17. Distinguishing Moral and Clinical Decisions in Sex Offender Programs

The Good Lives Model and Virtue Ethics

  1. Dr Karen Harrison2 and
  2. Dr Bernadette Rainey3
  1. Dr Bill Glaser

Published Online: 11 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118314876.ch17

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Legal and Ethical Aspects of Sex Offender Treatment and Management

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Legal and Ethical Aspects of Sex Offender Treatment and Management

How to Cite

Glaser, B. (2013) Distinguishing Moral and Clinical Decisions in Sex Offender Programs, in The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Legal and Ethical Aspects of Sex Offender Treatment and Management (eds K. Harrison and B. Rainey), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118314876.ch17

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Hull, UK

  2. 3

    Cardiff Law School, UK

Author Information

  1. University of Melbourne, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 20 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119945550

Online ISBN: 9781118314876

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Keywords:

  • clinical decisions;
  • Good Lives Model (GLM);
  • moral rules;
  • offender rehabilitation programs;
  • sex offenders;
  • virtue ethics

Summary

This chapter uses the Good Lives Model (GLM) as an example of how moral and clinical decisions in sex offender rehabilitation programs are difficult to distinguish. It first provides a brief overview of some moral theories commonly used as the ethical bases of human service models. From among the available candidates, virtue ethics seems to fit best with the assumptions and practices of the GLM. The shortcomings of this framework are then described, particularly those which might affect the decisions made by clinicians using a GLM approach. Some ways of overcoming these, using ethical rather than clinical responses, are also suggested. The chapter concludes that, however difficult they may be to attain, the GLM's aspirations of achieving a meaningful and worthwhile life for even the most despised members of our community may result in policy and attitude changes that will be of enormous benefit to society as a whole.