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From Megan’s Law to Jessica’s Law, almost every state in the nation has passed some law to punish sex offenders. This popular tough-on-crime legislation is often written after highly-publicized cases have made the gruesome rounds through the media, and usually features harsh sentences, lifetime GPS monitoring, a dramatic expansion of the civil commitment procedures, and severe restrictions on where released sex offenders may live. In Sex Fiends, Perverts, and Pedophiles, Chrysanthi Leon argues that, while the singular notion of the sexual boogeyman has been used to justify these harsh policies, not all sex offenders are the same and such ‘one size fits all’ policies can unfairly punish other offenders of lesser crimes, needlessly targeting, sometimes ostracizing, citizens from their own communities. While many recognize that prison is not the right tool for every crime problem, Leon compellingly argues that the U.S. maintains a one-size-fits-all approach to sexual offending which is undermining public safety. Leon explains how we’ve reached this point—with a large incarcerated sex offender population, many of whom will be released in the coming years with multiple barriers to their success in the community, and without much expertise to guide them or to guide those who are charged to help them. Leon argues that we cannot blame the public, nor even the politicians, except indirectly. Instead, we might blame the institutions we charge with making placement decisions and with the experts—both those who have chosen to work in the field and those who have caused its marginalization. Ultimately, Leon shows that when policies intended for the worst offenders take over, all of us suffer.
Sex, Sexuality, Law, and (In)Justice covers a wide range of legal issues associated with sexuality, gender, reproduction, and identity. These are critical and sensitive issues that law enforcement and other criminal justice professionals need to understand. The book synthesizes the literature across a wide breadth of perspectives, exposing students to law, psychology, criminal justice, sociology, philosophy, history, and, where relevant, biology, to critically examine the social control of sex, gender, and sexuality across history. Specific federal and state case law and statutes are integrated throughout the book, but the text moves beyond the intersection between law and sexuality to focus just as much on social science as it does on law. This book will be useful in teaching courses in a range of disciplines—especially criminology and criminal justice, history, political science, sociology, women and gender studies, and law.
Are sex workers victims, criminals, or just trying to make a living? Over the last five years, public policy and academic discourse have moved from criminalization of sex workers to victim-based understanding, shaped by human trafficking. While most research focuses on macro-level policies and theories, less is known about the on-the-ground perspectives of people whose lives are impacted by sex work, including attorneys, social workers, police officers, probation officers, and sex workers themselves. Challenging Perspectives on Street-Based Sex Work brings the voices of lower-echelon sex workers and those individuals charged with policy development and enforcement into conversation with one another. Chapters highlight some of the current approaches to sex work, such as diversion courts, trafficking task forces, law enforcement assisted diversion and decriminalization. It also examines how sex workers navigate seldom-discussed social phenomenon like gentrification, pregnancy, imperialism, and being subjects of research. Through dialogue, our authors reveal the complex reality of engaging in and regulating sex work in the United States and through American aid abroad. Contributors include: Aneesa A. Baboolal, Marie Bailey-Kloch, Mira Baylson, Nachale "Hua" Boonyapisomparn, Belinda Carter, Jennifer Cobbina, Ruby Corado, Eileen Corcoran, Kate D'Adamo, Edith Kinney, Margot Le Neveu, Martin A. Monto, Linda Muraresku, Erin O'Brien, Sharon Oselin. Catherine Paquette, Dan Steele, Chase Strangio, Signy Toquinto, and the editors.
A perennial issue in social work is the lack of clear evidence showing how to be a successful advocate and how to create enthusiasm among students for policy practice. Researchers are now applying theory to understand better the topics of effective social work advocacy and policy practice. The results of testing conceptual models with carefully gathered evidence are beneficial, helping us to advance our knowledge more quickly than merely collecting descriptions of case studies that remain unintegrated into a larger context. Improvements in understanding how to conduct effective advocacy emerge, helping practitioners to be more successful in their advocacy efforts. Similarly, bringing evidence and data to teaching methods improves confidence in their applicability to more than one course or institution. Readers of this book will discover how to be more effective policy practitioners as well as more engaging instructors by focusing on theories and evidence which demonstrate successful advocacy and teaching. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Policy Practice.
The controversy surrounding community responses to housing for sexually violent predators When a South Carolina couple killed a registered sex offender and his wife after they moved into their neighborhood in 2013, the story exposed an extreme and relatively rare instance of violence against sex offenders. While media accounts would have us believe that vigilantes across the country lie in wait for predators who move into their neighborhoods, responses to sex offenders more often involve collective campaigns that direct outrage toward political and criminal justice systems. No community wants a sex offender in its midst, but instead of vigilantism, Monica Williams argues, citizens often leverage moral, political, and/or legal authority to keep these offenders out of local neighborhoods. Her book, the culmination of four years of research, 70 in-depth interviews, participant observations, and studies of numerous media sources, reveals the origins and characteristics of community responses to sexually violent predators (SVP) in the U.S. Specifically, The Sex Offender Housing Dilemma examines the placement process for released SVPs in California and the communities’ responses to those placements. Taking the reader into the center of these related issues, Monica Williams provokes debate on the role of communities in the execution of criminal justice policies, while also addressing the responsibility of government institutions to both groups of citizens. The Sex Offender Housing Dilemma is sure to promote increased civic engagement to help strengthen communities, increase public safety, and ensure government accountability.
It is commonly acknowledged that sexual abuse of children is a grave and pervasive problem and that child molesters are predators who compulsively repeat their crimes and have little hope of cure. Yet as recently as twenty years ago many experts viewed the problem far less seriously, declaring that molestation was a very rare offense and that molesters were merely confused individuals unlikely to repeat their offenses. Over the past century, opinion has fluctuated between these radically different perspectives. This timely book traces shifting social responses to adult sexual contacts with children, whether this involves molestation by strangers or incestuous acts by family members. The book explores how and why concern about the sexual offender has fluctuated in North America since the late nineteenth century.
Using the tools of sociological theory, Robert Brenneman seeks to discover why a pot-smoking, gun-wielding "homie" gang member would want to trade in la vida loca for a Bible and the buttoned-down lifestyle of an evangelical hermano (brother in Christ) - and to what extent this strategy works for the many youth who have tried it.

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