The ethical advantages of using strengths based approaches to support the risk assessment of sexual offenders

Journal of Forensic Research

ISSN: 2157-7145

Open Access

The ethical advantages of using strengths based approaches to support the risk assessment of sexual offenders

5th International Conference on Forensic Research & Technology

October 31-November 02, 2016 San Francisco, USA

Stephanie Kewley

Birmingham City University, UK

Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Forensic Res

Abstract :

Risk assessment tools that predict sexual recidivism are an essential part of formal risk management planning processes. They are critical in helping criminal justice agencies deploy appropriate resources in accordance with perceived risk. Thus, they serve to protect the public from harm and manage public resources effectively. However, one of the consequences of a risk reduction approach is that while public protection concerns are addressed, the legitimate needs of the client tend to be ignored. Instead, because of the controls and restrictions placed upon them they become stigmatized and prevented from fully reintegrating back into society. A more ethical approach to risk assessment might be one that considers the strengths and needs of the client. Indeed, strengths based approaches enable people to build personal capacity, develop community and social bonds and ultimately contribute to society by living a meaningful and offence free life. Strengths based approaches inevitably serve the needs of the public, criminal justice agencies along with those of the client. However, little empirical evidence exists of the relationship between strengths based risk assessment approaches and public protection. This paper therefore presents the findings of a systematic review of the literature. Preliminary findings indicate strengths based risk assessment provides ethical advantages by: Improving risk prediction; developing meaningful treatment and rehabilitation plans; enhancing practitioner motivation; and improving the quality of client experience in the criminal justice system.

Biography :


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