Sex offenders, sentencing laws and pharmaceutical treatment: A prescription for failure

T. Howard Stone, William J. Winslade, Craig M. Klugman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Scopus citations


    The phenomenon of adults who have sexual interests involving children as partners, or pedophiles, is considered among the most sociopathological of human conditions. Considerable literature is devoted to issues and problems associated with or related to pedophilia, including prevalence, etiology, treatment, and outcome studies. The sexual victimization of children, based upon data gathered from a number of sources, suggests an intractable problem that is national in scope. Recent manifestations of society's efforts to deal with the sexual victimization of children include the enactment of criminal sentencing laws that mandate the treatment of offenders with certain pharmaceutical agents, such as medroxy-progesterone acetate ('MPA'). Because sentencing laws as a rule vary widely from state to state, there is considerable variation as to who is subject to MPA treatment laws, and how such laws - including specific provisions, such as clinical criteria, if any, required for treatment; type and period of treatment plans; informed consent; etc - are implemented. Most important, these sentencing laws may have remarkably little relation to what is widely considered effective treatment for pedophilia disorders. We examine in detail the most recent sentencing laws pertaining to treatment of persons who have been convicted of sex offenses involving children as victims. Our critique may offer insight and suggestions as to how such sentencing laws can be more suitably tailored to the treatment needs of persons with pedophilia disorders. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)83-110
    Number of pages28
    JournalBehavioral Sciences and the Law
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Clinical Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Law


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