Sex Crime Recidivism: Evaluation of a Sexual Offender Treatment Program
Schweitzer, Robert & Dwyer, Jonathan (2003) Sex Crime Recidivism: Evaluation of a Sexual Offender Treatment Program. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18(11), pp. 1292-1310.
Evaluations of programs for sex offenders report mixed results, are costly and require validation. This study examines recidivism following a sexual offender treatment program in an Australian male offender population over an average at-risk period of five years and one month in the community. The group format cognitive behavioural program was offered to a subgroup of adult male prisoners. Subsequent re-offence types and rates for program completers, dropouts and controls were compared. No statistically significant recidivism reduction was observed following participation in this Sexual Offender Treatment Program, whereas recidivism appears to be related to a history of violent or sexual offences. The initial promise of sexual offender treatment programs must be further examined by individual and meta-analytic studies. Limited follow-up, missing data and fidelity of the program may have contributed to the null result. Monitoring treatment programs to ensure inclusion of proven interventions may enhance future program effectiveness.
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