Non-Contact Sex Offender Treatment

Our project offers specific treatment programming via individual and group psycho-educational support for non-contact specific sex offenses. We implement accurate treatment interventions for men involved in the various stages of the criminal justice system who have committed non-contact sex crimes such as viewing and/or distributing child pornography, exhibitionism, online solicitation of a minor, and adult solicitation. As part of treatment, our project's licensed clinicians identify and treat men who have symptoms of sexual preoccupation(i.e., often referred to as hypersexuality or sexual addiction) as well as problematic pornography use including pornography addiction. This is especially important, since, according to psychologists Marshall and Marshall (2012), “... a substantial number of sexual offenders meet criteria for sexual preoccupation, which is often referred to as ‘sexual addiction [and] sexual preoccupation has been identified as the dynamic factor most strongly predictive for reoffending”. 

Criminogenic Features

Based on current research on accurately treating non-contact sex offenders, our project has developed and incorporated curriculum approaches and programming based on risk, need, and responsivity principles. Aligned with Canadian researchers Marshall and Marshall (2015), our project treats individuals with the following criminogenic needs:

  • Attitudes tolerant of sexual crimes;

  • Self-regulation issues, particularly emotional regulation;

  • Intimacy deficits and;

  • Sexual deviancy (ATSA powerpoint, Treating Hypersexuality) .

Along with this, as Quayle & Hayes (2014) suggest, non-contact sex offenders exhibit an increase in anxiety and depressive symptoms compared to hands-on sex offenders. Social and intimacy deficits such as isolation and neglecting or damaging relationships are also noted in the research as significant among non-contact sex offenders. Therefore, our project’s clinical and psycho-educational treatment approach entails teaching individuals how to effectively manage stress via implementing self regulation tools for dealing with difficult emotions, components of healthy sexuality (including consent, healthy sexual boundaries, healthy intimacy, and respect), and how to interact and engage in all relationships in a prosocial, adaptive way. Treatment for individuals with neurodiverse issues incorporates their specific needs.

Court Ordered Services

Our program has been approved as a court ordered treatment provider for non-contact sex crimes such as child pornography, lewdness (exhibitionism), up-skirting, and on-line solicitation of a minor.

We get referrals of individuals in the pre-sentence phase or post sex offender treatment. We provide accurate treatment interventions based on and individuals criminogenic features associated with their offense. Some judges have also court ordered our program to be completed if an individual with these specific offenses has special needs, i.e., Autism Spectrum Disorder, Parkinson's Disease, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Some of our clients began our program prior to sentencing and have been ordered to complete sex offender treatment as well. 

Child Sexual Abuse Images (“CP”) Offenders 

Disclaimer: ‘Sex offender’ is a legal construct. We work with individuals who have engaged in risky and/or illegal sexual behavior, including those who have viewed child sexual abuse images who have and have not been charged and/or adjudicated for this type of non-contact (non hands-on) a sex offense. We provide both types of populations with non-judgmental evidence based treatment to accurately address their issues.

Click on the buttons below to learn more about the different child pornography offender typologies.

+ "CP" Offenders with Pedophilic Interest

Research suggests that sexual interest in children and corresponding sexual gratification are significant motivators for many individuals who view child sexual abuse images. These offenders are known to use images to masturbate and validate their sexual interest in children and some use these images to “groom” potential "real-life" victims (United States Sentencing Commission, 2008).

+ "CP" Offenders with Problematic Internet Use

While most individuals who view child sexual abuse images are believed to have pedophilic interests, some may be vulnerable to problematic internet use as a result of the following: poor impulse control, emotional problems, lack of social and emotional outlets, and deviant sexual interests or beliefs. Thus, immersion into online child sexual abuse images becomes an alluring option. Problematic Internet pornography users often report negative career outcomes, social isolation, and depression (United States Sentencing Commission_Chpt 4). All of these issues are addressed at the Project.

+ "CP" Offenders with an Escalated Porn Addiction

Some individuals who have used child sexual abuse images for sexual gratification report habituation to adult pornography and an increased "need, craving, or urge" to use these novel and extreme images in order to achieve the same level of sexual gratification. Research suggests that individuals who have masturbated to child sexual abuse images become desensitized to these images that were previously horrifying.

+ "CP" Offenders with No Known History of a Contact Offense

Many individuals who view child sexual abuse images have no known prior history of a contact sex offense. This points out a significant gap since established risk measures for contact sex offenders may not apply to the internet offender population (Seto, 2014). According to Marshall and Marshall (2012), “Treatment should be differentially applied to offenders who are assessed as having different levels of risk for future reoffending." Similarly, according to the Need Principle, treatment level and type need to address “those features of offenders that research has shown to be predictive of recidivism." In What Works and Doesn't in Reducing Recidivism, Dr. Latessa of the Center for Criminal Justice Research (2010) asserts, “Intensive Treatment for low risk offenders will often increase failure rates..." and adds, “Low risk offenders will learn anti-social behavior from higher risk [offenders]... Disrupting prosocial networks".

+ "CP" Offenders with Autism Spectrum Traits

Individuals with ASD who view child sexual abuse images have different risk factors than neuro-typical individuals. For instance, a young adult with ASD may not fully comprehend the illegality of their inappropriate sexual behavior. The notions of “over” verses “under” age, appropriateness of certain websites including their sexual content, an intuitive sense of what is acceptable verses what is unacceptable, and a sense of rule of social behavior, are all implicit. These factors make it very challenging for individuals with ASD to decipher right from wrong (Mahoney, 2009). As attorney and advocate for ASD individuals, Mark Mahoney stated, “What gets AS young adults into legal trouble is not abnormal sexual desires, but their tendency to express or pursue normal interests in a matter outside social conventions" (Esquire, 2009). Our clinicians understand the specific needs of individuals on the Autism Spectrum including those who are legally involved as a result of viewing child sexual abuse images.

 photocredit: pixabay.com

photocredit: pixabay.com