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date: 20 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay considers the challenges associated with managing and treating sex offenders within the prison setting. What is known from scientific research about the most effective approaches to treating sex offenders is reviewed, followed by the major rehabilitation theories. The role of assessment with sex offenders (e.g., interviews, composite risk and need assessments for both sexual and general recidivism, penile plethysmography) as well as the challenges and limitations of conducting assessments with incarcerated sex offenders are also discussed. The various approaches to sex offender treatment are critiqued, including physiological strategies, behavioral strategies, cognitive strategies, and relapse prevention. Each phase of treatment (preparation, addressing criminogenic needs, planning for the future) is considered separately, and directions for future research are considered.

Keywords: sex offenders, sex offenders in prison, sex offender treatment, rehabilitation, offender assessment, physiological strategies, behavioral strategies, cognitive treatment strategies, relapse prevention

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