Vol. XXX, No. 4
Fall 2018
Text Only Version | Mobile Version
In This Issue
Regular Features
Editor's Note
President's Message
Is there such thing as “sexual harm” or is it always Abuse or Trauma?
Featured Articles
Moving beyond the “sex offender” dialogue:
How ATSA members can promote person-first language
Pros and Cons of Manualized Approaches to Sexual Abuse Specific Treatment:
Experiences of Programs in Kansas & Oregon
The Clinical Practice Corner: Juvenile Practice
The ATSA Adult Clinical Practice Committee
Students' Voice
The ATSA Student Experience:
A Personal Anecdote on Attending the Conference and Joining the Student Committee
Book Reviews
Two by Jeglic and Calkins
The Safer Society
Handbook of Assessment and Treatment of Adolescents Who Have Sexually Offended
2018 ATSA Conference Events
Public Engagement Event
Welcome Incoming Board Members
2018 ATSA Awards
New ATSA Members
Newsletter Tools
Search Past Issues
Print-Friendly Issue
Print-Friendly Article
Forum Team
David Prescott
Book Review Editor

Sarah Gorter
Production Editor

Forum Editor
Contact the editor or submit articles to:

Heather M. Moulden, Ph.D.
Forensic Program
St. Joseph's Healthcare
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
E: hmoulden@stjoes.ca
P: (905) 522-1155 ext. 35539
The Safer Society
Handbook of Assessment and Treatment of Adolescents Who Have Sexually Offended
Review Submitted by Becky Palmer, MS

Edited by Sue Righthand, PhD and William D. Murphy, PhD.

Professionals who have provided clinical services to adolescents or have parented adolescents know just how quickly teens change and grow. So it is with the field of assessment and treatment of adolescents who have sexually offended. Many years ago, the assessment and treatment programs for adolescents were often pared down versions of what was being delivered to adult sex offenders. Developmentally we know that teens are different than adults, they are still growing and changing. This specialization, in the past, while wanting to attend to the needs of teens and their families, didn’t always get it right. In the very early days, adolescents who had committed sexual offenses were treated as criminals and questioned like adults. What we know and understand about adolescents who have sexually offended has increased many fold over recent years to better meet the needs of these youth.

Sue Righthand and Bill Murphy, who have co-edited this compendium, have gathered a cadre of experts in the field, to author numerous chapters which shed light on what is currently best practice for adolescents who have committed sexual offenses.

What the reader will find in these five hundred and thirty-one pages are fifteen chapters dedicated to helping professionals understand the recent best practices as they relate to adolescents who have sexually offended. This book is divided into four sections: Part I Characteristics of Adolescents Who Sexually Offend consists of four chapters outlining adolescent development, the legal implications for youth who sexually offend, the search for distinctive features of juveniles who sexually offend and the life course view of juvenile sexual offending. Part II Assessment dives into forensic assessments of juveniles as well as the best clinical approaches for high quality assessments. And lastly in this section, an excellent chapter identifying risk assessment tools that have historically been used to assess risk. This chapter identifies the categories that need to be covered and addressed in the youth’s risk assessment report. Part III Intervention outlines how best to engage the adolescent and family into the treatment process, what is currently evidence-based practices and treatment and the many considerations for community reentry and family reunification. While this section doesn’t explain how to do therapy, each author has been diligent to provide a multitude of references for the reader. Part IV Special Issues is mindful to direct the reader to consider the assessment and treatment of youth with developmental disabilities as well as how trauma impacts the mental health concerns of each youth in treatment. Importantly, in this section adolescent females who sexually offend is being addressed and helps the reader to identify the different treatment and assessment needs. Bringing us into the 21st Century the chapter on pornography use and youth produced digital images among adolescents will be most helpful to treatment providers. Any book about adolescents who sexually offend is not complete without addressing the policy issues surrounding the criminological perspective.

Co-editors Righthand and Murphy have chosen authors whose expertise is providing the reader with historical context and moving into current best practice. The reader should not be disappointed that this book is not a “how-to” do assessment and treatment of adolescents who have sexually offended but should revel in the fact they have been provided a sound framework of theory, history and insight into what a responsible and ethical practitioner needs for delivering competent treatment and assessments for youth and their families.

Readers can certainly expect to find robust bibliographies at the end of each chapter. Each author has done an excellent job of outlining the needs of youth who have sexually offended and each reader will be pleased to have this book to refer to when updating their knowledge and practice, or redesigning existing programs to meet the needs and challenges of working with adolescents who have sexually offended.


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