The management of sex offenders: perspectives for psychiatry

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Antisocial Personality Disorder; Commitment of Mentally Ill; Dangerous Behavior; Diagnosis, Differential; Expert Testimony; Humans; Mental Disorders; Paraphilias; Risk Management; Sex Offenses; United States


Health Services Research | Law | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


In the effort to identify and manage sex offenders, the differences between legal and medical/psychiatric terminology and approaches are readily apparent. This article discusses the different definitions and approaches of the two fields and considers both the behaviors that create risk to others and the strategies for reducing that risk. Particular attention is paid to the subcategory of paraphilic sex offenders. Treatment goals, modalities, and efficacies are discussed, as are evolving legal strategies for risk control and the need for interaction between law and medicine/psychiatry in order to accomplish common goals of risk management.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2010 Nov-Dec;18(6):359-68. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed