«by VIJAY F. CHILLAR A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Honors in the Major Program in Criminal Justice in the ...»
SEXUAL OFFENDER TREATMENT: A PARADIGM ANALYSIS OF
VIJAY F. CHILLAR
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the Honors in the Major Program in Criminal Justice
in the College of Health and Public Affairs
and in The Burnett Honors College
at the University of Central Florida
Spring Term 2014 Thesis Chair: Dr. Roberto Potter
DEDICATIONFor the victims of sexual abuse and other sex crimes, For my mentors, Dr. Roberto Potter, Dr. Mark Winton, Dr. Kristina Childs and Dr. David Slaughter, thank you for pushing me to attain my academic goals And for my parents and family who never stopped believing in me.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTSI would like to thank Dr. Kimberly Schneider for introducing me to the Honors in the Major program through the Summer Research Academy and showing me the importance of research. I would also like to thank Ms. Marva Ellington for being an incredible academic advisor and allowing me to excel academically while at the University of Central Florida. To Dr. David Slaughter, thank you for proofreading my thesis and sharing your vast knowledge of the legal system regarding sex offenders and their treatment. To Dr. Kristina Childs, thank you for teaching me all that I know about data analysis and making sure that I learned the necessary tools to be successful in writing my thesis. To Dr. Mark Winton, thank you for constantly challenging me to think in different ways and working with me from the start of this endeavor all the way through the end. A very sincere thank you to my thesis chair, Dr. Roberto Potter, for taking me under his wing and sharing his immense knowledge of the criminal justice field through multiple conversations and inspiring me to always keep writing and fueling my thirst for knowledge. I would also like to thank Denise Crisafi and Kelly Astro for their guidance and advice throughout this process. Last but not least, I would like to thank all of my professors that I have had here at the University of Central Florida over the past two years that have passed on a smorgasbord of information that will help me in the years to come.
Female Sex Offenders
Juvenile Sex Offenders
Non-Contact Sex Crimes
Sex Offender Treatments
PURPOSE AND SIGNIFICANCE
DEFINITION OF TERMS
APPENDIX A: CODING SHEET USED WITHIN STUDY FOR SELECTED ARTICLES.... 37APPENDIX B: DATA FILE FOR ARICLES INCLUDED WITHIN STUDY
Figure 1: Article Selection Process
Figure 2: Journal Frequency
Figure 3: Article Discipline
Figure 4: Theoretical Framework of Criminal Justice Articles
Figure 5: Theoretical Framework of Psychology Articles
Figure 6: Treatment Typology
Figure 7: Not Applicable Article Break Down
Figure 8: Article Framework
Table 1: Journal Frequency
Table 2: Article Discipline
Table 3: Theoretical Framework of Psychology Articles
Table 4: Treatment Typology
Table 5: Not Applicable (NA) Article Break Down
Table 6: Offense Type and Treatment Typology
Table 7: Article Framework
All too often society is quick to use the one size fits all method of classifying individuals.
We hear the likes of Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy and immediately cringe when we think of the heinous sex crimes they committed. Society and the media have focused on these extreme cases, and have in turn created a demand for stricter sex offender legislation in order to stop the perceived epidemic (Harris & Lurigio, 2010; Wilson & Yates, 2009).
This study aims to examine different paradigms in a sample of academic journals in regards to sex offender treatment options within the fields of criminal justice and psychology.
The purpose for choosing these two fields of study is that due to traditional criminology’s inability to explain such crimes through its framework of offending, a theoretical explanation that blended both was needed (Harris, Mazerolle & Knight, 2009). First, I will differentiate between the processes of becoming a sex offender through the lens of several theoretical frameworks, in which we will see that there are numerous schools of thought presented. Second, I will delve further into the different treatment models and note significant differences and similarities between them. Third, I will focus on different facets of sex offenders such as the female and juvenile populations and the difference between contact and non-contact offenses.
After the notion that all sex offenders are the same has been thoroughly examined, I will explore the hypotheses of this study and review the methodology that will be used in order to test them. It is essential to differentiate between different typologies of sex offenders in order to understand why further research on the effectiveness of treatment to reduce recidivism and encourage desistance in needed.
the National Conference of State Legislatures indicate[s] that, for the past decade, sex offender policy has consistently ranked among the top Criminal Justice issues on state legislative agendas” (Harris, Fisher, Veysey, Ragusa & Lurigio, 2010, p. 599), policy solutions do not address such diversity. Research has encouraged the implementation of evidence-based practices; however, the sex offender hysteria has caused legislators to rarely pass evidence based policies (Harris & Lurigio, 2010).
According to Miller (2013), it is estimated that one-fifth to one-third of females in the United States experience sexual abuse through the course of their childhood. Thus, it is imperative that research continues in order to find the best models to treat sex offenders and examine the multiple theoretical frameworks that influence them. Through this paradigm analysis, I hope to identify how each discipline addresses the causes of sex offending and what treatments they offer in response to their theories.
