This curriculum provides information and materials (lecture content, presentation slides, and references) designed to equip knowledgeable trainers to plan and deliver an introductory training on understanding sex offenders. For a very quick preview of all the content of this curriculum, click on the site map. From this map, users can access any part of the curriculum that is of interest to them.

This curriculum will provide a brief overview of the extent of sexual victimization and a few basic trends pertaining to these types of crimes; summarize key data about sex offenders who come to the attention of the criminal justice system; review commonly identified characteristics within the sex offender population, while recognizing the heterogeneity that exists among them; highlight examples of approaches used to classify groups of sex offenders into more homogenous subtypes or typologies; outline various etiological or explanatory theories of sex offending; and begin to consider the implications of this information for contemporary sex offender management strategies.

All of the materials contained in this curriculum can also be reviewed and accessed in an easy–to–print format at the Download Center.

Issues and Cautions for Users

Perhaps the most important caution for anyone planning this training is to remember that this is an opportunity for adult learning. Participants bring to trainings extensive knowledge and rich sets of experiences that affect how they process the information that is provided. Therefore, users of the materials in this curriculum should not conduct events with only lectures. Instead, trainers are strongly encouraged to invite participants to share their own knowledge and experiences throughout the training, as participants take away much more useful and practical information when they have opportunities to engage faculty members and their colleagues in discussions that relate to the material that is presented to their own and their agencies’ work.

Other important issues and cautions relate to the qualifications of trainers, and the importance of adapting the curriculum to address the specific needs and questions of the audience.

User's Guide

The User’s Guide previews the icons and notations used throughout the curriculum, and introduces a number of training techniques and strategies that may be helpful for trainers.


This link will lead you to a comprehensive list of the publications referenced throughout this curriculum.

Evaluation Form

This curriculum includes an evaluation form that can be used to assess how well the training that is provided using this curriculum achieves its goals. If users modify or tailor the curriculum to meet the needs of their audiences, they are encouraged to adapt the evaluation form they use to reflect the changes they make.


Rachel West of the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) was the primary author of this curriculum.  Project staff Kurt Bumby and Leilah Gilligan edited the curriculum, and Oluwole Okunseinde of CSOM was responsible for converting the curriculum into CD–ROM and Web–based formats.  CSOM would like to express sincere thanks to David D’Amora and Robert McGrath for their thoughtful review of this material.