Given the prevalence of sexual offending by juveniles, and the potential links between sexually abusive behavior during adolescence or childhood and sexual offending later in life, therapeutic interventions for juveniles have become a staple of sex offender management practice in jurisdictions across the country. Indeed, the number of treatment programs for juveniles who commit a sexual offense has increased significantly over the past 30 years, as recent research suggests that more than one-half of the sex-offender-specific treatment programs operating in the United States provide treatment services to juveniles.
While there is strong scientific evidence that therapeutic interventions work for criminal offenders overall, the effectiveness of treatment for sexual offenders—whether juveniles or adults—has been subject to considerable debate. While inconsistent research findings and measurement shortcomings no doubt have contributed to the ongoing controversy, a body of scientific evidence has emerged in recent years suggesting that therapeutic interventions for juveniles who sexually offend can and do work.
This webinar will review the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of treatment for juveniles who commit a sexual offense. Focusing on what is scientifically known about the impact of treatment on recidivism; key findings from single studies of juvenile treatment effectiveness as well as from research that synthesizes the results of many juvenile treatment effectiveness studies will be presented.