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OJJDP News @ a Glance

The July/August issue highlights OJJDP’s tribal consultation, a youth peer guide in Indian country, interventions for children with sexual behavior problems, and the training of juvenile prosecutors.
Message From the Administrator
Official photo of OJJDP Administrator Caren Harp

Supporting Effective Interventions for Adolescent Sex Offenders and Children With Sexual Behavior Problems

Research suggests that youth commit more than one-quarter (25.8 percent) of all sex offenses and more than one-third (35.6 percent) of sex offenses against juvenile victims. These behaviors can include aggressive or coerced sexual contact, sexual contact that causes harm to a child or others, and sexual contact between children and youth of different ages, sizes, and developmental levels.

Adolescent sex offenders and children with sexual behavior problems can successfully respond to evidence-based treatments such as multisystemic therapy, problematic sexual behavior-cognitive behavioral therapy, and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. Interventions actively involve the youth's caregivers and support the caregivers in effectively managing the behavior. Recidivism rates are quite low, demonstrating that with appropriate and effective interventions, most youth can learn to make better choices and be contributing members of society.

OJJDP's Supporting Effective Interventions for Adolescent Sex Offenders and Children With Sexual Behavior Problems program provides funding to communities to develop intervention and supervision services for adolescent sex offenders and children with sexual behavior problems, and to provide treatment services for their victims and families/caregivers. The program's primary goal is to prevent sexual reoffending. Each program site engages a multidisciplinary team that can respond to these cases to ensure offenders are held accountable within the legal system and treatment services are available for victims and offenders.

OJJDP also supports training and technical assistance for the sites. With OJJDP funding, the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (UOHSC) guides individual program sites through the development of technical assistance plans and oversees the progress of project implementation. UOHSC brings together all program sites once a year to share information and engage in cross-site learning. UOHSC also manages the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth (NCSBY), which develops resources and training materials for professionals in a range of disciplines, including probation, mental health, medicine, education, child welfare, law, law enforcement, and the judiciary.

In addition, OJJDP in partnership with the Department of Defense supports UOHSC in building capacity in the military; UOHSC provides training on evidence-based treatment and a multidisciplinary response to youth with sexual behavior problems.

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©Mandy Godbehear/Shutterstock.com (see reuse policy).

UOHSC’s National Symposium on Sexual Behavior of Youth trains child-serving professionals to understand and support healthy sexual development, identify problematic sexual behavior, and intervene early and effectively to address the behavior and protect other children. 

Resources:

For more than a decade, OJJDP has supported programs that address adolescent sex offenders and children with sexual behavior problems. Information about the Office’s fiscal year 2019 and fiscal year 2020 grant programs may be found on the Office's website.

NCSBY's website provides comprehensive resources for professionals, including information on clinical decisionmaking, public policy, and standards of care. The site also offers information for parents and other caregivers on child and adolescent sexual development, the causes of problematic sexual behavior, what caregivers can expect from treatment, and other topics.

 

Date Created: August 18, 2020