Sex offender rehabilitation

Karen Franklin reviews an excellent book on the important subject of sex offender treatments that may work.

An interesting comment related to:

Denial: Not necessarily a bad thing

One of the most unusual features of the Rockwood program is its emphasis on helping men who continue to deny their offenses despite having been convicted. The therapists do not challenge these offenders to admit their crimes. In fact, they don’t think admissions are that big a deal. They offer several reasons for this:

  • Given what we know from the false-confession literature, some deniers truly are innocent. And it is impossible to know which ones.
  • Forcing an offender to match his account to his victim’s is silly, because we know from research that victim accounts are highly unreliable.
  • Men who deny offending or offer excuses actually have lower rates of recidivism. As Shadd Marunafound out in his research with offenders in the UK, excuse-making is related to good mental health as well as to guilt, which (unlike shame) suggests prosocial values.
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