Therapy cuts sex convicts’ recidivism
TOKYO: The Justice Ministry said yesterday a sex offenders’ group therapy programme in prisons has proved to be effective in Japan, markedly cutting the recidivism rate for participants compared with the rate for nonparticipants.
Seeing a similar trend among those on probation who took part in the programme, a ministry official said, “The programme is functioning to a certain degree, and we would like to brush it up to enhance its effectiveness.”
The state-run programme, which was started in 2006 taking cues from overseas schemes, targets offenders incarcerated for sex crimes such as rape and indecent assault. Participants engage in group discussions and plan what kind of life they want to lead.
The ministry’s second survey on the programme’s effectiveness followed up on 1,444 participants and 324 nonparticipants who left prisons between January 2012 and December 2014 and compared the rate of repeat sex offences committed in the three years after release from jail.
The rate stood at 15% for participants, compared with 22.5% for nonparticipants.
The first survey conducted in 2012 also showed the recidivism rate was cut by group therapy.