Rehabilitation and treatment of sexual offenders is an extremely important notion that every country and jurisdiction should possess if it is to reduce the number of these violent crimes in the society. The purpose of such programs is to provide meaningful sexual offenders treatment to all incarcerated offenders and in turn enhance public safety which results from offender evaluation and treatment.
Typical program objectives comprise the following:
- To reduce further deviant behavior in sex offenders.
- To provide exhaustive treatment program that would offer psychological education, counseling, motivation issues of the sex offenders. The relapse prevention training should be incorporated.
- To provide individual and group treatment plant based on the needs of sex offenders.
- To identify targets for change and existing behavioral inclinations and patterns that result in sexual offending.
- To encourage each offender to accept and learn how to accept responsibility for one’s actions and demonstrate empathy for the victims of offense (Budrionis, 2004).
- To monitor changes and progress of each sex offenders through various phases of the rehabilitation program.
- To provide efficient and effective care for the sexual offenders to help them smoothly return to the society.
The treatment model for sexual offenders is typically based on cognitive-behavioral models and is directed towards modifying human behavior in offenders. The treatment model will assume that there is no 100% cure for sexual deviancy and sexual offenders remain vulnerable to sexual preferences indefinitely. Without specialized treatment, counseling, medical treatment and personal acceptance of guilt, sexual offenders can only increase pathology in their deviant thinking.
The rehabilitation program for sexual offenders typically comprises three phases as shown below:
- Phase I. Evaluation of offenders and treatment. (from 2 to 7 months). During this phase the didactic treatment would be directed towards showing the offenders their guilt, responsibility, and understanding of what they had committed. The offenders will learn how to identify deviant thoughts and develop coping skills (Sgroi, 2003). Each offender will get a psychological evaluation and have an individual treatment plan developed for Phase II.
- Phase II. Intensive Treatment (from 6 to 12 months). This treatment phase would concentrate on restructuring of deviant behavior and thoughts patterns that the sex offenders possessed in order to help them more to pro-social lifestyle and reduce the chance of sexual re-offending. The system of checks, sanctions, and privileges will provide offenders with quick and clear to understand feedback about their current behaviors and treatment results (Marvasti, 2004). During this phase the offenders get conditioned to respond properly to the social expectations and learn how to safely function in the society. In some cases the offenders might undergo some medical treatment to resolve their psychological problems. Only after successful completion of Phase II, sexual offenders can enter phase III.
- Phase III. Transition and Release preparation (4 to 7 months). In this phase of the treatment program the sexual offenders work more individually on improving their behavior and correcting it to meet social expectations upon their release from the correction facility. They will be required to demonstrate how the newly learnt skills can be applied in practice. The sexual offenders will enter the process of reintegration with their families, close friends, and the society in general and learn the post-release responsibilities as demanded by parole or independent treatment providers.
Budrionis, Rita, 2004, The Sexual Abuse Victim and Sexual Offender Treatment Planner (Practice Planners), McGraw Hill, pp. 129-131.
Sgroi, Suzanne, 2003, Vulnerable Populations: Sexual Abuse Treatment for Children, Adult Survivors, Offenders and Persons with Mental Retardation, Vol. 2, Prentice Hall, pp. 354-255.
Marvasti, Jamshid, 2004, Psychiatric Treatment of Sexual Offenders: Treating the Past Traumas in Traumatizers: A Bio-Psycho-Social Perspective, NY Random House, pp. 108-111.
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