Bangkok Post

Therapy cuts sex convicts’ recidivism

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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.

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