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Future directions in sexual offending: Is treatment effective?

Theresa A. Gannon

At present, the sexual offending field is experiencing a turbulent time. Last year, a 2017 Ministry of Justice Evaluation showed that the seemingly evidence-based prison service Core SOTP had not had its intended effect of reducing sexual offences. This has led to much debate about whether treatment for individuals who sexually offend actually works and confusion about ‘best practice’. In this talk, I will present the latest meta-analysis evidence on whether treatment ‘works.’ I will then examine some of the key research and practice areas that I believe require consideration in order to ensure the sexual offending field moves forward positively. 


Theresa A. Gannon, DPhil, CPsychol (Forensic) is Professor of Forensic Psychology and Director of the Centre for Research and Education in Forensic Psychology (CORE-FP) at the University of Kent, UK. Theresa also works as a Practitioner Consultant Forensic Psychologist specialising in sexual offending for the Forensic and Specialist Service Line, Kent and Medway Social Care and Partnership Trust. Theresa has published over 120 chapters, articles, books, and other scholarly works in the areas of male and female-perpetrated offending. She is particularly interested in the assessment and treatment of individuals who have offended sexually. Theresa is lead editor of several books including Aggressive Offenders’ Cognition: Theory, Research, and Treatment(2007: Wiley), Female Sexual Offenders: Theory, Assessment, and Treatment(2010: Wiley-Blackwell), and Sexual Offending: Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation(2017: Wiley-Blackwell).