SEX offenders on a failed rehab course were “aroused” by each others stories and found more likely to reoffend by a study.
The programme saw murderers, rapists and pedophiles gather for “hot spot” sessions to describe graphic details of their offences.
Two convicts have described their shocking experiences on the failed Sex Offenders Treatment Programme (SOTP) that was cancelled in 2017[/caption]
Two men who took part claimed that some of the information left other participants aroused.
The flagship England and Wales scheme, the official Sex Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP), was cancelled in 2017.
It started in the early 1990s but was halted over calls for a great oversight of rehab and concerns about the course.
The two convicts spoke out on BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 programme about their shocking experiences.
NORMALISING DEVIANT BEHAVIOUR
One man, who referred to himself as Paul, aged 60, said he started the programme on three separate occasions.
He hoped it would serve as a form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help him think and act differently.
Each time Paul claimed to have been kicked off the course for not learning enough.
He felt that vividly describing the deviant behaviour normalised instead of preventing it.
‘ACTUALLY MADE PRISONERS WORSE’
Paul also said pairing those convicted of indecent exposure with serious offenders “actually made prisoners worse”.
He felt that some in group were learning to become “better sex offenders without being caught”.
“People were learning from their mistakes,” he added.
Ministry of Justice stats revealed that 10 per cent of participants reoffended, compared to eight per cent not enrolled.
Former Home Office forensic psychologist Dr. Robert Forde shared that one inmate told him, “I hate doing this course”.
I’ve never had so many deviant sexual thoughts as I’ve had since I started.
One inmate told Dr. Robert Forde
When questioned why, he was told: “I’ve never had so many deviant sexual thoughts as I’ve had since I started.”
The inmate attributed his feelings to “talking about sex offending all the time” which was what he wanted to “get away from”.
Forde, who is now retired, claimed that inmates could also deceive course leaders.
They could have pretended to have sexualised thoughts and then claimed they had stopped at the end.
False feeling of being ‘fixed’
Another offender, Peter, in his 50s, claims that reliving their offences does not help.
He felt that it provided a false feeling of being “fixed”.
“You’re going back over the offences, so you keep reliving this stuff that just isn’t helpful,” Peter added.
The failings of the SOTP programme left two psychologists, Penny Brown and Callum Ross, demanding for greater research.
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In The Lancet Psychiatry medical journal, Brown called for government plans to face harsher critique.
She believes government policies should come under as much scrutiny as scientific papers.
The two programmes that replaced SOTP, Horizon and Kaize, are yet to be tested.
Statistics from the Ministry of Justice would later reveal that 10 per cent of those enrolled on the SOTP programme reoffended, compared to eight per cent not on the course[/caption]
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