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Violent Offenders: Treatment Outcome Research

Most treatments for violent offenders are intended to reduce the frequency and severity of violent behavior, but this can be a difficult outcome to measure directly, unless the treated person can be monitored closely (e.g., in an institution). More often recidivism is used as a proxy for criminal behavior; in correctional settings, recidivism outcome evaluations are essential to convincing policy makers of an intervention’s effectiveness. Furthermore, because those violent offenders who are the highest priority for interventions are usually prolific and diverse in their criminal activity, treatment of violent offenders arguably should also aim to reduce their other criminal behavior, and effects on other forms of recidivism should also be investigated.

Treatments should be guided by theory, and a crucial component of treatment theories concerns ...

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