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Increasing Retention Rates in Sex Offender Treatment: Learning from Expert Clinicians

NCJ Number
Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity Volume: 20 Issue: 3 Dated: July-September 2013 Pages: 171-191
Melissa D. Grady; Adrienne Rose Sheard Howe; Emma Beneke
Date Published
September 2013
21 pages
This study contributes to the research on retention rates in sex offender treatment programs by adding to the knowledge regarding sscreening factors or protocols that may ensure a higher completion rate.
Sex offenders who do not complete treatment have been shown to have a higher rate of reoffending compared to those who do complete treatment. A previously conducted meta-analysis concluded that only anti-social personality disorder is a reliable and consistent predictor of non-completion. Clinician expertise is a vehicle through which to expand current knowledge of what might influence being selected for and completing treatment. This study is a qualitative study utilizing a focus group of four clinicians with 78 years of combined expertise in sex offender treatment. Grounded theory was used to analyze the results and a 90 percent inter-rater reliability level was achieved. Eight themes emerged that influenced the clinicians' selection process that addressed individual, logistical, and contextual factors including the number of infractions incurred over the previous year, logistical factors affecting admission, such as release dates, outside support from other individuals, and overt signs of interest. Several factors identified by the clinicians were not included in the list used in the meta-analysis, including group cohesion or outside support, indicating that there may be unexplored factors that have not been included to date in the current literature. Additional implications for research and practice are discussed. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.