This book offers a fresh perspective on treating a population that is often demonized by policymakers, the public, and even clinicians. Leading experts D. Richard Laws and Tony Ward argue that most sex offenders are "people like us," with the potential to lead meaningful, law-abiding lives—if given a chance and appropriate support. They present an empirically and theoretically grounded rehabilitation approach, the Good Lives Model, which can be integrated with the assessment and intervention approaches that clinicians already use.
The book comprehensively examines what is known about factors promoting desistance from crime. Laws and Ward explain that desistance is not an isolated event, but a process—replete with lapses, relapses, and recoveries—by which an individual turns away from criminality and becomes reintegrated into the community. They critique existing models of dealing with offenders that primarily focus on risk management and surveillance. Instead, they show how encouraging naturally occurring desistance processes and directly addressing barriers to community reentry can make treatment more effective and long lasting. The Good Lives Model is compatible with widely used cognitive and behavioral treatment techniques, but it provides a broader framework for helping individuals envision and work toward the kind of life they want. It also emphasizes the importance of furnishing social, vocational, and family supports to increase offenders' well-being and reduce recidivism. Concise case examples illustrate how the Good Lives Model can enable practitioners to incorporate desistance theory into real-world clinical practice with this population.
Describing a powerful new way of thinking about and responding to offenders, this book is richly informative reading for clinical and forensic psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers; sex offender treatment specialists; and researchers in psychology and law, as well as graduate students in these fields.
"A well-written text that advances the discussion of what we, as a society, can and should do with sex offenders...In their present work, Laws and Ward have accelerated the pace of our exploration into the study of desistance from sex offending." - Robert Furey, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 56, No. 15, April 13, 2011 "In an era of harsher sentences and stricter punishments, especially for sex offenders, this book is a breath of fresh air. Drawing on extensive clinical expertise and wisdom that comes from years of working with sex offenders, Laws and Ward provide an excellent guide to what needs to be done to help sex offenders change their lives and decrease recidivism. The Good Lives model is the future of sex offender treatment, and its concepts need to be incorporated into correctional programming. This book is an essential resource for clinicians, researchers, and policymakers. It would serve as a great text for courses on offender rehabilitation from a psychological or criminological perspective. Students would benefit from the excellent integration of research and theory into clinical practice, and would find the fresh perspective on rehabilitation to be eye opening." - Elizabeth L. Jeglic, Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, USA "Researchers and treatment specialists have long been waiting for a book on desistance from sexual offending. Laws and Ward's book is well worth the wait. From two of the most respected practitioner/researchers in the field, Desistance from Sex Offending is a paradigm changer in sex offender treatment and reintegration." - Shadd Maruna, Professor and Director, Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Queen's University Belfast, UK