Research in Court Setting

Feb 13, 2017 | 0 comments

Feb 13, 2017 | Miscellaneous | 0 comments

Research in Court Setting


Summary of Sexually Violent Predator Evaluations: Empirical Evidence, Strategies for Professionals, And Research Directions by Miller, Amenta & Conroy

Civil commitment laws have been passed by several states that permit precautionary sex offenders detention who have finished their criminal sentences. The numbers of sex offenders who have been committees with such statutes across the states are over 2500, in addition to thousands of other sex offenders who have undergone evaluation (Miller et al, 2005). Most statutes demand for an evaluation of risk to be done by a professional in mental health. Although each statute in every state is differently worded, three main common elements to evaluations of sexual violent predator are used in guidance of the evaluators. They include future sexual violence likelihood, volitional capacity and mental abnormality. The article provides empirical evidence for these forensic evaluation of main tenants, provides the evaluators with recommendations in light of current evidence of limitations. Furthermore, it offers suggestions of the existing gaps for future research in the forensic assessment area.

Important parts for the forensic psychology professional

In conducting an assessment on a suspect, the professional should seek the assistance of a mental health professional to find out whether the offender is a sexually violent predator, according to the states statutes for the purpose of community supervision and registration (Miller et al, 2005).

When conducting evaluation, the risk factors the professional should consider include psychosocial and criminal history, duration and degree of sexual deviance, and the mental orders severity. 

Application of the results by forensic psychology professional in a court setting

The professional can apply the empirical evidence in a court setting in consideration of the prisoners score on sexual recidivism risk assessment. Furthermore, the professional can review the treatments records and institutional history of the history when making an analysis. Moreover, the empirical evidence can be applied by the professional in reviewing the criminal background of the prisoner (Craig et al, 2013).



Miller, H., Amenta, A., & Conroy, M. (January 01, 2005). Sexually Violent Predator Evaluations: Empirical Evidence, Strategies for Professionals, and Research Directions. Law and Human Behavior, 29, 1, 29-54.

Craig, L. A., Beech, A. R., & Cortoni, F. (January 01, 2013). What Works in Assessing Risk in Sexual and Violent Offenders. 94-114.