What works in adult sex offender treatment? A review of prison- and non- prison-based treatment programs

Danielle M. Polizzi, Doris Layton MacKenzie, Laura J. Hickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

An evaluation of 21 sex offender prison- and non-prison-based treatment programs was undertaken using the format of the University of Maryland's 1997 report to the U.S. Congress. Eight of the studies were deemed too low in scientific merit to include in assessing the effectiveness of the treatment. Of the remaining studies, approximately 50% showed statistically significant findings in favor of sex offender treatment programs. Of six studies that showed a positive treatment effect, four incorporated a cognitive-behavioral approach. Non-prison-based sex offender treatment programs were deemed to be effective in curtailing future criminal activity. Prison-based treatment programs were judged to be promising, but the evidence is not strong enough to support a conclusion that such programs are effective. Too few studies focused on particular types of sex offenders to permit any type of conclusions about the effectiveness of programs for different sex offender typologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-374
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology

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