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Juvenile Sex Offender Treatment

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Presentation on theme: "Juvenile Sex Offender Treatment"— Presentation transcript:

1 Juvenile Sex Offender Treatment
Stephen I. Bloomfield, Ed.D. Diana Repke, Psy.D.

2 CONTACT INFORMATION STEPHEN BLOOMFIELD, ED.D. BLOOMFIELD PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES 3725 DUPONT STATION COURT SOUTH JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA 32217 904= (FAX)

3 CONTACT INFORMATION DIANA REPKE, PSY. D. PO Box 76024 Tampa, 33675

4 AGENDA AND FORMAT DIDATIC AND EXPERIENTIAL GOALS- specific and general
DEFINITIONS PUBLIC POLICY TREATMENT ISSUES CASE STUDIES

5 GENERAL GOALS-we are almost there
STAY AWAKE INTERACT INTERGRATE INFORMATION LEARN SOMETHING NEW BRAINSTORMING CASE STUDY

6 SPECIFIC GOALS Identify children who offend
Identify treatment modalities Identify public policy

7 An American Travesty: Legal Responses to Adolescent Sexual Offending
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice Adolescent Development and Legal Policy Monograph Series Franklin E. Zimring For more information on the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice, visit our website at or contact Marnia Davis, Administrator, at

8 Children who offend During the 1990’s, all 50 states enacted new laws aimed largely at protecting children against sexual predators. Under many of these laws, adult sexual offenders are regarded as more dangerous—and controlled more severely—if their victims are very young. This seems rational when dealing with adults who prey on young children. But in enacting laws aimed at adult sexual predators, legislators whether deliberately or thoughtlessly, often used language broad enough to encompass offenders in early adolescence. Should a child or young adolescent who commits a single act of sexual aggression against another child be treated the same way as a 30-year-old man who assaults an 8-year-oldgirl? Legal scholar Franklin Zimring calls THIS ‘a travesty of justice’—a policy that ignores the developmental stage young sex offenders in determining their legal fate.

9 AN OVERRIDING ISSUE CHILDREN ARE NOT SMALL ADULTS
CHILDREN WHO ARE SEX OFFENDERS ARE NOT SMALL ADULT OFFENDERS CHILDREN WHO OFFEND ARE CHILDREN

10 SPECIAL AND OBVIOUS PYSCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
IMMATURITY REASONING PUBERTY EXPERIMENTATION

11 BRAINSTORMING-DIANA REPKE
Normal sexual development Deviant sexual development

12 Topics in Sex- Offender Treatment
ISSUES FOR ALL ADOLESCENTS ISSUES OF SPECIAL CONCERN FOR DELIQUENTS ISSUES OF SPECIAL CONCERN FOR SEX OFFENDERS

13 MORE TRUE THAN EVER— NOT JUST SMALL ADULTS
Adolescents are not merely younger versions of adults. Adolescence is a period of transition, both sexually and behaviorally, and sexual misconduct among juveniles is both more varied and more complicated than among adults.

14 TYPES OF OFFENDERS Some empirical evidence distinguishes three types of juvenile sex offenders: STATUS OFFENDERS FIRST OFFENDERS REPEAT OFFENDERS

15 STATUS OFFENDERS These are children and teens whose sexual behavior is consensual and with partners close to their age; it is unlawful only because they or their partners are under the age of consent. While this is illegal on the books, millions of teens violate such laws every year. They are seldom prosecuted except in institutional settings such as group homes—a double standard with potentially lifelong legal consequences.

16 FIRST OFFENDERS First offenders involved in abusive conduct. The majority of juveniles arrested for sex offenses are those who are much older than their partners or who have used force or coercion. The re-arrest rate for this group is quite low, however, and currently unpredictable: tests used by researchers to identify individuals at risk for recidivism have a false positive rate of more than 80 percent when used with adolescents.

17 REPEAT OFFENDERS Repeat offenders. Perhaps 4 to 8 percent of juveniles arrested for sex crimes fall into this category. Some may become dangerous adult sexual predators, while others may outgrow the problem before they become adults. It’s impossible to say who or how many fall into either group because no research exists on the number of repeat offenders or their later careers.

