- 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.
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.