The Challenges of Sexual Offense Treatment Programs in Correctional Facilities

By Schneider, Jennifer; Bosley, Jackson Tay et al. | Journal of Psychiatry & Law, Summer 2006 | Go to article overview

The Challenges of Sexual Offense Treatment Programs in Correctional Facilities


Schneider, Jennifer, Bosley, Jackson Tay, Ferguson, Glenn, Main, Merrill, Journal of Psychiatry & Law


This article addresses issues surrounding the organizational planning and evaluation of specialized sex offender treatment programs in secure correctional environments. The authors describe the problems of designing and establishing a therapy program in an anti-therapeutic environment and techniques for maintaining treatment integrity through the adoption of a structured planning and review process. Educating the public about program clientele and the development of relationships with local policymakers and community-based agencies through networking and public relations plays an influential role in the success or failure of any treatment program by ensuring the accuracy of information and preventing rumors regarding risk to the community. Program evaluation assists in the measurement of program efficacy, provides tangible proof of success or failure, and facilitates the improvement of programming and services.

The challenges to the development and administration of specialized treatment programs in correctional facilities are numerous but not insurmountable. The environment of a correctional facility emphasizes security and control, which is often in opposition to or in conflict with the goals of treatment programs. This conflict inevitably influences the implementation of services and the ability of treatment to successfully reduce risk of reoffending. This article describes some of the challenges faced in the development, administration and evaluation of sexual offense treatment programs in a correctional environment and offers potential solutions.

Clinical and staff considerations

Despite the growing body of research on theories and methods of sexual offense treatment, there is relatively little written about the practical impediments to providing this specialized treatment in correctional settings. Tay Bosley, one of the authors, is responsible for the implementation of assessment and treatment services for juveniles adjudicated delinquent for offenses of a sexual nature and committed to the state juvenile correctional system in a densely populated state on the East Coast. To accomplish oversight of these treatment services, monthly status reports are submitted describing the successes and difficulties in program implementation. For the purpose of this article, Dr. Bosley examined the monthly reports (particularly the sections describing program implementation problems) for specific issues and themes that emerged as problems in providing assessment and treatment services to this population.

Much of what is documented below is reminiscent of the implementation problems described by Gordon & Hover (1998) in their chapter on the Twin Rivers Sex Offender Treatment Program. Some of the major problematic themes include: Hiring and keeping competent clinical staff, establishing and maintaining adequate support services, obtaining and maintaining adequate infrastructure, dealing with an antitherapeutic milieu, and legal technicalities. Each theme is described in more detail below.

Selection and retention of staff

Selection of staff for any program is a difficult and ongoing process. Credentialing will not be discussed in detail in this article since most inpatient treatment programs are subject to clearly defined licensing or civil service standards. The treatment of sexual offenders is a specialized field and as such is rarely included in the curriculum of academic programs. Despite this, it is common that prospective staff members at all educational levels arrive with preconceived ideas about sexual offenders which generally arise from exposure to popular media. Therefore, it is common that untrained individuals believe sexual offenders cannot be treated and that nearly all sexual offenders will reoffend. Individuals who work in the field of sex offender treatment commonly hear statements to this effect made in the popular media and it is not uncommon to hear ostensibly well credentialed "experts" espouse such beliefs.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Challenges of Sexual Offense Treatment Programs in Correctional Facilities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.