News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Psychological treatment for sexual offenders is effective

UC research shows that psychological treatment for sexual offenders is effective

November 21, 2012

Research by University of Canterbury (UC) students has found that psychological treatment for sexual offenders is effective and offenders who show more improvement in treatment are less likely to re-offend, UC Professor Randolph Grace said today.

That treatment helped may seem a no-brainer but demonstrating a causal link between prison-based treatment programmes and reductions in re-offending was very challenging, he said. UC research has been the first in the world to demonstrate that specific treatment gains were linked to reductions in recidivism by sexual offenders, he said.

``There’s a lot of debate about the efficacy of psychological treatment for sexual offenders and a lot of technical issues why it’s a difficult question to resolve.’’

UC masters student, Lucy Moore, supervised by Professor Grace, has examined the criminal history and post-release outcomes for 428 sexual offenders who were treated at Rolleston Prison’s Kia Marama unit.

They were compared with a cohort of 1956 offenders who were also incarcerated for sexual offending but did not receive comparable treatment.

Professor Grace said results showed that the Kia Marama psychological treatment programme was associated with a 29 percent reduction in sexual re-offending (from 10 percent to 7.2 percent) and the reduction was statistically significant.

``There were also significant reductions in violent and general re-offending for the Kia Marama group. Research by PhD student Sarah Beggs found that offenders who showed more improvement at Kia Marama in terms of specific psychological factors targeted by the programme - such as reduction of pro-offending attitudes and increased capacity to regulate negative emotions - were less likely to reoffend.’’

This study was recently published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and was important because it was the first to demonstrate that specific treatment gains were linked to reductions in recidivism by sexual offenders.

The Kia Marama Unit was founded in 1989 through the efforts of the late UC Associate Professor Steve Hudson, who previously taught in the clinical psychology programme.

Over 800 offenders have completed the Kia Marama programme since its inception, which is recognised internationally for its excellence in developing new and effective psychological treatments for sexual offenders.

UC students continue to receive world-class training in clinical practice at Kia Marama and conduct innovative research projects, supervised by Professor Grace.

Although results of some overseas studies on the effectiveness of psychological treatment for sex offenders have been contentious, the recent UC research at Kia Marama has provided some of the strongest evidence yet that treatment does work.

This week marks 50 years since the first clinical psychology training programme began in New Zealand at the University of Canterbury. UC has graduated hundreds of students assisting New Zealanders with mental health issues, from depression, to ADHD, to treating sex offenders.

A two day clinical psychology seminar will be held on UC’s campus on November 23 and 24 to mark the first 50 years.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

John McBeth: Our World Cup All Blacks

Forty or fifty years ago nobody really had any idea of what the selectors had in mind. There were often several trials, which sometimes featured over 150 players, possibly an inter island match or a final trial, then we listened to the announcement of the team on radio. The players weren't flown into the capital for a parliamentary function... More>>

ALSO:

Game Review: Midsomer Murders Meets First Year Philosophy

Developed by The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture sees the player exploring what appears to be a recently abandoned idyllic English village trying to figure out where everybody's gone. Spoiler: they've gone to the rapture. (On a serious note, this review contains plot spoilers.) More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Clear Science

It was really after his move to Wellington, to Victoria University, that it became apparent that Sir Paul Cllaghan was much more than an eminent physicist... More>>

ALSO:

Francis Cook: Weekend SportzMania! All Blacks! Netball!

Sports were on all weekend. I normally don’t write about sports but with Richie McCaw tipped to be the next Prime Minister, and Colin Craig arguing sports are almost as important as politics, I thought “what better time to start!” More>>

ALSO:

Beervana: Aussie Pav Beer Declared Taste Of NZ

In a surprising upset, an Australian beer modelled on the pavlova, created by Brisbane brewery Newstead Brewing, the 250 Beers blog and Scratch Bar, has been announced the winner at the Beervana craft beer festival ‘Flag Brew’ competition, which challenged media and brewing teams to capture the distinctive taste of New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news