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Secondary Trauma Associated With Managing Sex Offenders (From Managing Adult Sex Offenders: A Containment Approach, P 10.1-10.11, 1996, Kim English, Suzanne Pullen, and Linda Jones, eds. - See NCJ-162392)

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1996
11 pages
Sources of burnout among professionals who are involved in managing sex offenders are discussed and techniques for preventing and managing this secondary trauma are described, based on the perspectives of a psychotherapist and a researcher involved in NIJ-sponsored research on the management of sex offenders in the community.
Data from field research revealed that the work of those who manage sex offenders is emotionally difficult. These professionals constantly hear descriptions of sex offenses and feel a sense of responsibility for public safety. They are the target of abuse and manipulation, struggle with the abuse of power, are distrustful of others, can misuse or overuse their coping skills, and feel isolated. Methods of mitigating the hardships and trauma involved in this work include the provision of agency support in the form of measures such as inservice training and clear boundaries around issues of power, recognition that a client's failure is not the professional's failure, the creation of a safe environment for discussion and humor, and the maintenance of outside interests to keep their lives in balance. Footnotes and 4 references

Date Published: January 1, 1996