There is an extensive amount of literature that is available to further understand the mind of the sex offender. Many criminologists and psychologists have theorized the possible causes behind an individual who engages in sex offenses; some of which will be reviewed.
Additionally, we will examine the Good Lives, Relapse Prevention, and the Risks, Need, Responsivity (RNR) models of treatment. The main objective of this literature review is to address the different facets of sex offending, so that the importance of finding an effective treatment model can be understood.
Theories Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) General Theory of Crime argues that offenders commit several types of crimes without any preference for one over another due to low self-control.
Their theory also seeks to predict that offenders will also search for pleasure from non-criminal sources that allow for immediate gratification (Harris et al., 2009). This theory was recently used in a study conducted by Cleary (2004) who found that of the 201 sex offenders she studied, many of them admitted to smoking, gambling and abusing alcohol or drugs. The General Theory of Crime focuses more on versatility than specialization, which is important in regards to sex offenders who may participate in a multitude of sex crimes. Take for example the case of famed murderer Jeffrey Dahmer who engaged in risky homosexual behavior and practiced cannibalism and necrophilia on all of his male victims (Holmes & Holmes, 2008).
Law’s and Marshalls Conditioning Theory takes a different approach to sexual offending and offers an explanation of specialization. It seeks to explain how individuals with only certain
sexual deviations are learned in response to experiences with sexually deviant behaviors and those individuals who experience such interactions will have a distorted sense of sexuality and subsequent gratification (Schwartz & Cellini, 1996). This is important in the realm of sexual sadistic offenders who experience sexual gratification through acts of cruelty, bodily punishment and inflicting pain and humiliation on their victims (Kingston, Seto, Firestone & Bradford, 2010).
The Rational Choice Theory as interpreted by Cornish and Clarke (1986) views offenders as rational individuals who commit crimes in order to satisfy their need for personal gratification through the means of money, sexual intercourse, elevated status, or pure excitement. They are hedonistic in their calculations of minimizing the risks of apprehension and maximizing the reward. In the context of child sexual abuse, an offender must first choose his or her hunting grounds followed by the time he or she will engage a victim. They must also choose the aforementioned victim based on their erotic value such as age and gender, vulnerabilities, and familiarity (Leclerc et al., 2009).
The Routine Activities Theory suggested by Cohen and Felson (1979), states that an individuals’ lifestyle in conjunction with their routine schedule may turn them into suitable targets. Through the lens of this framework, crime is explained as the convergence of a motivated offender, a suitable target, and the absence of a capable guardian (Deslauriers-Varin & Beauregard, 2010). This theory is important because “previous studies have shown that the target selection process of sex offenders depends heavily on the social, physical, and geographic
2007, p. 320).
Implicit Theories, also known as cognitive distortions represent the motivational schema that contain both an offender’s own beliefs and desires as well as those around them (Elliott & Beech, 2009). Ward (2000) states that the core set of five implicit theories that drive child sexual abusers behavior are children as sexual beings, nature of harm, entitlement, dangerous world, and uncontrollability. Children as sexual beings means that children need sexual encounters with adults and should be able to consent to such acts. Nature of harm does not see sexual activity as harm to the child. Entitlement places the adult above the child and therefore promotes “special treatment”. Dangerous world implies that the world is a hostile place and people are untrustworthy. Lastly, uncontrollability refers to inability of an individual to control their thoughts, emotions, and behavior (Elliott & Beech, 2009). A qualitative analysis done by Marziano, Ward, Beech, and Pattison (2006), found evidence for all five implicit theories in the majority (18 out of 22, 82%) of the sex offenders studied.
Ward and Beech’s Integrated Theory of Sexual Offending (2006) seeks to incorporate key components of previous theories in the field into one coherent whole (Ó Ciardha, 2011).
Human behavior is analyzed on etiological (genetic and environmental), brain mechanism (effects of etiological factors on brain development), neuropsychological and symptom based levels. The theoretical framework suggests that biological and social learning factors shape an individual’s psychological functioning (Elliott & Beech, 2009). The three interlocking neuropsychological systems, motivational, action selection and control, and perception and memory each have distinct functions that produce dynamic risk factors or clinical symptoms.
intimacy deficiencies. An elevated emotional identification with children has been an important predictor of sexual recidivism (Hanson et al., 2007). Offense-supportive cognitions feed into the belief that children benefit from sexual experiences with adults and is an important dynamic risk factor for reoffending (Neutze et al., 2011). The last of the dynamic risk factors is concerned with sexual self-regulation problems. Offenders who cannot control their sexual tendencies are more likely to recidivate than those who are able to suppress such preoccupations (Hanson et al., 2007). This theory is relevant to the field in that it incorporates the three levels of sexual offending as outlined by Ward and Hudson (1998) that include core features of sexually offensive behavior, cognitive distortions, as well as a descriptive model of the offense chain or relapse processes.