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

 

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Foo Fighters: Exclusive Show In Support Of Music Foundation

Frontier Touring has today announced that the Foo Fighters will play a last minute intimate and exclusive benefit show at the Auckland Town Hall this Friday February 20 with all profits going to The New Zealand Music Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Celia Lashlie: Legacy Will Live On

Social justice advocate Celia Lashlie leaves a legacy that will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders for years to come, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Celia was a powerful voice for reason, sense and compassion. Her work, particularly with teenage boys, was ground-breaking." More>>

ALSO:

Obituary: Sad Farewell To PPTA Activist Robin Duff

Duff has been a long-time fixture of the association... Most recently Duff has been working hard to support Canterbury teachers through the quakes that devastated the region. More>>

ALSO:

Poroporoaki: Dr Apirana Tuahae Kaukapakapa Mahuika

Papa Api was a man of many great gifts and occupied a long list of roles including priest, teacher, scholar, politician, and leader. Chair of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, and a rangatira of his iwi... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news