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Quantitative Review of the Effects of Sex Offender Treatment on Sexual Reoffendering

NCJ Number
179268
Journal
Corrections Management Quarterly Volume: 3 Issue: 4 Dated: Fall 1999 Pages: 19-29
Author(s)
Catherine A. Gallagher MA; David B. Wilson Ph.D; Paul Hirschfield MA; Mark B. Coggeshall BA; Doris L. MacKenzie Ph.D
Date Published
1999
Annotation
The effects of sex offender treatment on recidivism in the area of sex offenses were examined by means of a quantitative synthesis of the results of 25 studies that evaluated the effectiveness of various treatment techniques for sex offenders.
Abstract
The study was prompted by recognition that the literature on the effectiveness of sex offender treatment programs is inconclusive. Some exhaustive literature reviews conclude that treatment does not reduce recidivism, while others suggest that some types of treatment may justify optimism. This study used the latest meta-analytic techniques to synthesize all available data on the effectiveness of sex offender treatment programs in reducing posttreatment sex offense rates. The study also examined the differential effectiveness of behavioral, cognitive behavioral, medical, and other psychosocial approaches to sex offender treatment. Overall, sex offender treatment resulted in lowered sexual offending. Cognitive-behavioral approaches appeared particularly promising, whereas the data produced less support for behavioral, chemical, and generalized psychosocial treatment. Further research is needed to determine the differential and possible additive effects of the various approaches to sex offender treatment. Tables, figures, and 58 references