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Sex Offender Treatment: Consumer Satisfaction and Engagement in Therapy

NCJ Number
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology Volume: 54 Issue: 3 Dated: June 2010 Pages: 307-326
Jill S. Levenson; David S. Prescott; David A. D'Amora
Date Published
June 2010
20 pages
This study examined sex offenders' perceptions of sex offender treatment programs and the role that this treatment played in their decision to not engage in criminal sexual behavior.
Convicted sex offenders attending an outpatient treatment program in Connecticut were surveyed about their experiences in therapy, their perceived importance of treatment content, their satisfaction with the help they receive, and their engagement in therapeutic services. There were strong correlations between perceived importance of content items and satisfaction with services. A robust correlation was also found between engagement and satisfaction. Clients rated accountability and victim empathy as the most important components of treatment. Other popular content areas were thinking errors, relapse prevention concepts, uncovering motivations to offend, and controlling deviant arousal. Most sex offenders valued the peer support and confrontation offered by group therapy. Though reduced recidivism is clearly the crucial measure of treatment success, clients who are engaged in the treatment process and develop healthy interpersonal skills by participating in therapy may be less likely to engage in abusive behavior. Implications for practitioners are discussed. Tables and references (Published Abstract)