Sex Offender Evaluations
Psycholegal Assessments, Inc. offers objective, comprehensive, and thorough sex offender evaluations (psychosexual assessments) for individuals charged with a sexual crime, including pre-plea and pre-sentence sex offender evaluations, as well as sex offender evaluations for probation. Dr. Steven Gaskell is a licensed Sex Offender Evaluator in Illinois and a licensed Psychologist in Georgia who performs psychosexual evaluations.
Sex Offender Evaluations
All sex offender evaluations or psychosexual evaluations include a detailed risk assessment that includes use of actuarial instruments (when appropriate) and other research based risk and protective factors. Recidivism rates are not uniform across all sex offenders and once convicted, most sexual offenders are never re-convicted of another sexual offense. First time sex offenders are significantly less likely to sexually re-offend than are those with previous sexual convictions. In addition, for those sex offenders who have re-offended, the longer they remain in the community offense-free, the less likely they are to re-offend sexually (up to 50% for each 5 year period they remain offense free). Research has found that contemporary cognitive-behavioral treatment for sex offenders is associated with reductions in sexual offense recidivism rates from 10% to 17% after approximately 5 years of follow-up. Sexual offenders with a credible release plan are lower risk than sexual offenders without such a plan, and cooperation with supervision is a well-established factor that reduces risk (and non-compliance with supervision increases sexual re-offense risk).
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Dr. Steven Gaskell specializes in the evaluation of sex offenders and psychosexual evaluations. He has expertise evaluating individuals charged with sexual crimes, and performing comprehensive credible sex offender risk assessments that have been accepted by State and Federal courts. Psychological and psychosexual evaluation of a sexual offender requires a review of all materials relevant to the offenses, including statements to the police, previous psychological evaluations, witness accounts of his/her behavior, and past criminal record. Such sex offender psychosexual evaluations typically include a comprehensive review of all available legal, medical, and mental health records, and psychosexual testing including the Multiphasic Sex Inventory II (MSI-II). The adult male form of the MSI II (2000) is designed to measure the sexual characteristics of sex offenders or alleged sex offenders. In addition to the core scales of the Original MSI, the MSI II has additional reliability/validity, psychosexual, behavioral and accountability measures.
General psychological testing is also given in sex offender evaluations including such tests as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory – 2 RF (MMPI-2 RF) and the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). Other psychological testing is given based on the need of the particular individual being evaluated. Future risk assessment in sex offender evaluations includes the use of empirically validated actuarial instruments (i.e., Static-99R, Static-2002R), application of additional research based risk and protective factors to sexually reoffend, and a clinical interview are also utilized.
The sex offender evaluation outlines the individual’s mental disorder(s), a prognosis regarding the estimated risk to sexually re-offend (e.g., Low, Moderate or High or Level I, Level II, Level III, Level IVa, Level IVb)), sexual deviancy issues, treatment amenability, possible mitigating factors, and other recommendations as appropriate. The following areas are also investigated in psychosexual evaluations:
- Sexual developmental history, sexual arousal patterns and interest, deviance and paraphilic disorders
- Personality pathology and strengths
- Level of deception, denial, minimization and use of justifications
- Acceptance of responsibility and accountability for behavior
- Mental disorder and relevant prior mental health history
- Drug and alcohol use
- Recent maladaptive behavior
- Medical/neurological/pharmacological needs
- Level of violence and coercion
- Motivation and amenability for treatment
- High-risk behaviors
- Risk of re-offense including actuarial risk and other empirical based risk and protective factors
- Level of treatment and supervision need
Dr. Gaskell, forensic psychologist at Psycholegal Assessments, Inc., has completed over 1900 Forensic Psychological Evaluations including more than 1000 sex offender evaluations on a wide range of offenders. He has completed sex offender evaluations on persons who have been charged with a sexual offense for the first time, on persons who are repeat offenders, as well as evaluations within the context of Sexually Violent Person or Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) evaluations and Sexually Dangerous Person (SDP) evaluations. Dr. Gaskell also performs psychological evaluations and sex offender psychosexual evaluations for State and Federal Child Pornography cases, and Adam Walsh Act waivers for immigration. Dr. Gaskell has performed sex offender evaluations for Sexually Violent Person evaluations both pre-probable cause and post-probable cause. He has testified in approximately 90 Sexually Violent Person or Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) cases and he has testified as an expert witness for both the prosecution and the defense. He has also been deposed in such cases on over 30 occasions.
