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Standards of Care for Juvenile Sexual Offenders of the International Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders

Author(s): Michael Miner | Charles Borduin | David Prescott | Helle Bovensmann | Renate Schepker | Reinmar Du Bois | Joann Schladale | Reinhard Eher | Klaus Schmeck | Thore Langfeldt | Arina Smit | Friedemann Pfäfflin

Journal: Sexual Offender Treatment
ISSN 1862-2941

Volume: 1;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Minimal standards for treatment of adult sexual offenders were adopted by the membership of the International Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders (IATSO) at its first membership General Assembly in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in May 2000 (Coleman, Dwyer, Abel, Berner, Breiling, Eher, et al., 2000; 2003). These standards, initially developed in 1990 with input from attendees at the Second International Conference on Sexual Offender Treatment held in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Coleman & Dwyer, 1990; Coleman, Dwyer, Abel, Berner, Breiling, Hindman, et al. 1996), were refined by a committee of professionals at the Fifth International Conference on Sexual Offender Treatment (Coleman et al., 2000).With these standards in place, the Governing Board of IATSO designated a committee in summer 2004 to develop similar standards for treatment of Juvenile Sexual Offenders. This committee consisted of representatives from a number of countries with differing traditions of sexual offender treatment and juvenile justice, including Austria, Germany, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United States. Developing standards of care for juvenile populations can be a challenging endeavor. Adolescence is a time of rapid change, and thus, there is great heterogeneity in those youths who commit acts that can be defined as sexual offenses. These differences are influenced by the developmental stage of the youth, which may roughly parallel age, and multiple environmental factors. Additionally, studies conducted outside North America find higher base rates of re-offense than those within North America (e.g. Nisbet, Wilson, & Smallbone, 2004; Langstrom & Grann, 2000). This is likely the case because definitions of who is a juvenile offender, what behaviors are sexual crimes, and how the juvenile justice system is organized can differ substantially across countries. These Standards of Care, which were adopted by the membership at the General Assembly of the International Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders in Hamburg, Germany, September 7, 2006, are designed to be minimal guidelines for those developing and implementing treatment interventions for Juvenile Sexual Offenders. These Standards are based on the current state of knowledge on adolescents who commit sexual offences. Most of the available data are from adolescent males and the state of science in this field is still evolving. Thus, the Committee avoided making specific recommendations about particular procedures, techniques, or instrumentation.
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