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NCJ Number: 228101 Find in a Library
Title: Applying the Risk Principle to Sex Offenders: Can Treatment Make Some Sex Offenders Worst?
Journal: The Prison Journal  Volume:89  Issue:3  Dated:September 2009  Pages:344-357
Author(s): Brian Lovins; Christopher T. Lowenkamp; Edward J. Latessa
Date Published: September 2009
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explores the effects of different levels of treatment intensity on sexual offenders who are on parole.
Abstract: The study compared sexual offenders who received intensive, residential sex offender treatment with sexual offenders who were released directly on parole and received less intensive services. The study found that ignoring the risk principle leads to a significant increase in recidivism for both low- and high-risk sexual offenders. Legislators, as well as criminal justice agents, should recognize the importance of the risk principle in developing strategies for addressing sexual crimes. High-risk offenders have multiple needs that can be addressed simultaneously in a residential setting. High-risk offenders are not identified as high risk because they have a single need that is high; instead they have a cluster of criminogenic needs. Halfway house programs are designed to target a greater density of criminogenic factors and therefore are more capable of addressing high-risk offenders. Further results indicate that less intensive treatment will have greater effects for lower risk sex offenders; low-risk sex offenders who were released to the community without intensive interventions faired 27 percent better than low-risk offenders who were exposed to halfway house sex offender treatment. Unlike high-risk offenders, low-risk individuals typically have one or two isolated criminogenic needs. Providing intensive services to such offenders may disrupt prosocial networks and opportunities as well as reinforce negative social learning. Tables, figure, and references
Main Term(s): Risk management; Sex offenders
Index Term(s): Criminal justice evaluation; Criminal justice research; Offender participation programs; Offender profiles; Research uses in policymaking; Sex offender treatment; Treatment offender matching; Victimization risk
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