Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W50
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Working with Developmentally Disabled Sex Offenders in Community-Based Settings
Friday, May 27, 2005
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
Waldorf (3rd floor)
Area: CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Holly V. Steele, Ph.D.
HOLLY V. STEELE (Psychological Management Group), KIMBERLY E. CHURCH (Human Development Center), HOLLY ARNOLD (Human Development Center)
Description: In recent years, increasing focus has been placed on the risks and difficulties associated with treating people with mental retardation who engage in sexual misconduct and live in non-secure, community-based settings. The purpose of this workshop is to provide participants with behavioral strategies which have been demonstrated to decrease the relapse/recidivism rate of individuals who are sex offenders and who have developmental disabilities. The subjects are twenty-three adult males with mental retardation, all of whom participate in behaviorally-oriented group treatment in an independent practice setting. Of this number, ten live in community-based group homes, and seven live in non-secure but segregated group homes in a rural setting. Two subjects are in Supported Independent Living, in staffed homes or apartments, and the remaining two live in their own apartments with minimal staff contact. Eleven subjects have engaged in sexual misconduct with both children and adults (rape, coerced sex, sexual battery, lewd and lascivious behavior, etc.), while ten have histories of sexual misconduct with children only. Four subjects have engaged in other types of inappropriate sexual behavior, such as sex with animals, rectal digging associated with using feces as a masturbatory lubricant, fetishism, public masturbation, and exposure. Clients ages range from 19 to 65, and all function within the mild or moderate ranges of mental retardation. Techniques used in treatment of these individuals include direct instruction, modeling, behavioral rehearsal, and guided feedback. In addition, treatment includes sex education, extensive analysis of remote and immediate antecedents to sexual misconduct, consequence anticipation, acquisition of replacement behaviors, identification of risk factors for re-offending, learning the effects of sexual abuse upon victims, and impulse management strategies. Of clients who participate in group treatment, 21 of 23 also receive behavioral programming directly addressing sexual misconduct in their residential and vocational settings. Data from these individual programs will be presented. Measures used by staff to assess clients responses to high-risk situations in community settings will be distributed. An agency policy regarding clients sexual behavior will be presented, and ramifications of its use discussed. Difficulties encountered in collecting data on behavior which is both dangerous and covert will be examined, as will the effects associated with treating this population on clinicians and staff.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, the participant will be able to: � Name and describe basic behavioral techniques for use with developmentally disabled sex offenders. - Describe the process of obtaining extensive information about antecedents to episodes of sexual misconduct. - Develop and implement a behavior program which includes both reduction procedures for sexual misconduct and acquisition procedures for replacement behaviors. - Use measures (distributed in the workshop) for assessing the responses of sex offenders in high risk situations. - Identify difficulties associated with conducting behavioral research with sex offenders. - Identify difficulties described in the literature as being encountered frequently by therapists, staff, and other caregivers providing services to sex offenders.
Activities: Each participant will receive a handbook of training materials that includes examples of a functional behavior assessment, a behavior analysis service plan, and risk assessments. Various interventions and assessment measures will be reviewed in detail with participants. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the material presented.
Audience: The target audience includes psychologists and other mental health professionals, behavior analysts, administrators, and individuals involved in the provision of services to individuals who have engaged in sexual offending behaviors.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic



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