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Risk, discretion, accountability and control: Police perceptions of sex offender risk management policy in England and Wales

Hoggett, James; McCartan, Kieran; O’Sullivan, Jack

Authors

Jack O’Sullivan



Abstract

© The Author(s) 2019. This article argues that understanding current approaches to sex offender risk management and its operationalization must account for front line situational decision-making practices and the culture from which they develop and operate. The research utilizes a mixed-methods approach, combining an online questionnaire survey (N = 227) with a series of semi-structured interviews (N = 27) with members of the police service of England and Wales. Analysis identifies ambivalence about the effectiveness of the current system of categorizing sex offenders and suggests concerns about accountability and a lack of resources results in discretion being used to engage with but also negotiate policy in practice. The article suggests that the task for sex offender risk management is to create classification tools that work with this discretion rather than against it.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2019
Journal Criminology and Criminal Justice
Print ISSN 1748-8958
Electronic ISSN 1748-8966
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Hoggett, J., McCartan, K., & O’Sullivan, J. (2019). Risk, discretion, accountability and control: Police perceptions of sex offender risk management policy in England and Wales. Criminology and Criminal Justice, https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895819839747
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895819839747
Keywords sex offender risk management, sex offender risk classification, police culture, police accountability, police discretion
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1748895819839747
Additional Information Additional Information : © 2019. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications

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