More re: castration and sex offenders. The editor's names along with their credentials can be found at http://echo.forensicpanel.com/editorial_board/ Also by visiting the department of corrections website of your state, you should be able to find current recidivism stats for sex offenders along with research proposal information.
|Castration and Sex Offenders: Back to the Future|
Volume 1, Issue 1 -- Published: Friday, Nov 1, 1996 -- Last Updated: Monday, Mar 11, 2002
Sex offenders, especially those with an egregious history of recidivism, will almost certainly continue their behavior, unless their urge to engage in it is effectively curtailed. One such approach, castration, has been summarily dismissed in America for many years. But with the recent passage of legislation in California mandating chemical castration for repeat sex offenders, several other states are also exploring similar initiatives. Most research to date has reviewed not chemical, but surgical castration (i.e. removal of the testes and replacement with prostheses). Since the late 1920s Denmark has studied the effects of surgical castration in hundreds of its most grievous sex offenders who volunteered for the procedure. The program also included trained, committed psychotherapy and follow-up monitoring for over forty years. A climate of doctor-patient confidentiality at Herstedvester, the host institution, facilitated patient disclosure. The result: recidivism rates below 5%, duplicating results in similar castrated populations in Norway, Switzerland, Germany and Iceland. Yet many of the castrated maintained an adaptive sex life; the treatment curtails drive, not the capacity for sex. In contrast, a non-castrated Danish group of offenders showed a recidivism rate of approximately 50%. Chemical castration with Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (which lowers circulating testosterone), has been examined in the United States and Canada in a number of studies of sex offenders. As in earlier European hormonal research, sex offenders have shown improved recidivism rates. Furthermore, studies have consistently shown its side effects to be even less frequent and disabling than those of many traditional behavioral medications. Thus, chemical castration offers an alternative to surgical castration that is perhaps not as biologically effective but is more palatable to those who have apocalyptic visions of "A Clockwork Orange." California's castration legislation omitted the specialized counseling that has traditionally accompanied such programs. States must enhance such castration legislation by providing for pilot counseling programs targeted at high-risk offenders. There is a very specific place for castration—when selectively and thoughtfully applied.
|Would you recommend this article to our other readers? |
not at all 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 highly
|Please give us your feedback: |
|Name: || |
|Email: || |
|Comments: || |
Additional articles worth the read re: effectiveness of treatment programs.
Anderson, R., Gibeau, D., & D'Amora, D. (1995). The sex offender treatment rating scale: Initial reliability data. Sexual Abuse: Journal of Research & Treatment, 7, (3): 21-227.
Discusses developed rating scale as a potential proces s and outcome measure for cognitive/behavioral sex offender treatment.
Beutler, L., Hinton, R., Crago, M., & Collier, S. (1995). Evaluation of "fixed propensity" to commit sexual offenses: A preliminary report. Criminal Justice & behavior, 22, (3) : 284-294.
Discusses possible measures for predicting l ikelihood of future offense and the nature of offense.
Brody, Authur; Green, Richard. (1994). Washington State's Unscientific Approach to the Problem of Repeat Sec offenders. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry & the Law, 22, (3), 343.
Addresses the Sexual Predator Act.
Brooks, Alexander. (1994). The Civil Commitment of Pathological Violent Sex Offenders. Administration & Policy in Mental Health, 21, (5), 417.
Explores the Sexually Violent Predator Statute.
Byrne, J., Taxman, F. (1994) Crime control policy and community corrections practice: Assessing the impact of gender, Race, and Class. Evaluation and program Planning, 17, (2), 227-233.
Review of current evaluation research on use of incarceration for sex offenders (among others).
Ellsworth, Thomas; Helle, Karin. (1994). Older Offenders on Probation. Federal Probation, 58, (4), 43.
Data about offenders aged >55 years who are on probation.
Fisher, D. & Thorton, D. (1993) Assessing risk of re-offending in sexual offenders. Journal of Mental Health, 2, (2), 105-117.
Examines risk of repeat offenses by convicted sex offenders.
