So, what happens now to sex offenders and their victims? The Programme is intended to reduce sexual reoffending amongst participants by identifying and addressing known criminogenic needs. Changes have been made to the targets, the content, and the methods used in Core SOTP since its introduction in response to emerging research. As a result, during the course of this study and in the period thereafter the Programme has changed. However, it remains a cognitive behavioural group based treatment approach.
It was, and remains, available in approximately one-sixth of male prison establishments in England and Wales and is intended for individuals sentenced to 12 months or more, who had either a current or previous sentence sex offence, were willing to engage in treatment, and were not in denial of their offending.
The research There were 2, convicted sex offenders who started treatment under the prison-based Core Sex Offender Treatment Programme between and in England and Wales. Propensity score matching PSM was used to match sexual offenders who participated in Core SOTP treated sex offenders to similar sexual offenders who did not.
The matched treatment and comparison groups were then compared on an extensive range of proven reoffending outcomes sexual and non-sexual. These outcome measures were calculated over a period of up to The findings Some statistically significant differences were detected over an average 8. They were small in magnitude although they widened over the follow-up period. More treated sex offenders committed at least one sexual reoffence excluding breach during the follow-up period when compared with the matched comparison offenders More treated sex offenders committed at least one child image reoffence during the follow-up period when compared with the matched comparison offenders 4.
Otherwise, the matched treated and comparison groups had similar reoffending rates across a variety of outcome measures. Conclusions The MoJ impact evaluation concludes: The results suggest that while Core SOTP in prisons is generally associated with little or no changes in sexual and non-sexual reoffending, there were some statistically significant differences. The small changes in the sexual reoffending rate suggest that either Core SOTP does not reduce sexual reoffending as it intends to do, or that the true impact of the Programme was not detected.
It is possible that a number of factors such as motivation, participation in other treatment programmes and data quality might limit the validity of the study. Some of the most important ones for me are: Why does an evidence-based programme have no impact — and is possibly even counter-productive — on reoffending? Given that many offenders have had their prison sentences extended because of delays in getting on SOTP, what are the implications for sex offenders still in prison who have either completed or are waiting to do the SOTP?
Why has the MoJ and new Justice Minister David Lidington not issued a formal statement setting out HMPPS future plans for addressing the behaviour of sex offenders in prison and supervising them on release?
Although the evaluation was only published last week, it has been common knowledge in the MoJ for several months. Prison Consultants have no editorial influence on the contents of this site.