Griffith Criminology Institute
Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
Complexities in the management of sex offenders in the community workshop
Date: Monday 29 October 2018
Time: lunch served at noon, 1.00 pm formal program commences
Venue: Ship Inn Function Centre
Conceptualising ‘unacceptable risk’ of serious sex offending
Dr Michael Rowlands, Forensic Psychologist, Monash University
There is very limited research on the re-offending rates of sex offenders classified as ‘dangerous’ by Queensland Supreme Courts. The extant research suggests that whilst those considered ‘high-risk’ were more likely to re-offend with general offences, their overall level of sexual recidivism is actually ‘low.’ Current research has highlighted that conceptualising ‘dangerousness’ is complex and fraught with ethical and legal concerns, such as limited addressing of protective factors, ‘double punishment’ and violation of the principle of ‘proportionality.’ Clinicians making risk assessments consider overall risk by incorporating historical and dynamic risk factors and actuarial scale scores but may give less attention to protective factors and clinical and systemic management processes.
GPS tracking of sex offenders – Poor public policy and poor financial facility
Dr Russ Scott, Forensic Psychiatrist, Prison Mental Health Service, Queensland Health
The age of mass incarceration has seen a paradigm shift from “rehabilitation” to “punishment” and a decline in rehabilitation programs for offenders. The movement toward “containment and punishment” has become a ‘push factor’ for supervision and control strategies including the proliferation of electronic monitoring (EM) by global positioning system (GPS) tracking. Although the cost-effectiveness of EM programs relative to incarceration and other community-based programs has been promoted, there is no clear consensus that EM programs reduce re-offending or enhance public safety. Instead of being used as an alternative to incarceration, EM has simply become another sentencing option, facilitating “sanction-stacking” and “net widening.”
Desistence from sexual offending: how sex offenders stop offending.
Dr Danielle Harris, Lecturer in Criminology, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University
Unlike much of the research on this topic, Dr Harris places strong emphasis on how men who have committed serious sexual offenses come to stop offending and end their ‘criminal career’. She will present her findings from 70 interviews with convicted sex offenders in the US and her work with more than 200 men in three countries (US, UK, Australia), as well as 20 years of experience working with men in Australia and England, and a long time collaborating with people from all over the world.
Punishment and preventive detention under the Dangerous Prisoner (Sexual Offender) Act (Qld) – Legal Issues
Tim Ryan, Barrister, Brisbane, Queensland
The Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003 (Qld) was the first legislation in Australia to impose post-sentence detention in prison and continuing supervision of sex offenders. In 2007, Queensland was the first Australian jurisdiction to impose tracking devices on sex offenders who were subject to court-ordered supervision in the community.
Hypothetical responses to some hypothetical cases