Barry M. Maletzky
Among the vast majority of mental health clients to be evaluated in any setting, few are truly undertaking assessment against their will. Unfortunately, this is not true of most sexual offenders being evaluated for forensic or treatment purposes. Most such offenders would not have elected, by their own choosing, to undertake assessment or treatment. Many have been referred only after having been adjudicated, that is, charged with a crime, then either pled guilty, or been found guilty by trial. Some will have been referred by their attorneys before any charges have been formally brought, but in anticipation of being accused. Only a few, fewer than 5% in most series (Maletzky, 1991b, pp. 213-267), will present of their own free will because they believe they have a problem requiring treatment.
The largely involuntary nature of these clients creates a far different atmosphere in assessing the sexual offender; it complicates treatment even more so. Nonetheless, successful evaluations and treatment outcomes are routinely reported in the sexual offender literature (Hanson et al., 2002). In the sections which follow, we will provide a brief description of the populations presenting for evaluation and treatment, the assessment strategies routinely employed, the day-to-day clinical issues encountered with this population, and a typical case example (a homosexual pedophile),