Dr. Gaskell has been qualified as an expert in sex offender evaluations and he has given testimony as a forensic psychology expert in the following Illinois counties: Cook County, Will County, DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, Dekalb County, Lake County, Winnebago County, Kankakee County, Ogle County, Bureau County, Fulton County, Champaign County, Sangamon County, Madison County, Adams County, Knox County, Warren County, Mercer County, Marion County, Whiteside County, Boone County, Stephenson County, and Jefferson County. He has also provided expert testimony regarding sexual offenders in several counties throughout Kansas.
Sex offender psychosexual evaluations can be completed for several counties in Georgia, including, but not limited to: Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Clayton County, Rockdale County, Douglas County, Henry County, Muscogee County, Forsyth County, Bibb County, Houston County, and Laurens County. These evaluations can be completed wither at the county jail or at our office in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Gaskell is credentialed by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. He is a Clinical Member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) and he is a Registered Evaluator with the Illinois Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB). He is a licensed Sex Offender Evaluator in Illinois. He also has been qualified as a Sex Offender Risk Assessment Evaluator by the DuPage County Department of Probation and Court Services.
Sexually Dangerous Persons Evaluations (SDP)
Psycholegal Assessments, Inc. accepts referrals for sex offender evaluations of persons being considered for the Sexually Dangerous Persons Acts in Illinois (725 ILCS 205). Dr. Steven Gaskell is a qualified evaluator with extensive expertise and specialization in sex offender evaluations. Dr. Gaskell evaluates whether the respondent has a “mental disorder,” meaning a congenital or acquired condition affecting the emotional or volitional capacity that predisposes the person to engage in acts of sexual violence. Such a mental disorder has to have existed for a period of not less than a year immediately prior to the filing of the Sexually Dangerous Person Petition, coupled with criminal propensities to the commission of sexual offenses, and who have demonstrated propensities toward acts of sexual assault or acts of sexual molestation with children. Criminal propensities to the commission of sexual offenses means that it is substantially probable that the person subject to the commitment proceeding will engage in the commission of sex offenses in the future, if not confined. Although Sexually Dangerous Person proceedings are civil in nature, the State’s burden of proof to commit someone as a Sexually Dangerous Person is beyond a reasonable doubt. The supreme court has stated that the purpose of the Act is (1) to protect the public by sequestering a sexually dangerous person until such a time as the individual is recovered and released, and (2) to subject sexually dangerous persons to treatment such that the individual may recover from the propensity to commit sexual offenses and be rehabilitated. The Sexually Dangerous Person Act is aimed at care and treatment, rather than punishment and deterrence.
If a sex offender is found to be and committed as a Sexually Dangerous Person, they are committed and treated until they have recovered from their condition or they are no longer dangerous. If the court finds that the person appears to be no longer dangerous, but that it is impossible to determine with certainty under conditions of institutional care that the person has fully recovered, the court shall enter an order granting Conditional Release.
Sexually Violent Persons Evaluations (SVP)
Sexually violent person or sexual predator legislation, in some form or another, dates back to the 1930s. The early versions of sexual predator laws, collectively referred to as sexual psychopath laws, provided for involuntary civil commitment of sexually violent individuals instead of incarceration. Most of these laws were repealed in the 1980s. The state of Washington was the first to adopt a modern sexual predator law, and it did so in reaction to a particularly brutal case involving a sex offender. Modern sexual predator laws, unlike many of the older statutes, are aimed at sexually violent individuals who are nearing the end of their prison term. Sexually violent predator laws have two major goals: (1) to protect the public from sexually violent individuals until those individuals are rehabilitated and released, and (2) to subject sexually violent individuals to treatment so the individual might be rehabilitated and return to society. There are currently 19 states that have some form of Sexually Violent Person or Sexually Violent Predator law including: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Psycholegal Assessments, Inc. has had a contract to conduct sex offender evaluations for post-probable cause Sexually Violent Person evaluations in Illinois. Dr. Gaskell has performed such Sexually Violent Person sex offender evaluations in Illinois since 2005 and he continues to do so. He also completed pre-probable cause sex offender evaluations for sex offenders in Kansas being considered under the Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act from 1999 to 2001.
