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  • Perpetration of sexual violence is widespread in Australia, creating long-term negative effects on wellbeing.
  • Community safety is enhanced through reducing the risk of reoffending by those who have sexually offended.
  • A key avenue to reducing risk of reoffending is a community-based program model that aims to reintegrate sexual offenders into the community. Understanding how community-based programs impact recidivism rates is therefore very important.
  • In Australia, few programs that provide this support have been the subject of research.
  • The research project Community-based approaches to sexual offender reintegration looked at two such community-based programs, and documented program characteristics that are key to supporting reintegration and reducing the risk of reoffending.

Key recommendations:

1. Community safety is enhanced through community-based programs for sexual offender reintegration, and these programs should be supported.

2. A stronger focus in program design on core characteristics associated with the impact of the programs is required. These include:

  • support for offenders to adopt prosocial, law-abiding identities and lifestyles rather than solely concentrating on reducing reoffending
  • (re)connecting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander participants with aspects of their traditional or precolonial culture.

3. Keep victims/survivors informed about the release and reintegration processes of offenders, as this can empower victims/survivors to make informed decisions about their safety.


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ANROWS Research report 07/2020