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Recidivism Among Treated Sexual Offenders and Comparison Subjects: Recent Outcome Data From the Regional Treatment Centre (Ontario) High-Intensity Sex Offender Treatment Programme

NCJ Number
Journal of Sexual Aggression Volume: 17 Issue: 2 Dated: 2011 Pages: 142-152
Jeffrey Abracen; Jan Looman; Meaghan Ferguson; Leighl Harkins; Donna Mailoux
Date Published
11 pages

This investigation examined a sample of 64 offenders treated at the Regional Treatment Centre (Ontario) Sex Offender Treatment Program (RTCSOTP) and a sample of 55 untreated sexual offenders from the Ontario region of Correctional Service of Canada.


Groups were matched on age at index offence, Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) score and type of sexual offender (i.e. intrafamilial child molester, extrafamilial child molester and rapist). Also, the id Risk Assessment of Sexual Offence Recidivism Scale (RRASOR) was scored on all offenders. Recidivism, based upon officially recorded conviction data, was used as the primary dependent measure. Results indicated that both treated offenders and comparison participants evidenced low sexual recidivism rates (approximately 10 percent over follow-up periods that extended beyond 9 years for both treated and comparison offenders). With reference to high PCL-R treated and comparison offenders, both groups evidenced rates of sexual recidivism approaching zero (one offender in each group recidivated sexually). These data have important implications for those who view treatment with high PCL-R offenders as without hope for success. Both treated and untreated comparison offenders received a wide variety of non-sexual offender programs directed at criminogenic need areas. Treated offenders who were rated as being higher risk on the RRASOR evidenced substantially lower than predicted rates of sexual offending. (publisher abstract modified)