Treatment for sex offenders
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Offenders who follow a course of treatment are less likely to re-offend than those who go without treatment.
Treatment for sex offenders
More than most crimes, sex crimes create fear and anger in society. Unfortunately, media stories about sex crimes don't always tell the whole story about treatment and rehabilitation of sex offenders. Research shows that most sex offenders are never convicted again for a sexual offence after serving their sentence and receiving treatment.
Assessment is key
Correctional services staff face the challenge of assessing sex offenders to determine the best treatment program. Not all sex offenders have the same risk of re-offending. Factors that are taken under consideration include previous sexual offences, the choice of victim, and whether or not the offender has ever been married. The assessment process also looks at the life experiences of individual offenders and takes into account their psychological make-up.
Assessment of sex offenders continues throughout the sentence. Once in the community, correctional services staff supervise offenders and look for signs of a relapse that would put society at risk. Assessment tools allow them to distinguish between offenders who are doing well in the community and those who are on the verge of sexually re-offending.
Treatment is effective
Not all sex offenders should be treated the same. The type of crime and personal factors should determine the treatment.
Research shows that treatment of sex offenders does make a difference. Sex offenders who receive treatment are less likely to re-offend. Offenders who don't receive treatment are likely to re-offend at a rate of 17 per cent compared to 10 per cent for offenders who have received treatment.
Most sexual offenders do not re-offend sexually over time.
Different types of sex crimes are linked to different risk levels for re-offending. That is why it is particularly important to assess sex offenders. Treatment programs for sex offenders must match the offenders' risk levels and their learning styles. Sex offender programs stress the need for offenders to take responsibility for their actions and recognize the behaviours that led to the offence. Offenders must learn to identify high risk situations that could lead to re-offending and develop strategies to cope with them.
Sex offenders succeed better after their prison term if they are supervised in the community.
Overall effect of treatment on percentage of re-offending
Treatment in the community
In the community, sex offenders can take part in follow-up maintenance programs that boost treatment and helps staff monitor risk levels and help offenders develop self-management skills.