Future research should also attesmpt to build a stronger evidence base on the differential impact of treatment on different types of sex offenders. Empirical evidence that specifies what works for certain types of offenders, and in which situations, is important for both policy and practice, and it too was identified as a key research priority by the SOMAPI forum participants. Subgroup analyses are particularly important because the positive effects of treatment for a particular subgroup of offenders can be masked in a finding that treatment failed to have a positive impact for the overall treatment sample.
Researchers must be diligent, however, not to selectively emphasize treatment benefits for a subgroup of study subjects while ignoring findings for the larger treatment sample Sherman, Specifying what types of treatment work for certain types of offenders, and in which situations, is a key research priority. Finally, most of the concerns about weak study designs are raised to avoid the pitfalls of erroneously concluding that treatment is effective when it is not.
Concluding that treatment is ineffective when it actually is effective seems equally problematic. Given the modest reductions in recidivism that have been found in prior treatment effectiveness studies, researchers should be cognizant of the need to design evaluations of treatment programs with sufficient statistical power to detect small treatment effects.
Given the quality and consistency of the empirical evidence, it is reasonable to conclude, albeit cautiously, that certain types of treatment can produce reductions in recidivism for certain sex offenders. While a number of researchers are likely to view the empirical evidence in a similar way, some may view a positive conclusion about treatment effectiveness as unwarranted, given the current evidence base.
Given the evidence assembled to date, pursuing the latter seems unwarranted. While various important questions and methodological concerns need to be addressed in the future, the quality and consistency of the evidence indicates that treatment can lead to at least modest reductions in recidivism, which in turn can translate into fewer victims, less individual and community harm and a positive return on taxpayer investment.
Based on the assessment, studies of substandard quality are typically excluded from the analysis. In addition, studies that are included in the analysis may be weighted based on their relative scientific rigor. There are several methods used to calculate an effect size, as described in Lipsey and Wilson The mean difference effect size is common when outcomes are continuously measured; the odds-ratio effect size is common when outcomes are measured dichotomously.
The observed sexual recidivism rate for treatment dropouts was It can be used to examine the pace at which recidivism occurs over specified intervals of time. In the treatment group, intent-to-treat analysis includes data about study participants who dropped out of, or were dropped from, the study before completing treatment. The "less dangerous" sex offenders were found to be "not sexually dangerous" by the courts and were released without treatment after serving whatever criminal sanctions the court imposed Kriegman, Four studies focused on behavioral programs; three of these studies rated three or higher on scale.
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