What works’ in work with sexual offenders.




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European Union and Confederation of European Probation


Technical Report

Peer reviewed



This review provides a summary of ‘what works’ with sexual offenders and seeks to highlight key research on sexual offenders, their assessment, interventions, and broader management responses. The review identifies the most effective responses as supported by the current state of research evidence, approaches under development, and identifies areas of potential good practice. Violent offenders are the subject of a separate short overview document.1 The term ‘dangerous offender’ is purposely avoided, as it is open to considerable debate and interpretation. The SOMEC project has focused on serious violent or sexual offenders, using a tighter focus on specific offence types resulting in serious physical harm or psychological trauma. The review is not exhaustive and is limited by access to English speaking publications with some limited reference to European publications. The methodology and search strategy are outlined in the body of the report and follow the expected process and standards for reviews of this type.


This review forms part of an EU funded project ‘Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals’ (SOMEC). The project has the following objectives:  Assess the threat posed to European citizens when serious violent or sexual offenders travel between EU Member States.  Identify the methods and effectiveness of mechanisms used by EU Member States in the management of serious violent or sexual offenders travelling across borders.  Explore critical success factors and provide recommendations to facilitate the improved exchange of information for the prevention of crime. SOMEC Partners, Beneficiary Partners: National Offender Management Service (UK), The Home Office (UK) Association of Chief Police Officers (UK), ACPO Criminal Records Office (UK), National Crime Agency (UK), London Probation Trust (UK), De Montfort University (UK), CEP- Confederation of European Probation (EU), Department of Justice (Prison and Probation) Catalonia (ES), Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice (NL), Latvian State Probation Service (LV), Latvian State Police (LV). Associate Partners: The Ministry of Interior, Macedonia (MA), Probation Chiefs Association (UK), The Scottish Government (UK), The Police Service Northern Ireland (UK), Probation Board for Northern Ireland (UK), Europol (EU), Eurojust (EU).


sex offenders, interventions, risk assessment, risk management


Kemshall, H. and Kelly, G. (2015) What works’ in work with sexual offenders. http://www.svdv.org.uk/somec-project/


Research Institute