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Ackerley and B. Sparrow, P. Brooks and D. Thomas, T. Vivian-Byrne, S. Ward, T. Whyte, B. Wood, R. Grossman and C. Some of the traditional approaches to working with people with sexual convictions have an unproven evidence base. These include programmes that focus on encouraging victim empathy and tackling denial , rather than on skills to lead a good and better life.

They may bring comfort to people, but there is limited evidence for their effectiveness and some to suggest they are ineffective. For those with sexual convictions, prison can be a brutal experience dominated by a struggle for survival. While the public are naturally concerned that once somebody is a sex offender they will always be a sex offender, this is not always the case. Research has also shown that prisons with a more therapeutic climate are more likely to help those with sexual convictions address their offending behaviour and make personal changes — which could reduce reoffending.

Some of the key factors that lead people to reoffend are social and emotional isolation, emotional immaturity, and general problems relating to others. Having a job, or something meaningful to do in your life, can help to protect people against a downward spiral that leads to sexual reoffending. Research shows that interventions with people with sexual convictions appear to be more effective in the community than in prison , which is why there is a real need for better community reintegration and rehabilitation.

In these interventions, between three and five trained volunteers provide social, emotional and practical support for high-risk sexual offenders. Sexual abuse can destroy lives and devastate families. Victims of sexual crimes should be given access to the help and support they need for their recovery as a priority.

But funding is also needed for programmes and interventions that can prevent future victims. This is something that benefits everyone.