Frohmann, L. & Mertz, E. (1994) Legal reform and social construction: Violence, Gender, and the law. Law & Social Inquiry, 19, (4), 829-851.
Suggests attentiveness to victim's needs and necessity for legal reform.
Furby, L., Weinrott, M.R., & Blackshaw, L. (1989). Sex offender recidivism: A review. Psychological Bulletin, 105, (1), 3-30.
This paper reviews the literature on programs for sex offenders and whether they "really work," in the sense of significantly reducing the recidivism rates. It concludes that there is no evidence supporting the claim that clinical treatment reduces these rates on sex offenses.
Gerber, Paul. (1995). Commentary on Counter - Transference in Working With Sex Offenders: The Issue of Sexual Attraction. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 4, (1), 117.
Speaks of the role therapists play in helping sex offenders.
Gratzer. T. & Bradford. J. (1995) Offender and offense characteristics of sexual sadists: A comparative study. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 40, (3), 450-455.
Examines characteristics of sexual sadist and sexual offenders in general.
Groth, A.N., Longo, R.E., & McFaelind, J.B. (1982). Undetected recidivism among rapists and child molesters. crime and Delinquency, 28, (3), 450-458.
Results of a questionnaire given to sex offenders indicate that the majority of them have been convicted more than once for a sexual assault. On average they admitted to having committed 2-5 times as many sex crimes for which they were not apprehended.
Hall, G.C. (1988). Criminal behavior as a function of clinical and actuarial variables in a sexual offender population. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, (5), 773-775.
The ability of clinical and actuarial variables to predict criminal behavior was investigated in a sample of 342 sexual offenders. Discriminant analyses suggested that linear combination of actuarial variables was significantly predictive of sexual reoffense against adults and of nonsexual violent and nonviolent reoffending.
Hubson, W., Boland, C., & Jamieson, D. (1985). Dangerous sexual offenders. Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, 92, (2), 104-119.
Describes characteristics of dangerous sexual offenders, including rapists and child molesters. Factors indicate an unfavorable prognosis. Thus, a need for increased externally imposed control of sexual offenders are noted.
Hagan, M,. King, R,. Patros, R. (1994). The efficacy of a serious sex offenders treatment program for adolescent rapists. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 38, (2), 141-150.
Discusses results of study on adolescent sex offenders in juvenile correctional facilities.
Hall, Gordon. (1995). Sexual Offender Recidivism Revisited: A Meta-Analysis of Recent Treatment Studies. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 63, (5), 802.
A study that looks at the effectiveness of treatment programs for sex offenders.
Happel, Richard; Auffrey, Joseph. (1995). Sex Offender Assessment: Interrupting The Dance of Denial. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 13, (2), 5.
Discuss the dance of denial that sex offenders exhibit.
Hudson, S.M.: Marshall, W, L.; Wales, D,; McDonald, E. (1993). Emotional Recognition Skills of Sex Offenders. Annals of Sex Research, 6, (3). 199.
Study looking at the emotional states of sex offenders.
Kearns, B. (1995) Self-reflection in work with sex offenders: A process not just for therapists. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 4, (1), 107-110.
Deals with reactions to treatment of sexual abuse offenders.
MaChovec, F. (1994) A systematic approach to sex offender therapy: Diagnosis, treatment, risk assessment. Psychotherapy in Private Practice, 13, (2), 93-108.
Presents factor profile to assess treatment need and risk of re-offending.
Marshall, W.L.; Barbaree, H.E.; Fernandez. Y.M. (1995). Some Aspects of Social Competence in Sexual Offenders. Sexual Abuse: Journal of Research & Treatment, 7, (2) 113.
A study that looks at personality characteristics of sex offenders.
Pallone, Nathaniel. (1991). The American Bar Association and Legislatively Mandated Treatment of Offender Rehabilitation. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 17, (1-2), 105.
Discusses the "criminal sexual psychopath" and what should be done with a person who falls under this category.
Tontodonato, P. & Erez, E. (1994) Crime, Punishment, and victim distress. International Review of Victimology, 3, (1-2), 33-55.
Examines role of criminal justice experience in victim distress level.