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CRIM 316 Chapter Notes -Cognitive Restructuring, Polygraph, Social Skills

Course Code
CRIM 316
Eric Beauregard

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History of Treatment
Before think sexual offending was a result of psychopathology
o So treatments were medical or psychoanalytical ! lengthy, fix deep
rooted problems
o Castration – reduce hypersexuality
1940s – Estrogen – successful – but side effects: vomiting, nausea, feminization
1950s – Behavioral therapy – fix deviant sexual arousal, aversion therapy
1970s – Expanded to add social skills training, fix cognitive distortions
1980s – Relapse Prevention techniques, recognize and manage fantasies,
cognitive restructuring, victim empathy training
1990s – Use polygraph - only for treatment, not valid in court – offender was
more truthful to treatment if they know tested
Nothing works?
o 1970s “rehabilitative ideal” – many programs establish quickly, without
adequate planning and assessment, did not as work as well as originally
hoped for
o Problem: lack of objectivity between researchers – different methods and
Professionalization of Treatment
o 1980s Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers was formed
o Exchange of information of scholars, publish standards and guidelines,
treatment are evidence based, provide best practices in evaluating and
treating; Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment
Assessment for Treatment
In order for the treatment to be effective at reducing recidivism: treatment
providers must be able to accurately assess the risk and needs of the offenders
o Inappropriate matching can actually increase recidivism!
Must have a thorough evaluation prior to treatment; various components:
o Background information:
" Interview with offender – understand full nature of sexual
thoughts, feelings, behavior
" Interview those who know the offenders (employers, family)
" Review of criminal justice documents (police reports, victim
Discrepancies between offender and official – identify any
denial or minimization
" Past criminal offence (number of violent offences)
" Past treatment and medical records

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o Physiological testing
" Should be conducted, when appropriate, to measure the level of
deviant sexual arousal in offenders
" PPG while (show images) or Abel Screening Tool (offender must
answer a questionnaire and rank slides on their level of erotic
arousal while their responses are being physiologically measured)
Problems: rapist show arousal to consenting and non
consenting; normal people arouse to inappropriate
materials; not all sex offences driven by sexual needs;
unless sadistic or high level of fixation hard to identify
normal and deviant
" * most important element in a rape is not the deviant sexual arousal
but rather the frame of mind of the offender at the time of the
o Psychometric testing and Actuarial testing
" Psychometric tests to assess variables such as intelligence,
psychopathology, personality, social attitudes, morality, respect for
others, and the presence of negative emotional states
" MMPI ! Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
Personality traits and symptoms of psychopathology?
Cognitive Behavioral Treatment
Most common form of treatment for sex offenders today
o Recognize problems + understand feelings that led to crime
o ID and eliminate CDs + Accept responsibility for behaviors + Reevaluate
their attitudes and behaviors
o Acquire pro-social expression to sexuality + Gain a higher level of social
o Be able to identify high risk situations + Be able to break the sequence of
Target areas of Treatment:
o Victim empathy ! increase understanding of victim fear and pain ! but
did not reduce recidivism
o Recondition their arousal patterns ! recognize inappropriate sexual
stimuli, condition to not like it (pain, smell), require cooperation of
o Social skills ! conversational skills: decoding skills (interpretation of
situations/behavior); decision skills (considering possible responses +
choose best); enactment skills (carry out the decision)
o Control negative emotional states
o Relapse prevention programs ! self control, identify high risk
situations, self-destructive behavior, deviant cycle pattern, potential re-
offences ! learn coping strategies, problem solving skills
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