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Professor Hazel Kemshall De Montfort University

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1 Professor Hazel Kemshall De Montfort University
The Community Management of Sex Offenders Professor Hazel Kemshall De Montfort University

2 Going to focus on... Achieving balance in Risk Management Plans.
What works? Particularly potential contribution of GLM. Understanding reluctance to change. Multi agency contribution to RMPs.

3 Background HMIP inspections and requirement for ‘balance’ and more ‘holistic’ risk management plans. Desistance research and literature, including on high risk sexual offenders. A ‘strengths’ agenda, building networks, enhancing protective factors. Austerity - be lean not just mean. Re-introduction of professional judgement. Dealing with risky behaviours rather than ‘providing things’.

4 Risk Management: Key Principles
Proportionate Defensible Lawful Non-arbitrary Balanced Evidence-based Transparent and open to scrutiny Recorded, communicated and accountable

5 The Four Pillars of Risk Management
Monitoring and control Interventions and treatment Victim safety Supervision

6 Risk Management Planning
4 key activities: Supervision, monitoring and control, interventions and treatment, victim safety planning, and Sufficient to manage the risk Appropriate to offender and his/her situation Relevant to risk factor(s) Evidence based Least restrictive necessary Source: RMA 2007; Kemshall et al 2010.

7 The Four Pillars of Risk Management
Supervision Structured and focused contact, set at a frequency commensurate with risk. Intensive supervision-focusing on problematic behaviours, encouraging compliance, strengthening protective factors. Supervised accommodation. Monitoring Electronic tagging. Surveillance. Use of local police intelligence about offending networks. Documentation of early warning signs. Understanding of behaviours and events which require close monitoring. Communication arrangement between all parties.

8 The Four Pillars Cont. Intervention / Treatment
Identification and intensive one to one work on key triggers. Development and rehearsal of self-risk management techniques. Appropriate programmes. Medication. Victim Safety Planning Information and education of known and potential victims. Contingency measures. Emergency contacts. Appropriate support personnel. Restriction of access to victims. (RMA 2007; Kemshall 2011).

9 What works? GLM and sexual offenders
Using a strengths based approach. Balancing the legitimate needs of the offender with the prevention of risk. Promoting internal controls and desistance. Promoting offender engagement, and a 'humanistic' relationship between worker and offender. Avoiding totally 'deficit focused' assessments and interventions- this echoes Attrill and Liell's offenders who stated that: 'it's just pure negative that people look at, not the positives' (2007). Supporting change and being motivational. (For a review see H. Kemshall (2010))

10 A moment of reflection Do you find it hard to think of sexual and violent offenders you are working with as having strengths? How do you characterise them 'in your own mind'? Do only ever talk about risks and not about legitimate needs? How would you characterise the style of your supervisory relationship with these offenders? Humanistic? Punitive? Stigmatising? Think about your last discussion with a sexual or violent offender- what was the balance between 'deficits' and strengths in your discussion? Were you overly focused on one or the other? What practical things have you done to support change?

11 The important protective factors
Enhanced sense of personal agency. Stronger internal locus of control (and therefore more capacity for self-risk management). Can find positive outcomes even in negative events. They react positively to treatment (e.g. often describing treatment as a 'turning point'). They find a place in a pro-social and non-offending network. Farmer, M. and Beech, T. (2007); Barnett, G. D. and Mann, R. E. (2011)

12 Holistic Risk Management
External Internal Motivation Risk

13 Some important questions for us
Do we assess motivation, capacity and ability to change as well as we assess risk? Do we (and can we?) incentivise as well as control? Do we focus on problematic behaviours? How well do we understand reluctance to change?

14 Dealing with ‘reluctance’
Reluctant Rebellious Resigned Rationalising (Farrow et al 2007).

15 Risk management plans that target problematic behaviour
Consistent enforcement of rules Censure do not reward Programme re aggression and violent fantasies/behaviour Rehearsing alternatives Victim safety plan Monitor for key escalation signs Behavioural agreements Protective factors Problematic sexual behaviour

16 Discussion on problematic behaviours
List the key problematic behaviours here List your responses and interventions here


18 Review and Revise If it isn’t working it isn’t working!
Changes must be positive and real. Respond to deterioration and negativity. There have to be gains for the offender no matter how small.

19 Thank you for listening!
For further information or permission to use this material please contact Professor Hazel Kemshall on: or

20 References Barnett, G. D. and Mann, R. E. (2011) Good Lives and Risk Assessment: Collaborative Approaches to Risk Assessment with Sexual Offenders. In: Kemshall, H. and Wilkinson, B. (eds.) Good Practice in Assessing Risk: Current Knowledge, Issues and Approaches. London: JKP. Farmer, M. and Beech, T. (2007) Assessing desistance in child sexual abusers: a qualitative study. Farmer, M. and Beech, T. (2007) Assessing desistance in child sexual abusers: a qualitative study. Unpublished manuscript Farrow, K., Kelly, G.  and Wilkinson, B. (2007) Offenders in Focus: Risk, responsivity and diversity.  Bristol: Policy Press. H. Kemshall (2010) The role of risk, needs and strengths assessment in improving the supervision of offenders. In: F. McNeill, P. Raynor and C. Trotter (eds.) Offender Supervision: New directions in theory, research and practice. Willan. Mann, R. E., Hanson, R. K. and Thornton, D. (2010) Assessing risk for sexual recidivism: Some proposals on the nature of psychologically meaningful risk factors. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Vol. 22, pp Ward, T., Collie, R. M. and Burke, P. (2009) Models of Offender Rehabilitation: The Good Lives Model and the Risk-Need-Responsivity Model. In: Beech, A., Craig, L. and Browne, K. (eds.) Assessment and Treatment of Sex Offenders: A Handbook. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. Ward, T. and Mann, R. (2004) Good Lives and Rehabilitation of Sex Offenders: A Positive Approach to Treatment. In: Linley, A. and Joseph, S. (eds.) Positive Psychology in Practice. New York: John Wiley. Ward, T., Vess, J., Collie, R. M. and Gannon. T. (2006) Risk management or goods promotion: the relationship between approach and avoidance goals in treatment for sex offenders. Aggression and Violent Behaviour, Vol. 11, pp

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