nextgenforensic

Optimism in the treatment of psychopathic offenders

Charlotte Aelick

The development of treatment models specific to psychopathic offenders marks an exciting and important time for research of psychopathy. Research involving psychopathic offenders has been slow moving and rife with controversy. However, this research has begun to show some hope for positive treatment outcomes. The development of psychopathy-specific treatment programs provides optimism to those tasked with the treatment of psychopathic individuals despite the chronic and stable nature of their dominant personality traits. Given the high rates of re-offending among psychopathic offenders in the community, the importance of any positive treatment outcomes cannot be understated. The positive results we have begun to see within the literature demands increased attention be paid to this area in hopes of reducing the risk of violent, sexual, and general re-offending among psychopathic offenders.

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Long-term reconviction rates for individuals convicted of indecent image offences appear to be low

Ian A. Elliott

Although they’re a relatively small proportion of individuals convicted of sexual offences there is increasing concern about the behaviours and management of individuals with offenses relating to indecent images of children (IIOC) online. The consensus in the literature appears to be that, contrary to popular notions, sex offenders don’t reoffend at high rates and that the rate for IIOC offenders is lower than those who commit contact sexual offences. This post summarises the findings of our new study into (relatively) long-term reconviction rates for IIOC users.

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Could ’empathy games’ play a role in treatment?

Ian A. Elliott

I occasionally take an interest in the ongoing “GamerGate” controversy, which is odd since the only game console I own is my mid-90s Game Boy loaded with Tetris. This post isn’t about GamerGate, but if you have an interest here’s a linkAlthough this post is not about GamerGate, it’s always good to read widely (it’s Habit #3 of Michael Seto’s advice to new researchers on this blog!). I would, however, encourage you to read this post by Liana Kerzner, which inspired this one, because it’s a wonderfully-written and objective examination of the issue of misogyny as it relates to video games. It also got me thinking about how we address empathy deficits in sex offender treatment – but we’ll get to that.

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The flexibility of pedophilic sexual interests

Ian McPhail

Can someone’s sexual interest in children decrease and their sexual interest in adults increase?  This sounds like a complicated and vital question that professionals in the business of treating sexual offenders should be asking themselves most mornings before they head to work.  Not surprisingly, this is a question that psychologists and psychiatrists have been preoccupied for a long time, with more modern examples emerging in the 1960s and 1970s.  However, more recently, a series of recent articles have dug into this complicated and thorny issue anew.  And perhaps even more interesting, this debate has spilled over into the media, with a recent radio broadcast in Canada featuring two of the main individuals in the recent debate speaking to the issue at hand: can we change pedophilic interests?

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Emotional congruence with children: Recent developments in an old concept

Ian McPhail

In the past number of years, a few colleagues and I have embarked on a line of research examining emotional congruence with children in sexual offenders against children.  The set of psychological processes typically included within this concept highlight the perceived intimate nature of relationships males who commit sexual offences against children have with children and their understanding of these relationships.  Basically, emotional congruence with children suggests the notion that some men feel more comfortable around children than adults, think of children as their friends, are emotionally attracted to children, and may even yearn for the trappings of childhood.

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CoSA: An inconvenient truth

Ian A. Elliott

This week I read the new (July) edition of the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. Inside was a new outcome study of the Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) re-entry program in the South East region of the United Kingdom, by Andrew Bates and colleagues. I consider myself to be a supporter of CoSA and its mission, and I think it’s an excellent program implemented by motivated, diligent, and benevolent individuals. Myself and Ian McPhail have written positively about CoSA on this very blog. Nonetheless, I have constant lingering concerns about the inconvenient truth that, as yet, there is simply not enough evidence to suggest that CoSA programs are effective in their aim to significantly reduce sexual reoffending by Core Members (the individual to whom support and accountability is provided).

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