Eight men have successfully completed a treatment programme for adult sex offenders at the Karaka Special Treatment Unit in Waikeria Prison.
Principal Psychologist Paul Whitehead says the ten-month long Adult Sex Offenders’ Treatment Programme works with high-risk adult sex offenders and aims to reduce re-offending by developing their insight into their sexual offending and motivating them to adopt pro-social values.
“We’re aiming to reduce the recidivism risk of men who have committed rape offences against women through providing them with skills, insight, and safety plans to assist them to manage their risk factors.”
Keith Edlin, a psychologist working with this programme says the treatment programme covers three distinct phases, the first of which gets the offenders to examine their backgrounds and explore how it contributed to their offending against women.
In the second phase the men are required to examine the pathways to their rape offending looking at both the background and recent lifestyle factors related to their offending. They then move on to examine the preceding hours to their offending exploring their belief structure, thoughts and feelings.
Phase three focuses on rehabilitation, which includes helping the offenders develop skills to prevent reoffending, safety planning, and through aspiring to new pro-social values and goals.
The treatment programme is delivered within a Special Treatment Unit which houses high-risk violent offenders and drug treatment participants. The unit operates under a ‘Community of Change’ philosophy in that when the men are not in programme, they are expected to learn how to live communally, engage in meaningful activities (e.g. employment, voluntary activities), participate in community meetings, and taking responsibility for the unit in which they live.
Paul says the programme graduates have made some significant changes over the nine months.
“They are able to communicate in a more adaptive way and are able to recognise the key components and triggers that have led to their offending. Most importantly the men are motivated to cease their offending."
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Phone: (04) 460 3365
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