A Project of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

Long Version
Section 2: An Overview of Sex Offender Treatment for a Non–Clinical Audience
Sex Offender–Specific Treatment Outcome Research
30 minutes

(5 minutes)

Learning Objectives

Use SlideUse Slide #1: Sex Offender–Specific Treatment Outcome Research: Learning Objectives

By the end of this section of the curriculum, participants will be able to:

This section provides information about research findings pertaining to the effectiveness of sex offender treatment and describes the complexities and difficulties in measuring treatment effectiveness. The fundamental question “Does sex offender treatment work?” is addressed by reviewing several studies of recidivism rates among groups of sex offenders who obtained treatment compared to groups that were untreated. Early evaluation studies are described in which no conclusive evidence was found that treatment helps reduce reoffending in sex offenders. However, more recent studies are also presented. These studies address many of the methodological problems inherent in past evaluations and show that indeed, treatment can work. Finally, information about the economic costs and benefits of sex offender–specific treatment is provided—any reduction in reoffense rates can result in significant cost savings and a reduction in harm.