The primary goal of sex offender treatment is the prevention of future sexual offenses. It is therefore in the public interest to run treatment that is proven to work.
We currently know that group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based interventions will reduce recidivism rates. This includes Adapted Sex Offender Treatment Programs (ASOTPs), which have been modified from mainstream treatment to meet the learning needs of offenders with intellectual disability (ID).
What is less clear is how and why such programs work best, for whom, in what contexts and under what circumstances. This makes it harder to target interventions. Our aim is therefore to answer the questions above. We seek to make sense of ASOTPs in the contexts in which they take place, in order to illuminate what social factors may help or hinder treatment success.
In particular, we will examine how effective links between these forensic healthcare interventions and the offender’s living context and social care provision, for instance the nature and level of supervision they receive to manage risk during and after treatment, can enhance outcomes.
To do this we will evaluate two ASOTPs, one in England and one in Switzerland. The project is bilingual and puts particular emphasis on knowledge exchange between the English and German speaking regions.
Throughout the project we will network with policy makers, practitioners, disabled people’s organisations and interested members of the public to maximise opportunities to impact on practice and policy development.