Evaluation of adapted sex offender treatment programme in secure learning disability service finds evidence of positive outcomes

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The Adapted Sex Offender treatment Programme (ASOTP) was piloted in a secure learning disability service. This study set out to evaluate its effectiveness and respond to the criticisms and concerns of conventional closed format programmes.

The researchers set out to gather the views of a variety of stakeholders (purchasers, clients, clinicians, group facilitators and clients’ families or advocates) through the use of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews

They found that the initial feedback was positive, with participants showing increase in motivation, knowledge and enhanced levels of risk disclosure. The programme facilitators reported increased satisfaction and decreased stress levels.

The researchers point out that the findings should be treated with some caution at present as the study numbers were small and there were no elements of randomisation in the study design.

Redesigning and evaluating an adapted sex offender treatment programme for offenders with an intellectual disability in a secure setting: preliminary findings, Large J & Thomas C in Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, 2, 2, 72-83

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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