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Treating Sex Offending and Substance Abuse Populations (From Correctional Counseling and Rehabilitation, Third Edition, P 257- 269, 1997, Patricia Van Voorhis, Michael Braswell, et al, eds. - See NCJ-169329)

NCJ Number
G Hurst
Date Published
13 pages
Specific programs and strategies used in the treatment of sex offenders and drug abusers are outlined, with emphasis on relapse prevention.
An assessment of the client's needs and readiness to receive treatment should be performed regardless of whether the target group involves sex offenders or drug abusers. A thorough needs assessment gains pertinent information about several areas of the offender's life. While no single treatment modality is superior to any other for all sex offenders and drug abusers, favorable treatment outcomes are often associated with length of time in treatment, pretreatment employment, and lack of pretreatment criminality. For both sex offenders and drug abusers, treatment strategies encompass pharmacological approaches, cognitive, and behavioral approaches. Behavioral strategies include aversion therapy, covert sensitization or aversive therapy, and masturbatory conditioning. Cognitive strategies include empathy training, role playing, and social skills training. Relapse prevention, a common component of treatment strategies, is intended to help offenders maintain and enhance changes produced by treatment and ensure offenders continue to use the skills learned after treatment has ended. The effectiveness of various treatment programs is discussed.