Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Treatment of Sex Offenders

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_352



This entry gives a brief overview on the effects of sexual offender treatment drawing on evidence from a number of meta-analyses and systematic reviews. Overall, this research reveals a positive effect on sexual reoffending. The syntheses suggest a mean effect of approximately d = 0.20 ± 0.10. Because of the low base rate of sexual reoffending, this equals about 25 % less recidivism of treated offenders as compared to untreated groups. However, the studies and findings are extremely heterogeneous and outcomes vary depending on many program, setting, offender, and methodological factors.

Unfortunately, the quality of the majority of evaluation studies on sex offender treatment is rather weak. However, the overall design quality is not consistently related to effect sizes, and the same applies to various other methodological and content characteristics. Cognitive-behavioral treatment, relapse prevention, and programs that adhere to the...

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Recommended Reading and References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of CriminologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of Erlangen–NurembergErlangenGermany