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Contemporary Sex Offender Treatment: Incorporating Circles of Support and the Good Lives Model (From What Else Works? Creative Work With Offenders, P 211-235, 2010, Jo Brayford, Francis Cowe, and John Deering, eds. - See NCJ-230924)

NCJ Number
Mark S. Carich; Chris Wilson; Peter A. Carich; Martin C. Calder
Date Published
23 pages
This chapter notes that there are a number of promising innovative conceptual approaches that offer new paths for improving treatment effectiveness with sex offenders, and the chapter cites two examples, the Good Lives Model (GLM) and Circles of Support (COS).
The GLM of rehabilitation is a strengths-based approach (Rapp, 1998), with a dual focus on risk management and psychological well-being. The GLM proposes that rehabilitation will be most effective when offenders learn to manage their risk of reoffending within the broader goal of learning to lead a better kind of life, which is one in which an individual meets his/her basic human needs in socially acceptable and personally satisfying ways. From a GLM perspective, it is not sufficient only to teach skills to reduce or manage risk factors. Instead, the challenge of achieving and maintaining behavioral change must be embedded within the experiences of personal well-being, personal identity, and a positive lifestyle. The GLM model is applied to sex offender treatment by including both meeting needs appropriately as part of the client's life plan and clinical guidelines within the treatment setting. The clinical setting should be positive, nonpunitive, and nonshaming. The chapter outlines Ward's (2004) list of clinical guidelines with a strengths-based approach. The COS involves a group of trained volunteers who meet regularly with a group and as individuals with a high-risk sex offender living in their community. They hold him/her accountable for past offending behavior through a relationship of care and support. The intent of the group support is to help sex offenders formulate personal goals that will result in the evolution of a more satisfying and meaningful life that consciously avoids the harmful sexual behaviors. The chapter describes how the GLM and COS have been used with sex offenders in the United Kingdom. 1 figure and 65 references