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Good Management of Sex Offender Treatment Programmes
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  1. Good Management of Sex Offender Treatment Programmes David Cook National Offender Management Service, England and Wales Compiled by Ruth Mann and David Cook

  2. Final words • Good implementation of treatment does not just happen; it must be managed and so there must be a manager. • Managers do not just have to manage staff within the programme, they need to manage many things outside programme.

  3. What must the manager get right? • The evidence base behind the programme – what works with sex offenders? • The evidence base for the programme – is this working? • Setting and maintaining ethical standards • Choosing the right staff and keeping them on track • Establishing and maintaining a good reputation for the programme

  4. Selecting staff

  5. Selecting staff • Organization should have a specified selection procedure • There should be objective or actuarial processes that assess both knowledge and performance, with a scoring protocol • Assessment methods: • Interview • Role-play • Presentation • Completion of psychometric measures

  6. BASIC COMPETENCIES Understanding normative behaviours and theoretical models of sexual deviance Socratic questioning Effective use of behavioural techniques such as reinforcement and modelling Ability to help the offender generalise alternative thinking and behaviour outside the treatment environment Understanding and using group process Working with a co-therapist ADVANCED COMPETENCIES Therapeutic skills Interpersonal skills Understanding and accepting the client Using positive language Instilling hope for change Working collaboratively with the client Personal resilience Therapist competencies

  7. Supervision

  8. Supervising Staff • Two types of supervision • Line • Functional • Line supervision • administrative • getting procedures right

  9. Supervising Staff • Functional supervision • supervision of the process of delivering treatment • its purpose is the learning of the person being supervised • supervision is the main source of professional development for most therapists • individual vs. team • structured vs. semi-structured • our recommendation is that supervision should be provided by more experienced therapists who can train, model and develop the practice of less experienced colleagues

  10. Deselecting staff • Managers may have to make a decision and implement de-selection • We recommend implementing a Code of Practice with staff as a basis for decision making – in addition to the contract of employment and the organisation’s own procedures • ATSA has published Practice Standards and Guidelines with include a section on Professional Conduct – www.atsa.com

  11. What organizational issues need to be managed? • Senior management/policy makers • pressures for quick results • Attitudes of custodial/probation staff • may include non-therapy staff at programme site • Attitudes of offenders to the programme • Attitudes of external stakeholders • sentencers, Parole Board • Attitude of own staff • elitism

  12. Marketing the programme

  13. Marketing the programme to operational staff • Effective treatment relies upon positive support of non-psychological staff (Ware, Hart, & Fragaki, 2008) • Attitudes may not be positive • only 20% prison officers think sex offenders can change (Weekes, Pelletier, & Beaudette, 1995) • but 68% of sample wanted more training in how to deal with sex offenders

  14. Marketing the programme to offenders • A treatment programme will only be supported if you get clients in the door • Mann (2009) found that refusers: • did not feel informed • did not understand aims/goals of treatment • held cynical beliefs – ‘treatment is only to appease public’ • influenced by rumours – ‘treatment started in Canada and now stopped because it doesn’t work’

  15. Marketing the programme to external stakeholders • Manager’s role may also be to inform or defend programme’s evidence-based policies to outside agencies (Spencer, 1999) • the judiciary or the Parole Board may be sceptical about treatment effectiveness (Hood et al., 2002) • voluntary agencies – securing support ofagencies for offenders, or justifying to victims groups why ‘low’ risk offenders may need only a short programme

  16. Contacts • david.cook4@noms.gsi.gov.uk • ruth.mann@noms.gsi.gov.uk

  17. Final words • Good implementation of treatment does not just happen; it must be managed and so there must be a manager. • Managers do not just have to manage staff within the programme, they need to manage many things outside programme.