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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 227965 Find in a Library
Title: Youth Services Teams with Universities for Sex Offender Programs
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:71  Issue:3  Dated:June 2009  Pages:93-94
Author(s): Barry Burkhart; Allen Peaton; Ray Sumrall
Date Published: June 2009
Page Count: 2
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes a juvenile sex offender treatment program in Alabama that involves collaboration among the Alabama Department of Youth Services (DYS), the University of Alabama School of Social Work, and Auburn University’s Department of Psychology.
Abstract: Responding to public pressure for accountability of sex offender programs, the Alabama Legislature passed laws in 1999 that require all juvenile sex offenders to receive treatment. DYS initially attempted to provide such treatment by contracting with private facilities; however, private facilities rapidly became prohibitively expensive as the demand for service increased dramatically. The new partnership model developed between the DYS and State universities was intended to serve as a model of a public-public partnership that addressed a social problem by combining resources. The new program was named the Accountability Based Sex Offender Program (ABSOP). Initially, a 24-bed residential program was established at the DYS Mt. Meigs Campus. This prototype program was a residential, milieu-based treatment program based in principles current in the juvenile treatment literature. A decreased rate of sexual victimization by children and adolescents was the core measure of success for ABSOP. The accumulation and analysis of pretreatment assessment data guided development of a series of program tracks in which youths were placed so as to meet individuals’ treatment needs. ABSOP augments traditional group treatment and individual psychotherapy with activities that build upon the positive strengths of the youth. These include learning through music, gardening, cooking, social activities, vocational activities, and mentoring opportunities. One significant modification in the program was to separate juvenile sex offenders from the general population of juvenile offenders in the facility, after an evaluation determined that juvenile sex offenders showed an increase in general delinquency measures due to their exposure to the general delinquent population. This led to an immediate significant decrease in problem behaviors among the juvenile sex offenders.
Main Term(s): Corrections management
Index Term(s): Alabama; Interagency cooperation; Juvenile Sex Offenders; Sex offender treatment; University of Alabama
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