18 A classification system
Another classification system for problematic sexual behaviors in children has been proposed which delineates three levels of disturbance: precocious, inappropriate, and coercive sexual behaviors (Berliner, Manaois, & Monastersky, 1986). These three levels are described below:

19 Precocious Precocious sexual behavior involves behaviors such as oral-genital contact or intercourse between pre-adolescents with no evidence of force or coercion. This behavior may be a temporary, unsocialized response to victimization or a response to exposure to sexually explicit behavior. It may cease upon disclosure, increased supervision, or therapeutic intervention. These children should have further assessment to determine the necessity and level of appropriate intervention.

20 Inappropriate Inappropriate sexual behavior includes persistent and/or public masturbation, excessive interest or preoccupation with sexual matters, and highly sexualized behavior or play. These children may be in the incipient process of developing a deviant sexual arousal pattern. Intervention for these children would depend on the frequency, persistence, and consequences of the behavior.

21 Coercive Coercive sexual behavior refers to sexual acts in which force is used or threatened, or where a significant disparity in development or size exists. These children may engage in sexually aggressive behavior in conjunction with other antisocial activity. The sexual behavior may be more reflective of anger and hostility than a search for gratification. Children with coercive sexual behavior are seen as requiring immediate, intensive intervention.

22 Subgroups of Sex offenders

23 Sexually Reactive Sexual behaviors are often done in view of adults and may be frequent Many of the behaviors are self-stimulating and may be directed toward adults Coerces other children, though the other children may dislike or be bothered by the behavior; no threats; no attempt to hurt Often represents a partial form of reenactment of sexual abuse the child has sustained; may be the child's way of trying to understand Shame, guilt, anxiety, and fear may be related to the upsurge or aftermath of the sexual behaviors

24 Extensive Mutual Sexual Behaviors
Sexual behaviors are extensive and often habitual Find willing partners who will engage with them and avoid detection by parents/caretakers Often distrustful; chronically hurt and abandoned by adults; relate best to other children May or may not experience sexual pleasure Sexual behaviors are a way of coping with feelings of abandonment, loss, and fear

25 Children Who Molest Sexual behaviors are frequent and pervasive
Intense sexual confusion is a hallmark of their thinking Sexuality and aggression are closely linked Use some kind of coercion to gain participation (bribery, trickery, etc.) Impulsive, compulsive, aggressive quality to many of their behaviors, including sexual behaviors Problems in all areas of their lives Adapted from: Johnson, T. C. (1989). Human sexuality: Curriculum for parents and children in troubled families. Los Angeles, CA: Children's Institute International.

26 An image breeds an industry
Adult sex offenders—especially those who use force and those who prey on children—are viewed by the public with special outrage and fear. Even professionals consider many of them a breed apart from other criminals, with very particular characteristics: fixed, abnormal sexual proclivities; a focus on sex offenses to the exclusion of other crimes; at high risk of repeating their offenses.

27 IMAGE TRANSFER It is this image, controversial but widely held, that underlies Megan's Laws and related policy. Jimmy Ryce in Florida. This pathological image has now been extended to adolescent offenders as well, giving rise not only to new laws but to an industry of specialized treatment programs for sexually abusive youth. While juvenile sex-offense arrests have remained remarkably stable over the past two decades or more, the number of treatment programs has mushroomed: from 20 in 1982 to several hundred today.

28 Similarities More different then the same

29 Similarities We do know that nine of ten juvenile sex offenders are male (Fehrenbach et al.; Johnson, 1988; Berliner, 1995), and that juvenile sex offenders often commit their first sexual offense before age 15 and even before age 12. We also know that juvenile sex offenders are found in every socioeconomic class and every racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural group. Children who sexually abuse are far more likely than the general population to have been physically, sexually, or otherwise abused. Studies indicate that between 40% and 80% of sexually abusive youth have themselves been sexually abused, and that 20% to 50% have been physically abused (CSOM, 1999).

30 Similarities According to the Center for Sex Offender Management (1999) the following are other common traits among juvenile sex offenders. • Difficulties with impulse control and judgment • High rates of learning disabilities and academic dysfunction (30% to 60%) • Mental illness: up to 80% have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder

31 Similarities Some professionals believe a history of victimization is virtually universal among juvenile sex offenders. Experienced therapist Robert Longo writes, “As I think back to the thousands of sex offenders I have interviewed and the hundreds I have treated, I cannot think of many cases in which a patient didn’t have some history of abuse, neglect, family dysfunction, or some form of maltreatment within his or her history” (Longo, 2001).

32 Similarities A minority of sexually abusive youth also have deviant sexual arousal and interest patterns. “These arousal and interest patterns are recurrent and intense, and relate directly to the nature of the sexual behavior problem (e.g., sexual arousal to young children)” (CSOM, 1999).

