"they Treat Us Like Human Beings"- Experiencing a Therapeutic Sex Offenders Prison
|Blagden, N., Winder, B. and Hames, C.
Research evidence demonstrates that sex offender treatment programmes (SOTPs) can reduce the number of sex offenders who are reconvicted. However, there has been much less empirical research exploring the experiences and perspectives of the prison environment within which treatment takes place. This is important, particularly for sexual offenders, as they often face multiple stigmas in prison. This study used a mixed-methods approach to explore the experiences of prisoners and staff at a therapeutically orientated sexual offenders' prison to understand whether the prison environment was conducive to rehabilitation. The quantitative strand of the research sampled prisoners (n = 112) and staff (n = 48) from a therapeutically orientated sex offenders prison. This strand highlighted that both prisoners and staff had positive attitudes toward offenders and high beliefs that offenders could change. Importantly, the climate was rated positively and, in particular, participants had very high ratings of "experienced safety."The qualitative strand of the research consisted of semistructured interviews with prisoners (n = 15) and a range of prison staff (n = 16). The qualitative analysis revealed positive prisoner views toward staff relationships, with most participants articulating that the prison and its staff had contributed to positive change in prisoners. Crucially, the environment was perceived as safe and allowed prisoners "headspace"to work through problems and contemplate change. This research offers some support to the notion that context is important for sex offender rehabilitation.
|mixed methods; rehabilitative climate; sex offender rehabilitation; therapeutic climate
|International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
|Vol 60 (Issue 4), pp. 371 - 396
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|Web address (URL)
|09 Oct 2014
|01 Mar 2016
|Publication process dates
|22 May 2023
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