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Program Profile: Regional Treatment Centre Sex Offender Treatment Program (Canada)

Evidence Rating: No Effects - One study No Effects - One study

Date: This profile was posted on July 31, 2017

Program Summary

This inpatient program provides group and individual therapy to those who have committed sexual offenses and have recently been released from prison in Ontario, Canada. The program is rated No Effects. There was no significant difference in sexual recidivism rates between the treatment group and the comparison group.

Program Description

Program Goals/Target Population
The inpatient-based Regional Treatment Centre Sex Offender Treatment Program (RTCSOTP) in Ontario, Canada, provides group and individual therapy to individuals who have committed sexual offenses and have recently been released from prison. The RTCSOTP post-release program is designed to treat individuals identified as high risk for sexual recidivism or who have significant treatment needs, or both.
 
Program Services
The program is a psychotherapy intervention following the contemporary cognitive–behavioral, relapse-prevention model, which is inpatient (i.e., services are based at the Regional Treatment Centre) and involves both individual and group-based therapy in 3- to 4-month cycles. The program consists of 1) sex education; 2) training aimed at increasing heterosocial skills, assertiveness, and temper control; 3) aversion therapy, covert sensitization, biofeedback, confrontation, role play, and supportive psychotherapy (Quinsey et al., 1998). Most recently, the program added empathy-training skills and relapse-prevention training. The program is conducted by nurses and psychotherapists who specialize in sexual offenses and group and individual therapies.
 
The program consists of two primary components. The first is the self-management component, which consists of three assignments: 1) autobiography, 2) offense chain, and 3) self-management plan. In addition to these assignments, the component has two additional modules: cognitive distortions and emotions management. The second component focuses on social skills and relies on role plays to develop and practice the skills being discussed.
 
Program Theory
The program follows a contemporary cognitive–behavioral, relapse-prevention model of treatment. Even though the program is described as a relapse-prevention intervention, it has incorporated new approaches to treatment such as empathy-training skills and the Good Lives model (see Ward and Maruna 2007 and Ward and Stewart 2003, for a description of the Good Lives model).

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Sexual Recidivism
Abracen and colleagues (2011) found no statistically significant difference in sexual recidivism rates between participants in the Regional Treatment Centre Sex Offender Treatment Program group and the comparison group.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
Abracen and colleagues (2011) conducted a matched group quasi-experimental study at the Regional Treatment Centre (RTC) in Ontario, Canada, to evaluate the effectiveness of a post-release inpatient group- and individual-therapy intervention for individuals who had committed a sexual offense and were at high risk for sexual recidivism. All RTC participants for whom Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) scores were available were initially eligible for the study. The final treatment group was composed of individuals at high risk for sexual recidivism, which was defined as having a score on the PCL-R at or above 25. The intervention group participants were matched with comparison participants from the Millhaven Assessment Unit. Potential comparison group members who had attended/completed sex-offender-specific treatment programming institutionally or in the community were ineligible for inclusion in the sample. The treatment group received the inpatient RTC Sex Offenders Treatment Program. The comparison group did not attend or complete any sex-offender-specific treatment programing institutionally or in the community. 
 
The treatment group comprised 64 individuals who were deemed high risk for sexual recidivism and had a PCL-R score of 25 or higher. The comparison group comprised 55 individuals with a score of 25 or higher on the PCL-R. The two groups were similar on the matching variables of 1) age at index offense, 2) total PCL-R score, 3) mean number of sexual convictions, and 4) mean number of violent convictions. Among the treatment group, 43.8 were classified as rapists, 28.1 percent were classified as extrafamilial offenders, and 28.1 percent were classified as intrafamilial offenders. The treatment group had an average of 2.47 sexual convictions and 1.26 violent convictions. The average age at offense was about 31.0 years. For the comparison group, 43.6 percent were classified as rapists, 29.1 percent were classified as extrafamilial offenders, and 27.3 percent were classified as intrafamilial offenders. There were no significant differences between the groups on the matching variables. The comparison group had an average of 2.94 sexual convictions and 1.29 violent convictions. The average age at offense was 31.2 years. However, the study provided no information on gender or race/ethnicity of study participants. 
 
