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The context and practice of community treatment programmes for child sexual abusers in England and Wales.

Davidson, Julia C (2002) The context and practice of community treatment programmes for child sexual abusers in England and Wales. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This research has sought to explore the theoretical context of community treatment programmes for those convicted of sexual offences against children in the United Kingdom. The aim was also to explore the application of this theoretical framework to one such programme run by a probation service. The research was longitudinal employing a combination of methodological techniques. Psychometric testing and Ninety seven depth interviews were employed with a small group of offenders over a period of four years in order to explore the impact of the programme. Offender accounts of offence circumstance were compared to victim statements and other records; semi-structured interviews were undertaken with practitioners. A review of the literature regarding the historical and legislative context of work with child sexual abusers and the validity of the theoretical framework guiding cognitive behavioural work was undertaken. The research largely supports the theoretical basis of such work. The findings suggest that child sexual abusers; have a tendency to attribute blame to offence circumstances and victims; probably have enduring low self esteem from childhood; tend to be socially isolated both in childhood and in adulthood, and are often ostracised by family and friends as a consequence of their offending; experience problematic relations with others from an early age; are likely to be emotionally, physically or sexually abused as children. The treatment programme was successful in addressing blame attribution, there was greater congruence between victim and offender accounts of offence circumstance at the end of the research. Government legislation for this offender group has become increasingly punitive, seeking simultaneously to monitor and control, with no provision for therapeutic work on termination of a probation order or custodial sentence.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Criminology and Penology, Psychology, Clinical
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Social Policy

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