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Sex Offender Treatment Programmes

Volume 596: debated on Wednesday 3 February 1999

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether, given doubts about the success rate of sex offender treatment programmes in the United States, the similarity of United Kingdom programmes to the United States models, and the significant investment in these programmes, they will commission independent research into their effectiveness. [HL691]

The sex offender treatment programmes used by the Prison Service are based on Canadian rather than United States models. Neither the Government nor the Prison Service is aware of doubts about the success rates of those models.Independent research into effectiveness is an integral part of the Prison Service's offending behaviour programme policy, since it would clearly be wasteful to devote resources to programmes which cannot be shown to reduce recidivism. As I said in my reply to the noble Lord on 16 December last (

Official Report, col. WA 149), interim outcomes from independent research into the Prison Service's sex offender treatment programme, relating to attitudinal and other change predictive of changes in recidivism, are available, and were reported in Home Office Research Findings No. 79 (ISSN 1364–6540). I will send a copy to the noble Lord.