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Encouraging results from sex offender programmes

Encouraging results from sex offender programmes

The Corrections Minister Paul Swain says new research into rehabilitative programmes for men who sexually offend against children indicates the programmes are delivering encouraging results.

The research, by Dr Ian Lambie and Dr Malcolm Stewart of the University of Auckland, found the community-based programmes run by SAFE Network Inc (Auckland), Wellington STOP Inc and STOP Trust Christchurch are performing well.

"I congratulate these organisations on this result," says Mr Swain.

Results showed that participants who completed these community-based programmes had a 5.2 percent recidivism rate, compared against the 16-21 percent recidivism rate for untreated sex offenders.

The community-based programme results are comparable to prison-based programmes for child sex offenders, Kia Marama (located at Rolleston Prison) and Te Piriti (at Auckland Prison) run by the Department of Corrections' Psychological Service, which have also performed well in recent evaluations.

"It is excellent to note that both New Zealand's prison-based and community-based programmes are working well to help keep communities safer," says Mr Swain.

He cautioned that, despite advances in therapeutic interventions in recent years, it is not possible to rehabilitate all sex offenders.

"We must bear in mind that no matter how good an intervention is, a small percentage do later re-offend."

The community-based programmes are funded by the Department of Corrections, the Department of Child, Youth and Family, and community funding sources.

The research was commissioned by the Department of Corrections as part of its research and evaluation programme.

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