Sex Offender Treatment: A Literature Review

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The purpose of this literature review is to discuss the importance of sexual offender treatment, to compare and contrast research points regarding treatment, and to address the validity of the peer reviewed articles. Every year 6,000 sex offenders enter treatment (Waldram, 2008). Various therapeutic treatment options are offered, and the primary focus is to rehabilitate and change behavior. The body of research reveals different therapeutic treatment models and discusses the purpose and effectiveness of each model. This paper will also discuss some of the challenges of implementing therapeutic treatment schemas as viable alternatives to treat sex offenders. Lastly, the research will also examine the impact of treatment as it relates to recidivism.

Sex Offender Treatment: A Literature Review

The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics (2011) reveals an estimated 747,408 sex offenders were registered in the United States as of 2010. This number shows an increase of over seven thousand from the previous year. According to Vivian-Bryne (2004), therapeutic treatment for sex offenders is one approach to address the issue of sexual offense and reduce numbers. Although the idea of therapeutic treatment for sex offenders can raise skepticism, a myriad of therapeutic treatment models are available (Polizzi, MacKenzie & Hickman, 1999). This paper will establish the important complexities surrounding therapeutic treatment of sex offenders, including treatment effectiveness, challenges of treatment schemas, and recidivism. Peer reviewed articles regarding therapeutic treatment for sex offenders will be reviewed and the validity of these sources will be discussed.

Importance of Therapeutic Treatment for Sexual Offenders...

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...ers. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly, 24(2), 92-103.

Somervell, J. & Lambie, I. (2009). Wilderness therapy within an adolescent sexual offender treatment programme: A qualitative study. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 15(2), 161-177.

Stermac, L. & Hucker, S. (1988). Combining cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy in treatment of pedophilic incest offenders. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 6(2), 257-266.

Turner, B. W., Bingham, J. E., & Andrasik, F. (2000). Short-term community-based treatment for sexual offenders: Enhancing effectiveness. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 7(3), 211-223.

Vivian-Byrne, S. (2004). Changing people’s minds. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 10(2), 181-192.

Waldram, J. B. (2008). The narrative challenge to cognitive behavioral treatment of sexual offenders. Culture MedicinePsychiatry, 32(3), 421-439.
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