10 Dev. Mental Health L. 1 (1990)

handle is hein.journals/dvmnhlt10 and id is 1 raw text is: Developments in
Mental Health Law
Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy  The University of Virginia

A survey of providers of treatment
to sex offenders in Virginia
by Karen F. Carr

For the past year, staff in the Office of Forensic
Services, Department of Mental Health, Mental Retar-
dation, and Substance Abuse services have been
assembling a directory of mental health professionals
treating sex offenders in the state of Virginia. The
purpose of this directory was to facilitate networking
and to obtain an estimate of the number of mental
health providers treating sex offenders in Virginia.
The common perception was that the demand for
treatment was high, but the number of providers low.
Agencies providing this type of treatment were iden-
tified from numerous sources including the Sex Of-
fender Planning Action Committee (SOPAC), a na-
tional network called Safer Society Press, and other
clinicians. A total of 43 agencies treating sex offenders
within Virginia were identified. Each of these agencies
was sent a survey which assessed four areas: the rela-
tionship with the courts, screening methods, the type
of treatment being provided, and measurement of
treatment efficacy.
General findings
Of the 43 surveys sent, 34 (80%) were returned.
Of the 34 responding agencies, 23 (68%) were private
agencies and 11 (32%) were public agencies. This was
in contrast to our perception that primarily public
agencies were treating sex offenders. Eighty clinicians
were identified as directly providing treatment to the
1,019 sex offenders currently accounted for in the
returned surveys. Of the
1,019 sex offenders be-
ing treated, 769 (75%)
were adults and 250     Also     in   this    is
(25%) were juveniles.
All types of sex offend-  In the Virginia General
ers were represented    In the Virginia Supreme
in the sample with 33

Karen F. Can, Ph.D., is a
Forensic Psychology Fellow at
the Institute of Law, Psychiatry,
and Public Policy.

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agencies treating pedophiles or child molesters, 26
agencies treating paraphilias and 18 agencies treating
rapists. Fourteen agencies reported that they treat all
types of sex offenders. Finally, 30 (80%) of the agen-
cies stated that they also treat victims of sexual abuse.
(See figure 1)
TYPES OF SEX OFFENDERS TREATED
No. of
Provld.m
No. of Tretmeni Providers
30
25
20
15
I0
Pedephlles  P-raphillls   R.pI.1.
Types of Offenders
N  34
FIGURE 1
Relationship with the Courts
Sex offenders are a unique subset of clients in that
they have committed a crime, but may be seen as
needing treatment rather than incarceration. Courts
frequently order a sex offender into treatment without
having had the benefit of receiving a presentence eval-
uation from a mental
health professional. Sex
offenders may be in ac-
e:                           tive denial and very
poorly motivated to
embly ............ 4        engage in or to make
urt ............. 8         progress in treatment.
They may attend treat-
quarantine                  ment sessions due to
.. 1                        the extrinsic motivation
of a prison sentence
ne Court ......... .15      which has been sus-
pended, but intrinsic

January - June 1990

Volume 10, Number 1

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