Background to my question on SOTPs
NOMS is the UKs National Offender Management Service, which is now called Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service.
If you look at the UKs official website on Offender Behaviour Progammes (OBPs) run by Her Majesty’s Ministry of Justice, it states
There is growing international evidence that the type of cognitive-behavioural techniques that NOMS accredited programmes apply are the most effective in reducing offending behaviour; evidence Fact Sheets are available from Interventions Unit.
Trying to find these fact sheets is difficult, but a document titled Suitability for Accredited Interventions (NOMS, 2010) has the following on page 5.
A number of offenders are either diagnosed with Personality Disorder or present complex needs linked to their risk. The degree of complexity may prevent them from engaging fully with a shorter programme or may make shorter interventions inadequate. In this instance, a referral should be considered for a Democratic Therapeutic Community (DTC).
Participation in a DTC can occur at any point during the sentence, depending on the needs of the offender. Some will benefit from completing shorter programmes, such as ETS/TSP first to support responsivity and engagement in the DTC. Other offenders may find the therapeutic community approach can prepare and support participation in future high-intensity offence-focussed interventions, if applicable. DTCs currently exist in the Category B and C closed prison estate.
Further information on DTCs can be found at Appendix D.
Appendix B (Page 45) covers all the tyes of SOTP in detail
Appendix D (Page 65) states
Democratic Therapeutic Communities (DTCs) (Custody)
Democratic TCs provide a living-learning intervention for offenders whose primary criminogenic risk factors need to be targeted whilst simultaneously addressing psychological and emotional disturbance.
This is followed by details of the risk assessments required, including a
Sexual Offences Attitude Questionnaire (Hogue & OBPU) (for male sex offenders only)
and the questionnaire
can be used independent of whether the victim or victims were male or female, adult or child. (Hogue, 1994)
Apart from what I mentioned above, I found the following:
a study (Wakeling, et al., 2007) covering UK SOTPs by evaluating participants’ experiences using both qualitative and quantitative methods.
The authors state that
SOTP staff from the establishments conducted the interviews, most of whom were involved within treatment delivery. Participants’ responses may therefore have been more positive than they would have been if an independent party had interviewed them.
Beech, et. al. (1998) again used offender questionnaires!
Two approaches were used to evaluate treatment impact. The first approach examined the extent to which treated child abusers showed statistically significant changes in their levels of denial, pro-offending attitudes, and social competency/acceptance of accountability. Using this approach it was found that both shorter (80 hours) and longer treatment groups (160 hours) were effective in producing statistically significant reductions in these areas
The second, and more sophisticated, analysis considered to what extent the child abusers had, by the end of treatment, a ‘treated’ profile.
Are there any studies which evaluated effectiveness using data on reoffending rates?
A study on Californian programmes (Marques, et al. 2005) states that:
The study was a randomized clinical trial that compared the reoffense rates of offenders treated in an inpatient relapse prevention (RP) program with the rates of offenders in two (untreated) prison control groups. No significant differences were found among the three groups in their rates of sexual or violent reoffending over an 8-year follow-up period.
Has there been any further evaluation, and is this the same with the UK SOTPs and the rest of the US?
Beech, A. et al. (1998). Evaluation of a National Prison-based Treatment Program for Sexual Offenders in England and Wales. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 18(7), 744—59
Hogue, T. (1994). Sexual offence information questionnaire: assessment of sexual offenders' perceptions of responsibility, empathy and control. In: Rights and Risks: the application of forensic psychology. British Psychological Society, Leicester, pp. 68-75
Abstract available only - PDF RESTRICTED to Repository Staff, University of Lincoln
Marques, J.K. et al. (2005) Effects of a Relapse Prevention Program on Sexual Recidivism: Final Results From California’s Sex Offender Treatment and Evaluation Project (SOTEP). Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment 17(1), 79–107
NOMS. (2010). Suitability for Accredited Interventions [Word Document]
Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/259175/annex-sotp-programmes.doc
Wakeling, H. et al. (2007) Sexual offenders' treatment experience: A qualitative and quantitative investigation. Journal of Sexual Aggression 11(2), 171—186