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An interesting study put out by the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that multisystemic therapy seems to be more effective than usual community based services at reducing recidivism rates for adolescent sex offenders. Adolescents that are committing sex offenses rarely have issues in one domain. More often than not, they are dealing with a gamut of interpersonal, family and individual issues. When multisystemic therapists came into the young offender’s homes and completed therapy in that setting, it was found to be incredibly effective over 8+ years. Reducing the cost of sex offenses should be an important goal for public and private agencies. Dealing with sex offenses alone cost over $1 billion dollars (granted, it wasn’t stated whether or not this is for individual states or the country in general). By doing therapy effectively the first time around, professionals can reduce the cost long term. One factor important to note here is that the two types of therapies offered were either multisystemic/in=home therapy or usual community services/office based. Because of the difference in location and modality, it is impossible to know what made the difference. Needless to say though, it would appear that meeting the client where they are at ecologically in both geography and psychology would seem to increase the effectiveness of treatment.
Borduin, C.M., Schaeffer, C.M., Heiblum, N. (2009). A randomized clinical trial of multisystemic therapy with juvenile sexual offenders: effects on youth social ecology and criminal activity. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 77(1). 26-37