Happy Spring to all of you!
I’d like to deal with administrative matters up front. As we noted in the last edition (and as posted on the ATSA.com website) there are two Board of Directors positions open for nomination (Midwest and Southwest). At the time of writing, neither position had garnered a nomination. Please take this matter under advisement, as it is critically important that all regions have appropriate representation. Nominations close at 4:00 PM PDT on April 14. Additionally, on the administrative front, Kurt Bumby and Bob McGrath—co-chairs of the Professional Issues Committee—ask that members provide comments regarding ongoing revisions of the Practice Standards and Guidelines for the Evaluation, Treatment, and Management of Adult Male Sexual Abusers. Comments may be directed to Kurt and Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, on to the meat and potatoes of this edition of your Forum:
I am pleased to report that this quarter’s Forum is packed with interesting information and perspective. However, there is also a something of a bittersweet quality to the issue. As I previously noted on the list-serve, we lost ATSA member Susan Tough in February after a long battle with systemic cancer. Dave Hingsburger and I share our thoughts on Susan’s life and death in a short piece.
Otherwise, this edition raises issues regarding faith and hope for offenders, whether they are in institutional settings, have been recently released, or are anticipating release. Linda Rathjen—a Circles of Support & Accountability (CoSA) volunteer from Abbotsford, British Columbia—shares her experience of volunteering to support a high risk offender in the community. For those who attended last fall’s conference, this is the transcript of her portion of the plenary I organized on CoSA. Also in this issue, the Rev. Rick Sloan—Chaplain at the Florida Civil Commitment Center—shares his thoughts on promoting humanity and understanding in working with civilly committed residents.
The other major theme in this edition regards paraphilia. As we all know, this continues to be a particularly hot topic in many domains, professional and colloquial. During last fall’s conference, Dr. Kieran McCartan of the University of West England in Bristol boldly challenged workshop participants to consider use of the term “paedophilia” (in keeping with the international appeal of ATSA, I have maintained his spellings); particularly, with respect to whether the term retains any collective meaning. Kieran has kindly agreed to share his perspective in the Forum, as presented herein. In addition, we have the pleasure of publishing a number of scales composed by the late Dr. Kurt Freund, as recently compiled/collated by Dr. Ray Blanchard of Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. As a former student of Dr. Freund’s—and having administered and scored literally hundreds of these scales—I am particularly pleased that Ray chose both to undertake this project and to let us publish it here. This material is also available at:
Last, I am pleased to report that we have continued our run of presenting student contributions in the Forum. Sandeep Mishra (along with supervisor and ATSA Board Member Dr. Martin Lalumière) of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada writes about the “big drop” in sex (and other) crime rates in North America. Sandeep and Martin discuss varying hypotheses as to the cause of these reductions, including one particularly fascinating theory that suggests that crime rates have decreased possibly because people in Canada and the USA have generally been more hopeful about their futures. However, as Sandeep and Martin note, it will be interesting to see if the trends noted start to turn in the opposite direction now that the world is facing a significant financial and social crisis.
Robin J. Wilson, Ph.D., ABPP
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