ABC Radio National’s 360documentaries has a confronting edition that interviews two child sex offenders currently in treatment along with their psychologist, examining their offending behaviour, what led up to it and what they hope to change in their lives.
It’s neither morbid sensationalism nor an apology for crimes committed but there are plenty of moments that don’t make for easy listening.
It does, however, challenge lots of stereotypes about the sort of person who undergoes treatment in such a programme as the two people involved are very different – one of which has never actually committed a personal offence against a child but who sought treatment after struggling with his desires.
The programme is a rare look at the sort of treatment programme that is often vilified by the press, despite strong evidence that such programmes reduce offending and keep the public safer as a result.
There are a few places in the piece that I thought could have been done better, but in general, it’s unlikely you’ll get a more stark insight into a difficult and controversial area.
Link to 360documentaries on sex offender treatment programme.