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Treatment of Sex Offenders (From Managing Adult Sex Offenders: A Containment Approach, P 13.1-13.15, 1996, Kim English, Suzanne Pullen, and Linda Jones, eds. - See NCJ- 162392)

NCJ Number
Date Published
15 pages
An Oregon psychologist describes his approach to sex offender treatment and the collaborative relationships required for effective community treatment and management of sex offenders on probation and parole.
Studies reviewed as part of NIJ-sponsored research on the management of sex offenders in the community indicated that certain sex offenders who have engaged in certain types of specialized treatment reoffend at lower rates than offenders who have not participated in treatment. Sex offender differ from other clients in outpatient therapy in their complicated psychological and social system of denying and minimizing the harm they inflict on others. Group therapy provides the best format for confronting ongoing denial, increasing offenders' acceptance of their deviance, and maximizing accountability. In a group setting, offenders also have the opportunity to observe others making mistakes, coping with their sorrow and regret, and learn from others. Treatment components that are taught continuously are instruction on the sexual abuse cycle and relapse prevention. Other instructional units are taught as specific, separate units. The Oregon program does not preserve confidentiality among the offender, the offender's therapist, the victim's therapist, and the probation/parole officer. The polygraph is used to evaluate the offender's disclosures and current behavior. The plethysmograph is used to assess sexual arousal. Teamwork among therapists, polygraph examiners, and probation and parole officers is essential to keep the offender motivated and honest. Providing treatment services is stressful and requires respectful and direct communications. The supervising probation and parole agency has an important role in effective sex offender treatment. Footnotes and recommendations for probation and parole agencies

Date Published: January 1, 1996