Sex offender treatment and success rates
Worling, Litteljohn, and Bookalam reported a year follow-up with youth. The findings from those studies suggest that youth who had no treatment have a higher rate of recidivism for sexual and non-sexual crimes. Nearly all youth in Utah with sustained sexual offenses from Utah from to were studied by means of a chart review. One item included was offender treatment prior to the most recent offense, and subsequent rates of sexual recidivism were reported. For youth with no treatment prior to the most recent offense, the rate was 8. Treatment failures in this sample were associated with a much higher rate of sexual recidivism.
Some studies have reported on not only outcomes, but also what factors influenced outcomes. Kraemer, Salisbury and Spielman examined which pretreatment variables predict JSO treatment outcomes. Using pretreatment demographics and personality psychometric test variables of JSO youth in a residential program, they found that client age and impulsivity predicted treatment failure with No differences of IQ, referral source, ethnicity, and grade level were found between completers and noncompleters.
Seabloom, Seabloom, Seabloom, Barron, and Hendrickson reported a to year longitudinal study of a comprehensive treatment program for adolescent sex offenders. The sample had male JSOs. Program graduates had no arrests or convictions for sex-related crimes. Arrests and convictions for other non-sexual crimes for graduates were significantly less when compared to those who had not graduated.
Living with parents positively correlated with successful completion of the program. A study by Eastman assessed the likelihood of treatment success or failure of JSOs in a residential treatment program. Findings of this study concluded that fewer instances of the youth having a sexual abuse history and higher scores on self-esteem measures were positively correlated with treatment completion. Higher cognitive distortions and a lower level of intellectual functioning were also found to strongly discriminate between treatment completers and noncompleters or those yet untreated.
Only one study was identified which examined rates and predictors of sexual aggression during treatment. Viljoen et al. Only youth who had resided longer than days were included in the study. Twenty-eight youth The purpose of the current study is to explore predictors of treatment outcome in a residential treatment program for JSO youth. Results may be useful in promoting better treatment outcomes.
Information was obtained from a chart review of all youth admitted to Teen Triumph from to The chart included information from the referral agency, an admission interview, quarterly reports, progress notes from mental health and residential staff, and discharge summaries.
Information included demographic, background and referral history. It also included psychiatric diagnoses, discharge information, and information regarding sexual acting out in the program. The psychiatric diagnosis was provided by a consulting child psychiatrist. Information regarding whether the youth graduated, was terminated, or discharged before graduation was included in the study. Specific criteria for categorization for each variable in the chart review were developed.
Counseling sex offenders and the importance of counselor self-care
For example, sexually acting out was defined as any sexual contact with another whether there was consent or not, threats of nonconsensual sexual activity, or notable exhibitionism. Subjects were consecutive male admissions to a residential treatment program for youth with sexual offending problems, Teen Triumph in Stockton, California. Ninety-percent of these youth had sustained sexual offenses and were referred by county probation departments.
The rest were referred by social services and others, but these youth did not have a sustained sexual offense charge, but had a history of significant sexual aggression towards others. The average age of patients was Thirty-eight point eight percent were White, Fifty-five point eight percent had an Individual Education Plan which is for youth with documented educational or emotional handicaps. Forty-three point two percent of youth had prior mental health treatment and Eighty-nine point nine percent were referred for placement by a county probation department, 8.
Twenty-seven point one percent were living with both parents at admission, Fifty-seven point nine percent had at least one parent with a history of substance abuse problems and Ten point five percent had a prior sexual offense before the most recent offense, The average age of the youngest victim was 8. Diagnoses were made by child psychiatrists using criteria from the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders 4th ed. Youth could have more than one diagnosis.
The following are the percent of each diagnosis found: attention deficit disorder One youth, 0. Forty-one point nine percent had mental health treatment before placement, and One case was discharged before a psychiatric assessment could be completed. Consistent with the rules of this instrument, information from the youth's file was used for scoring. Analysis of individual items was useful since these items also contained important background information. The mean for those referred by probation only was 6.
Forty-point three percent successfully graduated by completing all program requirements. Twenty-six point four percent were discharged before all graduation criteria were completed primarily because of non-treatment administrative decisions by probation or social services, for example, the youth in their senior year of high school had become 18 and "aged out. Twenty point six percent of youth had an episode of significant sexual acting out during treatment.
Youth were terminated primarily because of noncompliance with the program or eloping and not returning. Graduation required completion of a structured treatment curriculum.
Significant sexual acting out was defined as any act of sexual behavior with another resident, whether it was consensual or nonconsensual, or might be charged as a sexual crime. These sexual misbehaviors violated the rules of the program and probation, and some could have been charged as crimes. In fact, none on these incidents led to charges being filed. Forty point three percent of youth had a polygraph and The average length of stay in the program was days.
The relation between termination, sexual acting out, and graduation was examined. Termination was linked to noncooperation in the program, and graduation was linked primarily to completing all the required curriculum. The research analysis examined whether program outcomes were related to patient or program factors. The program outcomes were whether youth admitted to the program: 1. Were terminated, 2. Graduated, or 3. Had an episode of significant sexual acting out during the program.
