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A robust method for the evaluation of prison based sex offender treatment programmes
2000-01, O'Reilly, Gary, Murphy, Paul, Cotter, Anthony, Carr, Alan
This paper outlines the approach to evaluating the sex offender treatment programme currently running in the Irish prison system. It begins with an introduction to the scope of the problem of sexual offending as reflected by the extent of the prison population in Ireland who have been convicted of a variety of sexual offences. It then outlines two key points that can be gleaned from several decades of general research on evaluating the effectiveness of psychological treatments while indicating how they have been included in our present research. We also describe the variety of data sources that need to be incorporated into an effective evaluation of prison based sex offender treatment programmes. We conclude with an introduction to some preliminary findings from our on-going research. These finding high-light the return in terms of more reliable information when care is taken in developing a robust method for the evaluation of prison-based sex offender treatment programmes.
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A controlled evaluation of a prison based sexual offender intervention programme
2010-03, O'Reilly, Gary, Carr, Alan, Murphy, Paul, Cotter, Anthony
The effectiveness of a prison-based cognitive behavioral program designed to modify psychological risk factors associated with sexual offending was evaluated. The Irish Prison Service Sexual Offender Intervention Programme, is a manualized 10-month Cognitive Behaviour Therapy [CBT] program involving three 2-hour group sessions per week, which are facilitated by a team of clinical psychologists and probation officers. Improvements in 38 consecutive referrals to the program were compared with the status of 38 untreated offenders who were similar in marital status, age when they left school, occupational status prior to imprisonment, offence type, presence of previous convictions, and current sentence length. All research participants completed the same assessment protocol, which evaluated psychological factors associated with sexual offending at times equivalent to pre- and postintervention. Compared with the untreated control group, program participants showed statistically significant improvement on some but not all self-report measures of cognitive distortions, empathy, interpersonal skills, self-regulation, and relapse prevention. Motivation to change among the untreated control group was not associated with change in psychological functioning in the absence of the assistance of the treatment program. Implications for sexual offender intervention delivery are considered.