Sexual offenders are those individuals who have enacted a sex crime. Sex crimes mainly vary from one culture to another and by legal jurisdictions. Maximum of the Jurisdictions have accumulate their constitutions into sections like traffic, assault and sexual. However, the maximum of the declared sexual offenders have sentenced for crimes of a sexual nature. Some sexual offenders are also there who have simply breached law of sexual category. Therefore, few crimes, which mainly results in an obligatory sex-offender classification are prostitution conviction, exchanging dirty content in the structure of text messages or sexting as well as building relationship between young adults and that of teenagers, which finally results in misconduct of a minor. Apart from these, other serious sexual offences involve sexual assault, child abuse, statutory rape, bestiality, incest, rape, female genital mutilation and sexual imposition (Groth & Birnbaum, 2013). The treatments for sexual offenders are serious as well as motivating procedure, which mainly focuses on learning specific strategies for ceasing abusive behavior, being answerable and taking authority for the harm done. Their treatment is separate than the therapies for adults. The focus for treating the sexual offenders is to guide them so that they can create a better life for themselves by enhancing their strengths while controlling risks. The aim of this essay is the treatment program efficacy for the sexual offenders.
Sexual offender treatment programs, which are mainly found to be effective, are cognitive behavioral method, classical behavioral, along with insight oriented and hormonal medication, medical castration, faith-based treatment, therapeutic communities and intensive supervision (Marshall et al., 2013).
Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT)- This therapy is directed in a group therapy setting and includes confronting the irrational thoughts as well as beliefs of the sexual offenders that guides them to get engrossed in the antisocial behaviors. CBT programs further involves elements which seek to assist the offenders to correct their abnormal thoughts by repeating opportunities to shape and grip in the prosocial and problem-thinking skills as well as behaviors. Most of the therapists are found to depend on CBT for treating sexual offenders so that they can closely observe their thoughts, feelings as well as the situations, which has triggered an individual to become an offender. Therefore, through this treatment program the sexual offenders are taught to end their problematic sexual ideas and behaviors by diverting their thoughts and thinking about something else or by engrossing themselves in some other healthier behavior like reading books, going to the gym or engaging in some household work. In this treatment program mainly the therapist is directive and reality based who is aiming the current situation than exploring the issues related to childhood which might or might not have any role in this offending activity (Ho & Ross, 2012). Thus, the therapist role is at first to execute a task-oriented, accountability-based activity aimed towards restraint of offender’s problematic behaviors. However, the initial CBT for the sexual offenders can be categorized into three important stages, which are discussed as below-
- Identifying the issue - this stage needs close questioning as well as supervision that guides the clinician and the client to identify the special behaviors that includes the problematic sexual motive.
- Behavioral contracting- in this stage both the clinician as well as the client work together so that they can diagnose in written terms special sexual behaviors that needs to be eliminated. Moreover, the contracts may also involve tasks, which motivate the utilization of alternative coping mechanisms like journaling, check in phone calls and lastly, presence at 12-step meetings.
- Relapse prohibition- Together with the client the clinician identify as well as lower patterns of experiences as well as interactions which pushes an individual towards the offending behavior.
Usually the treatment of sexual offenders dispense demands which cannot be met totally within enclose therapeutic relationship. The sexual offenders need external reinforcement as well as assistance if they are to execute lasting behavioral modification. Group therapies are mainly found to be helpful for clients who are sexual offenders. However, in a facilitated group setting the offenders can realize that they are not the only one diagnose with such problems, thus, it will help them to lower their guilt, shame or deep regret that is associated with their behavior. Most importantly, the therapies in-group settings are ideal for them to face with their denial used to justify their acts (Schmucker & Lösel, 2015). This confrontation is necessary for not only the person who is confronted but also for the other group members executing the confronting. Therefore, by this way people present in the group therapy will be able to monitor how internal rationalizations promote and support sexual offending.
Psychotherapy/counseling-The treatment programs that are incorporated in this category are insight-oriented therapy, which can be done individually or in-group settings. These programs frequently take the reference of traditional therapy practices like that of talk therapy along with inspecting the repressed causes and thoughts associated to offending behavior. These treatment programs can be general or specific for the sex offenders.
- Insight-oriented psychotherapy- This psychotherapy is implemented based on the assumption that the better the offenders know themselves, the better they can operate. Better functioning involves the improvement as well as the alleviations of the symptoms that are diagnosed in the sexual offenders along with advancements in their career, social, academic, romantic and athletic life. Insight oriented psychotherapy mainly focuses on teaching the offenders how and why they function in the way they do and elucidate their motivations (Rosenberg, Carnes & O'Connor, 2014). This therapy shows that people have an internal world and it explains how that internal world functions. It gives the offenders self-knowledge and most importantly, it gives freedom.
Medical treatment- Several approaches has been made to use medical approaches to treat the sex offenders and decrease the risk of sexual offending behavior and thoughts. Medical treatments mainly include surgical castration and hormonal therapy. However, participation in this surgical castration is done totally based on volunteering. This approach every time associates the medical intervention with the added psychological treatment so that if the sexual offenders stop taking their hormones they will continue having the same type of treatment.
