Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Vol. 18, No. 1, January 2006 (
Predicting Sex Offender Treatment Entry Among
Individuals Convicted of Sexual Offense Crimes
and Jody Klein-Saffran
Published online: 21 April 2006
This study examined what factors were predictive of who volunteers for sex of-
fender treatment (self-selection) as well as who enters treatment after volunteering
(administration selection). Research participants included 404 treatment volun-
teers and 387 nonvolunteers to treatment who were convicted of a sexual offense
involving minors within the federal prison system. Maximum likelihood probit es-
timation procedures indicated that when compared with nonvolunteers, treatment
volunteers were more likely to be recommended by a judge to receive treatment at
the time of sentencing, had received prior treatment for sexually deviant behavior,
reported higher levels of motivation to change their sexually deviant behavior,
and had lower rates of a substance use disorder in the year prior to incarcera-
tion. Of those persons who initially volunteered, 62% were accepted and entered
treatment, 16% were denied entry to treatment by program staff, and 22% refused
treatment after being accepted to the waiting list. When compared with those who
were accepted and entered treatment, motivation was the only predictor of being
denied admission into treatment by program staff and for refusal of treatment
once accepted. The ﬁndings emphasize the need to control for selection bias in
treatment outcome studies and the importance of examining the role of motivation
in treatment volunteerism and treatment entry for sexual offenders.
KEY WORDS: sex offenders; treatment volunteerism; treatment entry; prison.
Although recent meta-analyses on the effectiveness of sex offender treat-
ment have found lower overall recidivism rates for persons who complete sex
offender treatment as compared with samples of untreated offenders or other com-
parison groups (Alexander, 1999; Gallagher, Wilson, Hirschﬁeld, Coggeshall, &
Dorothea Dix Hospital, Raleigh, North Carolina.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Federal Bureau of Prisons, Washington, District of Columbia.
To whom correspondence should be addressed at Research Department, FCI Butner, P.O. Box 1000,
Butner, North Carolina 27509; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.