Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Contents:

Information:

  • Access
  • Open access

Figures:

Actions:

      • Send article to Kindle

        To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

        Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

        Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

        Working with Sex Offenders in Prisons and through Release to the Community: A Handbook, By Alec Spencer. London & Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 1999. 252 pp. £17.95 (pb). ISBN: 1-85302-767-7
        Available formats
        ×
        Send article to Dropbox

        To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

        Working with Sex Offenders in Prisons and through Release to the Community: A Handbook, By Alec Spencer. London & Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 1999. 252 pp. £17.95 (pb). ISBN: 1-85302-767-7
        Available formats
        ×
        Send article to Google Drive

        To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

        Working with Sex Offenders in Prisons and through Release to the Community: A Handbook, By Alec Spencer. London & Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 1999. 252 pp. £17.95 (pb). ISBN: 1-85302-767-7
        Available formats
        ×
Export citation

Let me first come clean. I remain to be convinced that the sex offender treatment industry as currently organised can justify its existence. I accept the need to do something to reduce the risk of re-offending. Nevertheless, sex offenders are a group par excellence where longterm follow-up is necessary because the risk of recidivism remains for many years. Alec Spencer reinforced my prejudices to a degree by describing a sophisticated treatment programme in Peterhead Prison, Scotland, with a maintenance programme to continue this work throughout the sentence, and then what? How will any gains be maintained in the community? To be fair, in the two chapters on ‘bridging the gap’ the author does tackle these issues, but the effort put into the Sex Offenders Treatment Programme (STOP in Scotland, but SOTP in England and Wales) cannot be supported on the evidence available. It would be surprising if their own treatment programmes in a locked institution could have a significant impact without similar (rather than the current patchy provision) systems in the community for prison programmes to plug into.

Nevertheless, although I did not think I would like the book, I was won over. I liked the style and I liked the layout, with a summary of key points after each section. The section on offenders (particularly female offenders) was informative. At times there was an uneasy shift of focus from Peterhead Prison to a national perspective, which was not always convincing. The author also slips from evidence to opinion rather too easily, sometimes restating opinions as though they are facts. I was mistaken in thinking that this book would only interest those engaged in this work. There are excellent sections on child visiting, the victim's perspective and on pornography in prison, which will be of interest to staff of all disciplines based in secure forensic inpatient units. These services have struggled with these issues (and Ashworth Hospital comes to mind here) and I agree with all that the author says on these topics. Why cannot secure hospital units also be pornography free zones?

London & Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 1999. 252 pp. £17.95 (pb). ISBN: 1-85302-767-7