33 WANTED: GOOD RESEARCH Measure the real risk of recidivism
Uncover the determinants of future danger Put treatments to the test.

34 WANTED: GOOD PUBLIC POLICY
Division of responsibility in the juvenile justice system. Decriminalization of non-predatory peer sex. No prediction of dangerousness for first offenders. Careful procedures for predicting pathology and danger in repeat sex offenders.

35 Clinical Treatment and Programming for Juvenile Sex Offenders
Hunter, J.A. (2000). Understanding juvenile sex offenders: research findings & guidelines for effective management & treatment. Juvenile Justice Fact Sheet. Charlottesville, VA: Institute of Law, Psychiatry, & Public Policy, University of Virginia.

36 Web sites http://sswnt7.sowo.unc.edu/fcrp/Cspn/vol7_no2.htm

37 More web sites

38 More web sites

39 Treatment issues Please cite this fact sheet as follows: Hunter, J.A. (2000). Understanding juvenile sex offenders: research findings & guidelines for effective management & treatment. Juvenile Justice Fact Sheet. Charlottesville, VA: Institute of Law, Psychiatry, & Public Policy, University of Virginia.

40 Clinical programming for juvenile sex offenders typically includes a combination of individual, group, and family therapies. Additionally, many programs offer supportive psycho educational groups to the families of these youths. Youths who display more extensive psychiatric or behavioral problems (e.g., substance abuse) may require additional adjunctive therapies (e.g., drug/alcohol treatment; psychiatric care, etc.). All therapies provided to the youth should be carefully coordinated within the treatment agency and with external agencies providing case management and oversight.

41 The establishment of positive self-esteem and pride in one's cultural heritage.
The teaching and clarification of values as they relate to a respect for self and others, and a commitment to stop interpersonal violence. Maximally effective programming may include promoting a sense of healthy masculine identity, egalitarian male-female relationships, and a respect for cultural diversity. The provision of sex education and an understanding of healthy human sexuality, and the correction of distorted beliefs about appropriate sexual behavior. The enhancement of social skills to promote greater self-confidence and social competency.

42 The teaching of the impulse control and coping skills needed to successfully manage sexual and aggressive impulses. The teaching of assertiveness skills and conflict resolution to manage anger and resolve interpersonal disputes. The provision of programming designed to enhance empathy and promote a greater appreciation for the negative impact of sexual abuse on victims and their families

43 The teaching of relapse prevention
The teaching of relapse prevention. This includes teaching offenders to understand the cycle of thoughts, feelings, and events that can trigger sexual acting-out, identify environmental circumstances and thinking patterns that should be avoided because they increase the risk of re-offending, and identify and practice coping and self-control skills necessary for successful behavior management

44 Although available data do not suggest that the majority of juvenile sex offenders are destined to become adult sex offenders, legal and mental health intervention is believed, by professionals, to be important in deterring a continuation of such behavior. The most effective intervention is believed to consist of a combination of legal sanctions, monitoring, and specialized clinical programming. Programs reflecting the collaborative efforts of juvenile justice and mental health professions generally report low sexual recidivism rates

45 AWARENESS OF OTHER ISSUES
Juveniles account for a significant percentage of the sexual assaults against children and women in our society. The onset of sexual behavior problems in juveniles appears to be linked to a number of factors, including child maltreatment and exposure to violence and pornography. Emerging research suggests that, as in the case of adult sex offenders, that a meaningful distinction can be made between juveniles who target peers or adults, and those who offend against children. The former group appears generally to be more anti-social and violent, although considerable heterogeneity exists within each population

46

47 TX ISSUES

48 Various Theories Psychosis Theories Physiological Theories
Family System Theories Learning Theories Developmental Theories Cognitive Theories Sexual Assault Theories Integrative Theories

49 Practice Implications
Take juvenile offenses seriously. Respect confidentiality, but make safety a priority. Get good supervision. Maintain clear, consistent boundaries with offenders. Be a role model by asking before you touch others. Be wary of “grooming” behaviors. Attend training and learn all you can about juvenile sex offense. Consider the safety of all involved before placing an offender with a family or group home.

50 CONTACT INFORMATION DIANA REPKE, PSY. D PO Box 76024 Tampa, 33675 STEPHEN BLOOMFIELD, ED.D. BLOOMFIELD PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES 3725 DUPONT STATION COURT SOUTH JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA 32217 904= (FAX)


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