|>>|| No. 83033
>The Government is hiding a devastating report that shows rehabilitation courses taken by thousands of jailed rapists and paedophiles make them more dangerous once they are released.
>According to the study, prisoners who take the courses are at least 25 per cent more likely to be convicted of further sex crimes than those who do not, suggesting that the sessions may have created hundreds of extra victims.
>The controversial Sex Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP), a six-month psychological group-therapy course, is believed to have cost taxpayers well over £100 million since it was set up in 1991.
>Before the report was compiled, about 1,000 prisoners had been taking the 'core' programme at a cost of about £7 million a year, many at eight sex offender treatment 'hubs' – specialist jails where thousands of such criminals are concentrated.
>The worst offenders went on to an 'extended' course, which was also found to make them more dangerous. An investigation by this newspaper has revealed:
>• The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) was initially reluctant to accept the bombshell findings, but after they were independently endorsed, it abruptly axed both programmes – but kept the decision secret;
>• Experts had for years been warning that the programmes were flawed, and there was no good evidence that they cut reoffending;
>• Paedophiles convicted of physically attacking children are especially likely to offend again after taking the SOTP;
>• The decision to keep the report secret was taken by former Justice Secretary Liz Truss, who rejected advice from officials.
>The Ministry has obtained legal advice about the report's likely impact. It warns that victims attacked by programme 'graduates' after their release may be able to sue the Government for damages.
>There are more than 11,000 sex offenders in jail, an eighth of the prison population. The SOTPs were introduced as part of a wave of 'cognitive behaviourial' courses that swept British jails in the 1990s. Other programmes, such as anger management sessions aimed at reducing violence, are still in use.
>In the SOTP, those convicted of sex crimes work with a course facilitator in groups.
>They attempt to examine the reasons for their crimes, and to change the mental attitudes behind them. Often, this involves discussing graphic details of their offences with fellow inmates.
>There have been numerous documented cases of criminals who underwent the SOTP and committed brutal crimes on their release.
>One of the worst was Clive Sharp, who took the course after being convicted and jailed three times for sexual attacks over a 30-year period, starting when he raped an underage girl when he was 17.
>He told his SOTP facilitator in the 1990s that he fantasised about tying up a woman, then raping and murdering her. In October 2012, after his last release, he fulfilled it when he invaded the North Wales home of vet Catherine Gowing, sexually tortured her, then killed and dismembered her. He is now serving life with a minimum 37-year term.
>Another was Tony Rice, who raped, strangled and fatally stabbed Naomi Bryant in Winchester in 2005, just nine months after being released on licence from a life sentence imposed for three rapes and sexual assaults.
>He won his freedom after taking the SOTP. The coroner at Naomi's 2011 inquest said the case was 'a wake-up call for those involved in offender management'. Rice is again serving life.
Further proof, if it was needed, that you can't rehabilitate paedos and sex offenders.
What should be done with them?