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Sexual offenders in preventive detention: data concerning the inmates and expert witness practice


Habermeyer, E; Passow, W; Puhlmann, P; Vohs, K; Herpertz, S (2009). Sexual offenders in preventive detention: data concerning the inmates and expert witness practice. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 53(4):373-384.

Abstract

In the last decade, preventive detention—especially that relating to sexual offenders— has gained relevance for the German legal system. However, data are lacking concerning the inmates and the modus operandi of the psychiatric experts. Court orders and psychiatric statements of 114 offenders with orders of preventive detention were examined, 57 of whom were incarcerated because of sexual offences. Sexual offenders mostly show antisocial personality traits or even disorders, with a history of poly-trophic delinquency. In only four cases, the diagnosis of a sexual disorder was given. The analysis showed a high rate of psychiatric expert testimonies' lacking basic information, with incomplete assessment of sexual history. None of the experts used standardized prognostic instruments, meaning that most of the risk factors included in the Sexual Violence Risk—20 and the Static-99 were not considered. Further work needs to be done to improve the quality of psychiatric statements concerning sexual offenders.

In the last decade, preventive detention—especially that relating to sexual offenders— has gained relevance for the German legal system. However, data are lacking concerning the inmates and the modus operandi of the psychiatric experts. Court orders and psychiatric statements of 114 offenders with orders of preventive detention were examined, 57 of whom were incarcerated because of sexual offences. Sexual offenders mostly show antisocial personality traits or even disorders, with a history of poly-trophic delinquency. In only four cases, the diagnosis of a sexual disorder was given. The analysis showed a high rate of psychiatric expert testimonies' lacking basic information, with incomplete assessment of sexual history. None of the experts used standardized prognostic instruments, meaning that most of the risk factors included in the Sexual Violence Risk—20 and the Static-99 were not considered. Further work needs to be done to improve the quality of psychiatric statements concerning sexual offenders.

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6 citations in Web of Science®
8 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:09 Feb 2010 13:54
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:52
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0306-624X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X08316152
PubMed ID:18378629

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