Psycholegal Assessments, Inc. accepts referrals for sex offender evaluations of pre-probable cause and post-probable cause Sexually Violent Person and Sexually Violent Predator Evaluations nationwide, with the exception of Illinois. Second opinion sex offender evaluations and trial consultation services are also available.
Sexually Violent Persons Laws by State
Psycholegal Assessments, Inc. will accept Sexually Violent Person, Sexually Violent Predator referrals on a case by case basis.
In Illinois a Sexually Violent Person is defined in 725 ILCS 207/5 (f) as the following: “Sexually violent person” means a person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, has been adjudicated delinquent for a sexual violent offense, or has been found not guilty of a sexual violent offense by reason of insanity and who is dangerous because he or she suffers from a mental disorder that makes it substantially probable that the person will engage in acts of sexual violence. This act became effective on January 1, 1998.
In Kansas, Statute Chapter 59, Article 29a (59-29a02 Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators) defines a Sexually Violent Predator as:
(a) “Sexually violent predator” means any person who has been convicted of or charged with a sexually violent offense and who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder which makes the person likely to engage in repeat acts of sexual violence.
(b) “Mental abnormality” means a congenital or acquired condition affecting the emotional or volitional capacity which predisposes the person to commit sexually violent offenses in a degree constituting such person a menace to the health and safety of others.
(c) “Likely to engage in repeat acts of sexual violence” means the person’s propensity to commit acts of sexual violence is of such a degree as to pose a menace to the health and safety of others.
South Carolina Sexually Violent Predator Act
In South Carolina, Title 44 – Chapter 48 – Sexually Violent Predator Act defines a Sexually Violent Predator as a person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense; and suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility for long-term control, care, and treatment. Mental abnormality means a mental condition affecting a person’s emotional or volitional capacity that predisposes the person to commit sexually violent offenses. “Likely to engage in acts of sexual violence” means the person’s propensity to commit acts of sexual violence is of such a degree as to pose a menace to the health and safety of others.
Federal Court – Sexually Dangerous Person
18 U.S.C. § 4248 Civil Commitment of a Sexually Dangerous Person
The federal government must obtain a “Certification of a Sexually Dangerous Person” before it can proceed in a civil commitment action. Under § 4247(a)(5), a “sexually dangerous person” is defined as one who has engaged or attempted to engage in sexually violent conduct or child molestation, and who is “sexually dangerous to others” or suffers from a serious mental illness, abnormality or disorder, as a result of which he would have “serious difficulty in refraining from sexually violent conduct or child molestation if released.”
A federal district court must find at an evidentiary hearing that the government has met its burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence that an offender is a sexually dangerous person. If the burden is met, he may be confined in an appropriate facility for mental health treatment until it is determined that he is no longer a danger to others. 18 U.S.C. § 4248(d).
Illinois – Main Office – Naperville, Illinois
Our main office in Naperville, Illinois is convenient to Wheaton, Warrenville, Aurora, Lisle, Woodridge, St. Charles, Geneva, and Plainfield, Illinois with a location close to the intersection of I-88 and Route 59.
Psycholegal Assessments, Inc.
2135 City Gate Lane, Suite 300
Naperville, Illinois 60563
Office Phone: 630-780-1085
Cell Phone : 630-903-9193
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Atlanta , Georgia- Buckhead Office
Our Atlanta office is in the Buckhead/Lenox area and is close to the Lenox Marta Station.
Psycholegal Assessments, Inc.
3355 Lenox Road, Suite 750
Atlanta, GA 30326
Office Phone: 404-504-7039
Cell Phone : 630-903-9193
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com