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Types of Treatment for Sex Offenders

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Wright (2009) defines a sex offender as an individual who has committed a crime of forcing sex acts on children or adults. The criminal justice system ensures incarceration of sex offenders as a way of eliminating them from the society until they undergo a positive behavior change. Sex offenders can undergo treatment while they are serving their prison terms, which can make them socially acceptable in the society upon completing their prison terms. The most common kinds of treatment include medical treatment, behavioral treatment, and cognitive therapy.

Medical treatment of sex offenders reduces the level of testosterone in men with an aim of reducing an individual’s sexual drive (Wright, 2009). Numerous medications including Depo-Provera can achieve medical treatment. Medical treatment is the most effective technique of reducing recidivism. However, medications cause harmful side effects upon their application. Behavioral treatment involves the application of punishment and rewards to influence the behavior of a sex offender in a positive manner. Penile plethysmograph is an instrument that shows the sexual behavior of an individual. This instrument can determine whether an individual possess pedophilic behaviors. Cognitive therapy involves the change of a sex offender’s basic perceptions that surround relationships, sex, and incidents that resulted in the sex crimes. Intensive group and individual therapy achieve cognitive treatment of sex offenders.

However, there are some obstacles to the treatment of sex offenders. Among the obstacles is the insufficiency of qualified rehabilitation personnel and funds for the rehabilitation of sex offenders within the Criminal Justice System. Politically, a government may be unwilling to appropriate finances for treatment programs. The current legislation may not be an effective method of treatment due to insufficient funds (Wright, 2009). In spite of the obstacles, medical treatment effectively reduces recidivism rates. Therefore, medical treatment, especially the use of Depo-Provera, is the solution to sex offenses.

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