Essay on Sex Offender Treatment: A Literature Review

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The purpose of this literature review is to discuss the importance of sexual offender treatment, to compare and contrast research points regarding treatment, and to address the validity of the peer reviewed articles. Every year 6,000 sex offenders enter treatment (Waldram, 2008). Various therapeutic treatment options are offered, and the primary focus is to rehabilitate and change behavior. The body of research reveals different therapeutic treatment models and discusses the purpose and effectiveness of each model. This paper will also discuss some of the challenges of implementing therapeutic treatment schemas as viable alternatives to treat sex offenders. Lastly, the research will also examine the impact of treatment as it relates to …show more content…
Sex offenders tend to blend in to society virtually unnoticed until they offend or reoffend (Polizzi, MacKenzie, & Hickman, 1999). Currently, there is a large group of mental health professionals representing a variety of disciplines, including psychology, psychiatry clinical social work, counseling, and medicine, that continue to believe in the potential efficacy of treating sex offenders. Over the past decade, the sex offender treatment field has grown rapidly and the treatment of juvenile sex offenders is on the rise (Parks & Bard, 2006). The rationale for treating juvenile offenders is based on research which indicates that inappropriate sexual behavior patterns develop early and a failure to intervene and change behavior early often means that the offender will continue to escalate his/her inappropriate behavior, which could present an even greater danger to society (Ayland & West, 2006). Vivian-Bryne, (2004) suggests that professionals who treat adult sex offenders report that offenders who are incarcerated will eventually return to the community and therefore, therapeutic measures should be taken to reduce the likelihood that they will reoffend even if those measures have not conclusively been identified as effective. Sexual offenders may find therapy valuable because it can allow them to retrace their upbringing to help them identify and understand the roots of their