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Working with sexual offenders: the training and support needs SOTP facilities

Brampton, Laura Louise (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Since the mid 1980s, a mass of scholarly material has been published on sex offender treatment, particularly relating to cognitive behavioural techniques. Alongside this, there has been a gradual recognition by academics and practitioners in the field of the particular challenges faced by those providing treatment for sexual offenders. As well as having to analyse detailed accounts of sexual violence, sex offender therapists are faced with the responsibility of working with some of the most difficult offenders in the system in terms of their generally poor motivation to change and the serious consequences of their reoffending. As a result, various detrimental impacts have been associated with providing treatment to sexual offenders, including stress, burnout and vicarious traumatisation.

This thesis presents the results of interviews conducted with a variety of Prison Service staff working with sex offenders on the Sex Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP), which has been hailed as the ‘largest multi-site, cognitive behavioural treatment programme for sex offenders in the world’. Participants were asked about the positive and negative effects of working with sexual offenders, the quality of training they had received, and what types of personal and organisational support were available to them. The results show that the Prison Service needs to give greater consideration when selecting candidates to deliver the SOTP, and those individuals who have been a victim of sexual abuse should be excluded from the recruitment process. In addition, it is concluded that there should be further staff training for those working on the SOTP, and that existing sources of organisational support need to be improved.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Shute, Stephen
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Law
Subjects:K Law (General)
BF Psychology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1394
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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