Evaluating and Reducing Risk in Online Child Pornography Cases

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In their article on the subject of risk assessment of online child sexual exploitation offenders, Hirschtritt and colleagues highlight an important finding derived from an analysis of group data which concludes that the vast majority of individuals convicted for accessing child pornography online (and who have had no prior conviction for a contact sexual offense) are at low risk of becoming a contact, hands-on, sexual offender. This commentary is intended to complement their observations by emphasizing the importance of performing a comprehensive psychiatric-forensic evaluation when assessing risk. It argues that greater emphasis should be placed upon reducing any risk that may be identified rather than simply asserting its presence. While not arguing against legal sanctions, this commentary questions their severity in some instances based upon the above noted finding. This commentary suggests that effectively addressing the mental health needs of child pornography accessors and exploring methods of primary prevention should be considered aspects of risk reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-170
Number of pages6
JournalThe journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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