Publication date: November 2019
Source: Clinical Psychology Review, Volume 73
Author(s): Theresa A. Gannon, Mark E. Olver, Jaimee S. Mallion, Mark James
A meta-analysis was conducted to examine whether specialized psychological offense treatments were associated with reductions in offense specific and non-offense specific recidivism. Staff and treatment program moderators were also explored. The review examined 70 studies and 55,604 individuals who had offended. Three specialized treatments were examined: sexual offense, domestic violence, and general violence programs. Across all programs, offense specific recidivism was 13.4% for treated individuals and 19.4% for untreated comparisons over an average follow up of 66.1 months. Relative reductions in offense specific recidivism were 32.6% for sexual offense programs, 36.0% for domestic violence programs, and 24.3% for general violence programs. All programs were also associated with significant reductions in non-offense specific recidivism. Overall, treatment effectiveness appeared improved when programs received consistent hands-on input from a qualified registered psychologist and facilitating staff were provided with clinical supervision. Numerous program variables appeared important for optimizing the effectiveness of specialized psychological offense programs (e.g., arousal reconditioning for sexual offense programs, treatment approach for domestic violence programs). The findings show that such treatments are associated with robust reductions in offense specific and non-offense specific recidivism. We urge treatment providers to pay particular attention to staffing and program implementation variables for optimal recidivism reductions.