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Containment Approach: An Aggressive Strategy for the Community Management of Adult Sex Offenders

NCJ Number
Psychology, Public Policy, and Law Volume: 4 Issue: 1/2 Dated: March/June 1998 Pages: 218-235
Date Published
March 1998
18 pages

This article recommends a specific approach called the containment approach to the community supervision and management of convicted adult sex offenders; the containment approach holds convicted abusers accountable for the risk they pose to the community.


The containment approach is possible only when criminal justice agencies and related agencies proactively engage in a multidisciplinary, multi-agency strategy that seeks to close the natural fragmentation that occurs across multiple agencies and systems. The proposed containment strategy begins with five distinct components: (1) a victim-centered philosophy, (2) multidisciplinary collaboration, (3) specific management tools, (4) consistent multi-agency policies and protocols, and (5) program quality-control mechanisms. A local, ongoing commitment to teamwork and community safety is essential to the implementation of this strategy. Jurisdictions must also customize the strategy to achieve minimum public risk and maximum accountability of both offenders and public agencies. Finally, the containment approach is an evolving approach that rests on both empirical data and field experience. Footnotes and 28 references (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: March 1, 1998