Professionals' understanding of government strategies for the management of child sexual abusers
McCartan, K. (2012) Professionals' understanding of government strategies for the management of child sexual abusers. Probation Journal, 59 (2). pp. 124-137. ISSN 0264-5505
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0264550512438603
This article discusses contemporary professional understandings of the UK Government’s attitudes to and policies around the management of child sexual abusers. This study is based upon empirical qualitative research with a range of professionals’ working in or around the area of child sexual abuse (practitioners, academics and members of the media) (n ¼ 28). The research used semi-structured interviews which were interpreted through qualitative (thematic) content analysis. Results indicate that the professionals sampled believe that the government misperceives child sexual abuse, focusing on risk reduction and public protection rather than treatment and reintegration. The participants also argued that although there are currently some good policies and intra-agency relationships around child sexual abuse in the UK, these could be built upon. The majority of the participants were against the public disclosure of sex offender information, believing that it is not a realistic approach in reducing the sexual abuse of children and therefore it should not be implemented in theUK. These findings suggest that current and future policy on child sexual abuse should be grounded, realistic and not be populist or punitive in nature.
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