Post-hospitalization Outcomes for Psychiatric Sex Offenders: Comparing Two Treatment Protocols

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This study evaluates the effectiveness of safe offender strategies (SOS) in comparison with relapse prevention (RP) in a sample of 91 inpatient males in a secure psychiatric setting. All men evidenced a history of violent sexual offending and were diagnosed with serious psychiatric disorders and/or intellectual disabilities. Participants who received SOS (n = 58) and RP (n = 33) were followed from 6 to 36 months post release. SOS clients were significantly less likely to be arrested (0%) or rehospitalized (5.2%) than RP clients (9% arrested; 54.5% rehospitalized). In addition, SOS clients were more likely to transition continuously to less restrictive alternatives, with no returns to high security, in comparison with RP clients. The authors discuss implications for use of SOS, a treatment that facilitates skills development and affects global self-regulatory functioning, particularly in sex offenders with serious mental illness or intellectual impairment, in promoting community reintegration and limiting returns to psychiatric settings.