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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70980 Find in a Library
Title: Guided Self-Help Approach to Treatment of the Habitual Sex Offender (From Sex Offenders in the Criminal Justice System, P 201-217, 1980, by D J West - See NCJ-70970)
Author(s): M Saylor
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 17
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper describes a Washington State program in which sex offenders are treated in groups in mental hospitals rather than incarcerated in prison.
Abstract: The program, begun in 1966, currently (1979) is treating 180 sex offenders under minimum security. Members of the several therapy groups help provide their own security. The program assumes that sexual deviancy is learned behavior that can be unlearned, that deviants can do much to help each other, and that learning new behavior must be done under conditions replicating the community. The treatment model involves peer group therapy in which members are encouraged to reveal and deal with their deviant feelings and behavior; professional therapists provide guidance and set rules. Each therapy group has 15 to 18 offenders and meets 25 hours a week. Women volunteers are present in some group activities, such as psychodrama, to help offenders learn to relate to women. In addition, offenders work 20 hours a week without pay within the hospital. Offenders are accepted for an initial evaluation period and admitted for 18 months of treatment if it is decided that the program fits their needs. Treatment revolves around learning about deviant behavior, how to control such behavior, and developing a positive self-image through positive reinforcement of good behavior. Since many deviants are loners, efforts are made to break the loner lifestyle. A final outpatient treatment phase allows the offender to gradually return to the community. Characteristics of offenders are provided. Appendixes contain tables and a form for appraising treatment.
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Deviance; Sex offenders; Treatment; Washington
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