Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Vol. 17, No. 1, January 2005 (
Effects of a Relapse Prevention Program
on Sexual Recidivism: Final Results From
California’s Sex Offender Treatment
and Evaluation Project (SOTEP)
Janice K. Marques,
David M. Day,
and Alice van Ommeren
Final results from a longitudinal investigation of the effectiveness of cognitive-
behavioral treatment with sexual offenders are presented. The study was a ran-
domized clinical trial that compared the reoffense rates of offenders treated in
an inpatient relapse prevention (RP) program with the rates of offenders in two
(untreated) prison control groups. No signiﬁcant differences were found among
the three groups in their rates of sexual or violent reoffending over an 8-year
follow-up period. This null result was found for both rapists and child molesters,
and was conﬁrmed in analyses using time to reoffense as the outcome and those
controlling for static risk differences across the groups. Closer examination of
the RP group’s performance revealed that individuals who met the program’s
treatment goals had lower reoffense rates than those who did not. Although our
results do not generally support the efﬁcacy of the RP model, they do suggest a
number of ways in which this kind of treatment program can be improved. This
study also emphasizes the importance of including appropriate control groups in
treatment outcome research. Additional controlled investigations are needed to
address the many questions that remain about when and how treatment works for
KEY WORDS: randomized clinical trial; sexual offender treatment; relapse prevention; treatment
California Department of Mental Health, Sacramento, California.
Atascadero State Hospital, Atascadero, California.
To whom correspondence should be addressed at California Department of Mental Health, 1600
Ninth Street, Sacramento, California 95814; e-mail: email@example.com.
2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.