This study used the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Finger Print Service (RCMP FPS) records to collect data about recidivism. All offenses were coded based upon Canadian Criminal Code classifications. The RCMP FPS data is based on any convictions registered within Canada and is not limited to any particular region of the country. 
 
Proportional analyses (t-tests) were used to assess recidivism between the two groups. Wilcoxon survival analyses were conducted to control for length of the follow-up period (which was 9.4 years for the treatment group and 11.2 years for the comparison group).
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Cost

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There is no cost information available for this program.
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Abracen, Jeffrey, Jan Looman, Meaghan Ferguson, Leigh Harkins, and Donna Mailloux. 2011. “Recidivism Among Treated Sexual Offenders and Comparison Subjects: Recent Outcome Data from the Regional Treatment Centre (Ontario) High-Intensity Sex Offender Treatment Programme. Journal of Sexual Aggression 17(2):142–52.

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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Abracen, Jeffrey, and Jan Looman. 2006. “Evaluation of Civil Commitment Criteria in a High Risk Sample of Sexual Offenders.” Journal of Sexual Offender Civil Commitment: Science and the Law, 1: 124–40.


Di Fazio, Roberto, Jeffrey Abracen, and Jan Looman. 2001. “Group Versus Individual Treatment of Sex Offenders: A Comparison.” Forum on Corrections Research 13: 56–9.


Davidson, P. R. 1984. Behavioral Treatment for Incarcerated Sex Offenders: Post-Release Outcome. Paper presented at the Conference on the Assessment and Treatment of the Sex offender, Kingston, Ontario. (This study was reviewed but did not meet Crime Solutions' criteria for inclusion in the overall program rating.)


Ferguson, Meaghan Katherine. 2009. Recidivism Among Treated Sexual Offenders and a Matched Comparison Group of Untreated Sexual Offenders. Ontario, Canada: University of Toronto, Department of Adult Education and Counseling Psychology.


Looman, Jan, Jeffrey Abracen, Ralph Serin, and Peter Marquis. 2005. “Psychopathy, Treatment Change, and Recidivism in High Risk High Need Sexual Offenders.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 20: 549–68.


Looman, Jan, Jeffrey Abracen, and Terry Nicholaichuk. 2000. Recidivism Among Treated Sexual Offenders and Matched Controls: Data from the Regional Treatment Centre (Ontario). Journal of Interpersonal Violence 15: 279–90.


Quinsey, Vernon, Arunima Khanna, and Bruce Malcolm. 1998. “A Retrospective Evaluation of the Regional Treatment Centre Sex Offender Treatment Program.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 13(5):621–44. (This study was reviewed but did not meet Crime Solutions' criteria for inclusion in the overall program rating.)


Ward, T., and Maruna, S. 2007. Rehabilitation. New York: Routledge.


Ward, T., and Stewart, C.A. 2003. “Good Lives and the Rehabilitation of Sexual Offenders.” In T. Ward, D.R. Laws, and S.M. Hudson (eds.). Sexual Deviance: Issues and Controversies London: Sage, 21–44.

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Related Practices

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Following are CrimeSolutions.gov-rated practices that are related to this program:

Adult Sex Offender Treatment
A variety of psychological interventions, cognitive–behavioral treatments, and behavioral therapies targeting adult sex offenders with the overall aim of reducing the risk and potential harm associated with releasing this population back into the community. The practice is rated Promising for reducing rates of general recidivism and sexual recidivism, but rated No Effects on violent recidivism rates.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Promising - More than one Meta-Analysis Crime & Delinquency - Multiple crime/offense types
Promising - One Meta-Analysis Crime & Delinquency - Sex-related offenses
No Effects - One Meta-Analysis Crime & Delinquency - Violent offenses
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Program Snapshot

Age: 18+

Gender: Male

Setting (Delivery): Inpatient/Outpatient

Program Type: Aftercare/Reentry, Cognitive Behavioral Treatment, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Residential Treatment Center, Violence Prevention

Targeted Population: Sex Offenders

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: National Reentry Resource Center