Fast Facts About Treatment

Fact 1: Treatment can help prevent individuals convicted of sexual crimes from reoffending.

The most effective treatment occurs when therapies are designed around risk-needs-responsivity principles. This means matching treatment to the individual’s risk to reoffend; addressing skill-building needs such as prosocial thinking, interpersonal skills, and anger management; and tailoring interventions to the individual’s learning style (responsivity).

Fact 2: A range of effective sex-offense-specific therapy techniques is available.

There are many forms of sex-offense-specific treatment that help prevent sexual reoffending. The objective of sex-offense-specific treatment is to prevent recurring sexually abusive behavior by helping persons at risk of sexually offending effectively manage the factors that contribute to their sexually abusive behaviors; develop strengths and competencies to address their needs; identify and change the thoughts, feelings, and actions that may contribute to their sexual offending; and establish and maintain stable, meaningful, and prosocial lives.

Fact 3: Medications can be an effective addition for preventing sexual abuse.

Sexual-offense-specific treatment can involve a variety of therapeutic techniques and pharmacological interventions. Treatment with drugs may be effective at reducing the risk of sexual offending or reoffending for some individuals, but pharmacological treatments should not be used as stand-alone interventions. If medications are used, they should be administered in combination with other therapeutic and management techniques.

Fact 4: Treatment is a good investment.

Providing treatment is cost-effective and makes society safer. Since most people who are incarcerated for a sexual offense eventually are released and return to their communities, it makes good social and economic sense to help them develop the cognitive and behavioral skills they need to build safe and productive lives.


The following citations reflect research, publications, and presentations by current ATSA members.




2018 ATSA Conference