The research analysis examined program outcomes related to patient characteristics. Outcomes assessed were program termination, graduation, and also sexual acting out in the program. Analyses were conducted examining factors predicting treatment outcomes. Univariate analysis for independent binary factors was done using the odds ratio as the statistic of association.
Fisher's Exact Test was used to calculate a two-tailed probability level which is a conservative choice. A two-tailed level assesses whether the odds ratio is significantly less or greater than 1. A one-tailed test could have been appropriately used for factors where the hypothesis was that the odds ratio was greater than 1.
Analysis for continuous factors was done using logistic regression also using a two-tailed test. Both types of odds ratios can be compared using a standardized odds ratio, which is the absolute odds ratio for a one standard deviation change in the independent variable. This paper discusses the employment and housing barriers faced by RSOs, and how those barriers impact public safety.
Current research that examines RSO risk levels, how they are obtained, and how they are managed is reviewed. The position that research indicates current sex offender policy, albeit effective at identifying high-risk individuals, is highly ineffective at aiding successful reintegration is supported. These policy gaps create unsafe communities and force some RSOs to commit non-sexual crimes to survive their new environments. It is widely known that criminal convictions result in more than periods of incarceration and community supervision for offenders. Barriers to reentry, such as employment and housing difficulties, are heightened when examining experiences of RSOs.
This label prohibits RSOs from having access to suitable employment and housing options Evans and Cubellis, Offenders who are under community supervision are almost always required to obtain employment. It is a basic necessity for all to have shelter, which is also often a mandated requirement of community supervision. Housing options for RSOs typically include homeless shelters, due to areas that fall within the address restriction guidelines being out of reach financially Terry, ; Socia, Furthermore, housing that is attainable by RSOs is commonly in disrepair and presents deplorable living conditions Dum et al.
Compounding the issue of reintegration is the stigmatization faced by RSOs. Registration and community notification laws have made the public more aware of RSOs, often grouping them together as being violent and dangerous, regardless of their individual convictions or risk levels Evans and Cubellis, RSOs experience stigmatization in every aspect of their lives.
The public notification labels them to employers and neighbors, and in turn, family and friends are given a secondary label if they still associate with the RSO Evans and Cubellis, The inability of some to cope with this label only adds to the challenges for RSOs in the community. This reluctance to listen to empirical knowledge needs to be addressed by researchers and policy makers alike.
Public safety for RSOs, victims, and community members is affected by a traditional reluctance to evaluate what really works. There have been a number of recent studies conducted that further this body of knowledge on RSOs, their risk levels, recidivism, and stigmatization.
The findings indicated that the process is successfully identifying lower-risk offenders not in need of the second phase of review or civil management, as well as accurately identifying higher-risk offenders. The total number of offenders that were rearrested for a sexual offense after their civil management review was , 3. One of the tools utilized for the SOMTA review is the StaticR risk assessment Sandler and Freeman, , which is one of many utilized in the field of sex offender risk screening. However, when assessing the MnSOST-4, recidivism was measured by reconviction for a sexual offense within four years of release from prison and excluded hands-off offenses such as child pornography Sandler and Freeman, ; Duwe, He found that 2.
Within this subset, there were individuals who were deemed to be the highest risk offenders. Although, the participation rate is with Moreover, cross-validation with a different sample is advised when assessing the model's performance in practice. This is of particular importance, as social-therapeutic treatment is distinct to the German penal system, posing a threat to external validity if transferring results to international contexts. Finally, the current study could not investigate if dropout from a social-therapeutic facility did in fact translate into the assumed higher recidivism rates.
Future research should test this hypothesis to reach a better understanding of the relationships between diverse risk and protective factors, dropout, and recidivism risk. Despite some limitations, the present study provides important insights into the relationship between numerous variables and treatment dropout. The results support the notion that dropouts represent a high-risk and high-need offender group with pronounced risk and psychopathy scores, violent offense histories, and higher unemployment rates. Violent index offense, unemployment at the time of incarceration, HCR sum score, PCL-R Facet 1, and, surprisingly, absence of substance abuse disorder were identified as significant predictors of treatment dropout, raising important considerations for treatment practice.
Further research is necessary to determine how these variables contribute to treatment dropout, and to examine which variables exert a possibly confounding influence on the relationship between unemployment and treatment dropout. Even though findings regarding the relationship between dropout and protective factors remain inconclusive, further research should investigate if reductions in treatment dropout may be achieved if programs were adapted to address strengths as well as deficits. IN wrote the initial draft of the manuscript in constant consultation with FB.
FB, IN, ES, and PB had full access to all the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of data analysis.
All authors have contributed to, read, and approved the final version of the manuscript. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. The reviewer KD declared a past collaboration with one of the authors DY to the handling editor.
A meta-analysis of predictors of offender treatment attrition and its relationship to recidivism.
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