convicted of sexual offences, is the introduction and development of a new model; the Sex Offender Risk Management Approach (SORMA). Essentially, SORMA describes a system of multi-agency risk management of sexual offenders in the community, and in so doing, utilizes the most convincing, comprehensive and influential research, models and theories that contribute to current thinking about control and treatment of sex offenders. In this concerted attempt to develop, through research, a model which harnesses the established value of credible and valid methods of intervention, the reader will recognise elements originating from key strands of celebrated work. SORMA is not, however, a simple re-arrangement of these existing contributing components. Vital as they are, they undergo critical analysis and are challenged, at times with considerable rigour to identify evidence to support existing claims of efficacy. SORMA does not add further conjecture to the existing and, some may say, complacent quasi-therapeutic treatment orthodoxy; rather, it disturbs it, to provide a reconsideration of the aims and purpose of the work, finding a broader context in which to examine these existing intervention strategies. The political and professional values that underpin this work are considered as are the ethical boundaries of probation supervision.

SORMA involves seven key components and each of these is explored in this work. The development of this model and the testing of it are detailed in the subsequent chapters. I will say no more about it at this point other than to invite the reader to consider these components together in their condensed form, for an oversight at this point will help to project the critical elements used to compose this research and fashion the outcomes. SORMA is:

1) Unambiguously concerned with Social Control
2) Clinical Treatment and Therapy
3) Situational Crime Prevention
4) Actuarial Risk Assessment and Management
5) Surveillance
6) Multi-Agency Collaboration
7) Maximisation of Legislative Authority.

These components are examined in Chapters 1-3 where they withstand analysis to provide the foundation for SORMA. This is presented as layered discussion guiding the reader through each separate area, whilst constructing the framework of the model itself. In the subsequent chapters, SORMA is fashioned, applied and discussed. Appearing as it does in the final chapter SORMA, as a processual model, becomes a practice utility ripe for implementation and further development.

Department of Social Policy and Professional Studies, The University of Hull
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