Treatment Programmes For Sex Offenders Cambridge Regional College Criminology Essay

1473 words - 6 pages

Describe and evaluate treatment
programmes for offending behaviour
The response to crime was always punishment up until the introduction of treatment
programmes for offenders. Researchers working in the criminal justice field introduced
rehabilitation in the 1970s as a way to reduce offender recidivism, and since then, many
treatment programmes have been formulated and some of them have proven very useful
over the years. One of the larger crimes is sex offending, it is deviant sexual behaviour
e.g rape, incest or molestation. Due to the rise in concern over sexual violence the
criminal justice system came up with several ways to help reduce recidivism and
implemented laws and punishments to prevent future any sexual deviance which include
cognitive programmes which deals with the offenders’ mental health (thoughts) have been
applied to try and treat it as well as biological treatments like surgical and chemical
castration, have proven to be effective to some extent despite some of them having
ethical issues.
Sex offenders usually find it difficult to accept that their actions have caused harm and
that their behaviour is a problem therefore most of them will unwillingly engage in
treatment programmes just to avoid harsh punishment (prison). Groth (1993) suggests
that rewards should be offered to those wiling to participate in the therapies. This
suggestion might be able to lure a lot of participants but their motive is not certain,
however Perkins(1987) believers that informed consent is important and plays a major
part in the success of the treatment programmes as the assumption is if an offender
willingly engages in therapy they admit to guilt and are willing to change. Cognitive based
programmes are more likely to be effective in treating sexual offending behaviour, they
work on the assumption that behaviour and emotions reflect one’s thoughts therefore
changing thought patterns will change behaviour and attitude towards situations or one’s
view of the world. Cognitive behavioural therapy has been adapted to treat sexual
deviance, it has a combination of both behavioural therapies which works on the
assumption that deviancy is a learned behaviour therefore can be unlearned and cognitive
which deals with the mind (though patterns). This therapy teaches helps offenders outline
the cause of deviancy and suggests ways to change their sexual arousal patterns and
create new more appropriate/ acceptable arousal patterns. The solely cognitive part of
the therapy challenges the offence-supporting belief that aids in committing sexual
Tutsirai mareki
offenses . The first and probably most important step of the therapy getting the offender
to understand that their actions (sex deviant behaviour) were wrong and getting them to
take full responsibility and admitting to guilt. This can be done through assumptive
questioning whereby the therapist assumes offender’s guilt and asks questions that
assume the offender is guilty e.g asking where he/ she committed the crime rather...

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