Sex crime management has become a “growth industry” recently, with several laws being enacted nationally to respond to sex offending. Perhaps reflecting this increased interest in preventing sexual violence, a growing body of literature has been devoted toward understanding the nature and extent of sex crime, its causes, and public and policy responses to sex offending. Yet, relatively few scholarly texts which summarize and review this large knowledge base currently exist. This gap is particularly striking given that contemporary discussions about sex offenders frequently rely on myths about sex crime. In turn, scholars claim that current policy responses resting on these misperceptions are not likely to be effective in preventing sex offending. This text seeks to fill this void by examining three critical dimensions of sex crime scholarship, which are covered in twelve chapters.
The first dimension, “The Nature and Extent of Sex Offending and Prominent Theoretical Explanations,” which encompasses four chapters, reviews what is known about sexual offending and sex crime. The text then moves into the second substantive domain, “Societal Responses to Sexual Offending,” which includes three chapters. This focus is particularly relevant toward a broader understanding of sexual offenders and sex crime policy given that public opinion, and more generally, societal impressions, have played a significant role in the creation of sex crime laws. The final focus of the text, “Sex Crime Policy and Reform,” which includes the remaining chapters, analyzes prominent laws and policies developed in recent decades to punish and control sex offenders.
“America has enacted unprecedented “get tough” punishments, including lengthy prison sentences and civil commitment, aimed at reducing sex crime. Why? Has sex crime increased dramatically? Does locking up sex offenders work? What sanctions and interventions most effectively reduce sex offending? If we are to protect citizens in a just and cost-efficient manner, we need answers that reflect the best insights that theory and research have to offer to such questions. Christina Mancini provides these answers and more. She describes sex crime trends and their causes, the dramatic changes in sex crime policy at the turn of the twenty-first century and how they accord with historical practice and public opinion, and the theory, implementation, and effectiveness of laws that define the contemporary sex crime policy landscape. The book is a must-read — it will fascinate scholars, enlighten students, policymakers, and the public, and identifies what must be done to create a safer and more just society.” — Daniel P. Mears, Mark C. Stafford Professor of Criminology, Florida State University
“A wonderful addition to the sex crime literature ... [T]his book would benefit a variety of undergraduate courses ... The text is written in such a way that will promote understanding even for casual readers, as the text is well organized and tables are used throughout the book to provide succinct summary and comparison of major theories, research, and states. Mancini's level of detail and writing quality would also make this book ideal for informing nonacademic audiences involved with this population, such as social workers, lawyers, or policy makers, about the realities of sex offending.” — Criminal Justice Review
“...carefully researched and exquisitely presented, while also addressing a wide array of issues that fall under the topical umbrella of sexual offending...appropriately complements previous sex offending literature by offering readers a scrupulous overview of all issues inherent to a healthy review of sexual offending without being offensively verbose or difficult for those outside the social sciences to follow.” — Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books
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