HC Deb 21 May 1993 vol 225 cc338-9W
Ms Corston

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what medical or psychiatric treatment is available for men convicted of indecent assault on or sexual abuse of children; and what plans he has for improvement in or extension of such treatment.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the director general of the prison service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Jean Corston, dated 19 May 1993:

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent question about medical or psychiatric treatment for men convicted of indecent assault on or sex abuse of children.

The treatment of sex offenders, including those who have committed offences against children, within the Prison Service falls into two broad categories, medical or educational, depending on whether the treatment consists of a form of psychotherapy or is based on a cognitive behaviourial approach.

For the former, in particular, facilities exist at HM Prison Grendon where there is a unit using a psychotherapeutic approach involving multi-disciplinary teams which are directed by a physician; the Wormwood Scrubs annex where therapy is conducted through group and one to one sessions involving psychiatrists, psychologists, probation, education and health care staff; and Glen Parva which provides similar programmes for young offenders.

Therapy or treatment is also provided at many establishments on an individual basis by visiting physicians or psychiatrists according to the clinical needs of the patient.

The second category of treatment is being facilitated by the Prison Service Sex Offender Programme which was introduced during 1992 and has been initially targeted at prisoners who receive sentences of four years or more, although there is scope for offenders who are serving shorter sentences but are deemed to be particularly dangerous to be put forward for the programme.

The programme, which is educational rather than medical in character, is divided into two main sub-programmes; a core programme, which tackles offenders' distorted beliefs about relationships, and an extended programme, for those who represent the greatest risk.

At present there are seven prisons acting as assessment centres, 13 providing core programmes and seven providing extended programmes. In addition, two establishments offer concentrated core programmes for high risk inmates serving less than four years.

For the future we plan to create additional capacity and increase the number of establishments providing the extending programme.

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