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Navy Sex Offender Treatment: Promoting Community Safety

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 65 Issue: 7 Dated: December 2003 Pages: 84-86
Tina M. Marin; Deborah L. Bell
Date Published
December 2003
3 pages
This article describes a sex offender treatment program used by the Navy.
The Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in San Diego (California) provides a sex offender treatment program for military personnel serving prison sentences for committing sex offenses. Stopping sex abuse and keeping the community safe are the main goals of this program. Approximately 50 sex offenders participate in the sex offender program at any one time. All convicted sex offenders begin with a mandated 18-hour sex offender education class. The goals of the course are to provide education on the dynamics of sexual deviance and sexual perpetration, provide information regarding offense-specific treatment available during confinement, and motivate inmates to participate in such treatment. At the conclusion of class, inmates are strongly encouraged to seek admission into the voluntary sex offender treatment program. To be admitted into the program, the inmate must have been convicted of a sex offense involving a minor; admit a degree of responsibility for the offense; and be willing to discuss his sexually deviant behavior in detail. The program’s primary focus is on the protection of the community by preventing further victimization. It is a comprehensive, specialized cognitive-behavioral treatment program that focuses on relapse prevention and includes psycho-physiological assessments, intensive structured group therapy, educational seminars, training in cognitive-behavioral management techniques to avoid aberrant sexual behavior, and relapse prevention training. The core program is 26 months and includes group therapy three times a week and psycho-educational seminars once a week. A substantial period of supervised release in the community is greatly beneficial to long-term success in preventing recidivism. Sex offenders that are granted parole must agree to significant conditions, including participation in a community-based sex offender treatment program and no direct or indirect contact with children. Involving the offender’s family and victim(s) prior to release is essential in many cases, especially if the offender is likely to have contact with the victim. Treatment for sex offenders is a lifelong management issue. The Navy correctional program is strongly committed to treating military offenders during and after confinement. 5 endnotes