Alice in recidivism land: The Queens logic and child protection workers' assessment of sexual dangerousness

Article


Coyle, Ian R., Halon, Robert L., Campbell, Terence W., Thomson, Donald M. and Woskett, Jessica. 2016. "Alice in recidivism land: The Queens logic and child protection workers' assessment of sexual dangerousness." American Journal of Forensic Psychology. 34 (1), pp. 5-36.
Article Title

Alice in recidivism land: The Queens logic and child protection workers' assessment of sexual dangerousness

ERA Journal ID44526
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCoyle, Ian R. (Author), Halon, Robert L. (Author), Campbell, Terence W. (Author), Thomson, Donald M. (Author) and Woskett, Jessica (Author)
Journal TitleAmerican Journal of Forensic Psychology
Journal Citation34 (1), pp. 5-36
Number of Pages32
Year2016
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN0733-1290
Web Address (URL)https://www.forensicpsychology.org/journal.htm
Abstract

This article is based on a case that highlights the dearth of cogent and pertinent risk assessment information in the reports and testimonies of many involved in assessing risks to children in real life problematic circumstances. In the case, the decision to exclude an intrafamilial sexual offender from the family home was made in large measure on the basis that the offender's wife accepted the offender's 'denial of guilt' to accusations previously made against him. Keeping families apart should not be entertained without reliable and valid evidence pointing to that decision. However, as will be seen, the evidence often relied upon by child protection workers, albeit in good faith, is neither. The assessment processes described in the case point directly to what appears to be a wider lack of knowledge specific to assessment of recidivism, to misrepresentation of risk assessment information, and to overarching epistemological issues that appear to be widely ignored and/or misunderstood within the overall field of risk assessment and threat management. The purpose of this article is to describe how the information used to decide upon exclusion in the case cannot be considered probative and to iterate the methodological processes that must be considered in such cases if miscarriages of justice are to be avoided.

Keywordschild protection; child sexual abuse; decision making; denial; family; guilt; hazard; human; recidivism; risk assessment; risk factor; sexual crime; sexual dangerousness; threat; witness
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520103. Forensic psychology
489999. Other law and legal studies not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Psychology and Counselling
American College of Forensic Psychology, United States
No affiliation
Deakin University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Permalink -

https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q7778/alice-in-recidivism-land-the-queens-logic-and-child-protection-workers-assessment-of-sexual-dangerousness

  • 36
    total views
  • 4
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

An assessment protocol for determining decision making capacity
Zuscak, Simon J. and Coyle, Ian R.. 2014. "An assessment protocol for determining decision making capacity." 1st Annual International Capacity Conference: Capacity, Ethics and the Prevention of Abuse. Hong Kong, China 20 Sep 2014
Train the trainers: maintaining standards to minimise injuries and avoiding legal liability in the fitness industry
Dietrich, Joachim, Keyzer, Patrick, Coyle, Ian R., Norton, Kevin, Sekendiz, Betul, Jones, Veronica and Finch, Caroline F.. 2013. "Train the trainers: maintaining standards to minimise injuries and avoiding legal liability in the fitness industry." Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Journal. 8 (1), pp. 89-106.
Legal risk management and injury in the fitness industry: the outcomes of focus group research and a national survey of fitness professionals
Keyzer, Patrick, Coyle, Ian R., Dietrich, Joachim, Norton, Kevin, Sekendiz, Betul, Jones, Veronica and Finch, Caroline F.. 2014. "Legal risk management and injury in the fitness industry: the outcomes of focus group research and a national survey of fitness professionals." Journal of Law and Medicine. 21 (4), pp. 826-844.
An evaluation of emergency plans and procedures in fitness facilities in Australia: implications for policy and practice
Sekendiz, Betul, Norton, Kevin, Keyzer, Patrick, Dietrich, Joachim, Coyle, Ian R., Jones, Veronica and Finch, Caroline. 2014. "An evaluation of emergency plans and procedures in fitness facilities in Australia: implications for policy and practice." Stal, Marc, Good, Sarah and Ammann, Walter (ed.) 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC 2014): Integrative Risk Management: The Role of Science, Technology and Practice. Davos, Switzerland 24 - 28 Aug 2014 Davos, Switzerland.
Opening up a can of worms: how do decision-makers decide when witnesses are telling the truth?
Coyle, Ian R. and Thomson, Donald M.. 2014. "Opening up a can of worms: how do decision-makers decide when witnesses are telling the truth?" Psychiatry Psychology and Law. 21 (4), pp. 475-491. https://doi.org/10.1080/13218719.2013.837803
How do decision makers decide when witnesses are telling the truth and what can be done to improve their accuracy In making assessments of witness credibility?
Coyle, Ian R.. 2013. How do decision makers decide when witnesses are telling the truth and what can be done to improve their accuracy In making assessments of witness credibility? Criminal Lawyers Association of Australia and New Zealand.