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NCJ Number: 120662 Find in a Library
Title: No More Victims: Alternative Treatment Methods for the Incarcerated Sex Offender
Journal: The Prison Journal  Volume:69  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring-Summer 1989)  Pages:83-87
Author(s): S W Darnell
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 5
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Beginning with Maryland in 1937, many States have passed statutes to provide psychiatric treatment for sex offenders by committing such offenders to mental hospitals or correctional facilities until they can prove they are no longer a threat to society.
Abstract: Although, by the 1960s, more than half the States had passed Mentally Disordered Sex Offenders (MDSO) laws, there was no uniform enforcement or procedure from one court to the next. Because there were violations of constitutional rights and questions as to whether the proper commitment procedures were being followed, many States either repealed or modified their MDSO statutes. Many jurisdictions now provide treatment only to inmate volunteers. Many inmates, however, do not initiate treatment in order to avoid ostracization by and confrontation with other prisoners as well as the lack of relationship experiences within the available therapy groups. A more effective treatment method has been introduced at Menard Psychiatric Center, a maximum security penitentiary in Illinois. Volunteers and MDSOs undergo up to nine hours of intensive therapy per week, supplemented by up to eight hours a day of outside socialization. Group members are forced to confront responsibility for their thoughts, feelings, and actions. By facing their own early childhood exploitations, they are able to empathize with their victims and become rehabilitated. Similar programs could be instituted in other States if prison administrators would agree to house therapy group inmates together, give special consideration to transfer decisions for group members, and develop a conditional release program.
Main Term(s): Sex offender treatment
Index Term(s): Counseling; Illinois; Sex offense causes
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