The treatment of sex offenders : evidence, ethics, and human rights

Birgden, Astrid and Cucolo, Heather 2011, The treatment of sex offenders : evidence, ethics, and human rights, Sexual abuse : a journal of research and treatment, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 295-313, doi: 10.1177/1079063210381412.

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Title The treatment of sex offenders : evidence, ethics, and human rights
Author(s) Birgden, Astrid
Cucolo, Heather
Journal name Sexual abuse : a journal of research and treatment
Volume number 23
Issue number 3
Start page 295
End page 313
Total pages 19
Publisher Sage
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, California
Publication date 2011-09
ISSN 1079-0632
Keyword(s) sex offender treatment
human rights
public policy
sex offender laws
Summary Public policy is necessarily a political process with the law and order issue high on the political agenda. Consequently, working with sex offenders is fraught with legal and ethical minefields, including the mandate that community protection automatically outweighs offender rights. In addressing community protection, contemporary sex offender treatment is based on management rather than rehabilitation. We argue that treatment-as-management violates offender rights because it is ineffective and unethical. The suggested alternative is to deliver treatment-as-rehabilitation underpinned by international human rights law and universal professional ethics. An effective and ethical community–offender balance is more likely when sex offenders are treated with respect and dignity that, as human beings, they have a right to claim.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1079063210381412
Field of Research 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Sage Publications
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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