- Surgical castration- This is a procedure where the testes in a male sexual offender are detached surgically which results in their permanent loss of sexual functions. Surgical castration mainly provide male infertile and lowers sexual urges. However, surgical castration law is not mandatory in any state rather chemical castrations are allowed for the sexual offenders so that they can receive repeated injections of a drug that will reduce testosterone to pre-puberty levels and decrease libido (Lee & Cho, 2013).
- Hormonal therapy-There are a number of hormonal agents who have been suggested as pharmacological treatments for decreasing testosterone and sexual drives in the offenders diagnosed with sexually abusive behaviors. Main examples involve medroxyprogesterone acetate, theleuprolide acetate, cyproterone acetate, and lastly, gonadotropin-supplying hormone analog. Moreover, these chemical agents known as antiandrogens, operates by breaking down and removing testosterone and hinder the production of leutinizing hormone via the pituitary gland that in turn obstructs the production of testosterone. As testosterone is connected with sexual arousal thus, the utilization of these agents acts ion decreasing the sexual arousal (Bradford, Fedoroff & Gulati, 2013). Therefore, this decreased sexual arousal is supposed to further reduce the motivation for the sex offenders in individuals lead to such behaviors.
Present sexual offender’s treatment programs mainly contains the therapist or other trained practitioners striving to get the offenders to take the control over their actions along with addressing and medicating any underlying co-existing disorders. The therapists’ works with the offenders to guide them realize the wrongfulness of their behaviors along with documenting and advocating the court on the level of risk, that each of the offenders might have on the community. The eligibility of the sexual offenders to join the treatment program are determined by various factors like the willingness to participate, level of risk, seriousness of the present sexual offense, or the accessibility of the treatment slot. The individuals who are sentenced as sexual offenders will normally receive treatment as a condition or need for their conviction. Treatment programs for the sexual offenders can occur inside community or in a secure setting like in a prison or in mental health facility (Brown, 2013). Although for few the sexual offender treatment programs are, compulsory while for some treatment will be offered if they are willing to volunteer for it. Moreover, sexual offenders might also receive treatments, which are aimed towards labeling general sexually offending behavior. Offenders who are violent as well as at high risks frequently receive some kind of treatment, which are either incident specific, or are based more broadly. Thus, owing to the available resources from many countries it has been seen that sexual offender’s special treatment programs may not be accessible to those offenders who rather gets therapies, which are generalized.
It has been seen that though maximum of the offenders are adults but there are a notable percentage of sexual offenders who are under the age group of 18years. However, given the acceptance of sexual offending by the Juveniles and the possible connection between behaviors which are sexually offending during the adolescence or childhood phrase or later in lifetime, the therapeutic programs for the juveniles has been primary for sexual offender management practices in the Jurisdictions over the country (Pullman & Seto, 2012). Since 1970s, the treatment perspectives for the juveniles who are confined with sexual offences have also found to be changed. Previously it was seen that the treatment for the juvenile sexual offenders were widely based on models, which are used with adult sex offenders (Nolan & Maguire, 2016). However, as the knowledge about the developmental, motivational as well as behavioral differences have increased between the juvenile and adult sex offenders therefore, therapeutic interventions for the juveniles are more accessible to the variety of sexually abusive behaviors and the particular offending-related elements, which are found among the adolescents and children.
However, the sexual offenders who undergo treatment are less likely to relapse than those who have not received any treatment. Therefore, it has been seen that not all treatment are equally effective on all sexual offenders. Treatments, which are applied to the offenders before 1980 had less effect on the offenders but the current treatments are related with a notable reduction in both sexual as well as general recidivism (Wakeling, Beech & Freemantle, 2013). The treatment programs administered in the community seems to be equally effective in comparison to those that are provided in the institutions. Therefore, those offenders who are unable to complete their treatments have higher chances to relapse than those who have received a complete treatment irrespective of the type of treatment they got. However, research shows that organic treatments like the surgical castration and the hormonal medications have perceived to larger effects than compared to the psychosocial interventions. Moreover, among the psychosocial interventions the most effective was cognitive behavioral approaches. The non-behavioral treatment however does not reveal any significant effect. Therefore, the effective treatment programs not only just affect the sexually motivated complicated behavior but also have a wider impact on criminality as a whole (Yates, 2013).
Thus, to conclude this essay it can be said that the sexual offenders are mainly those who have found to enact a sex crime. However, the effective treatment programs for sexual offenders, which are listed in this essay, are cognitive behavioral method, classical behavioral, along with insight oriented and hormonal medication, medical castration, faith-based treatment, therapeutic communities and intensive supervision. Moreover, CBT, which falls under the treatment program, is effective in teaching the sexual offenders how they can end their problematic sexual ideas as well as behaviors and divert their thoughts to something else. Apart from adults, there are also adolescents or children who are below 18 years of age but are been found to have enacted sex crimes. Therefore, the treatments of the juveniles from that of the adult sex offenders are different. Earlier these treatments have little effect on the sex offenders but today they are found to have significant effect. It has also been seen that there has been a chance of those problematic behaviors to replace when offenders are unable to complete their treatments in relation to those who have completed their treatments.
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