Do sex offenders need more help?

Model behaviour: Professor Tony Ward

Model behaviour: Professor Tony Ward

Would society be safer if, rather than punishing sex offenders, we recognised they have human rights and helped them adopt more fulfilling and socially integrated lives?

This question lies at the heart of a free public lecture next week at the University of Portsmouth by one of the world’s leading psychologists in offender behaviour, Professor Tony Ward.

Professor Ward is the man behind the Good Lives Model, which starts from the assumption that while offenders have obligations to respect other peoples’ entitlements to well-being and freedom, they are entitled to the same. It argues that by recognising individuals’ human rights and helping offenders, we help ourselves and our society.

His lecture is in the University’s Portland building in St James Street, from 6-7pm on Wednesday, February 10.

Professor Ward is director of clinical training in psychology at New Zealand’s University of Wellington and is a professorial fellow at the Universities of Portsmouth, Birmingham, Kent and Melbourne, Australia.

He is a clinical psychologist by training and has worked in clinical and forensic psychology since 1987. He was formerly director of a sexual offenders’ unit at a New Zealand prison and he has taught clinical and forensic psychology at four universities in New Zealand and Australia.

His research interests include desistance and reintegration processes in offenders, cognition and evolutionary approaches to crime, and ethical issues in forensic and correctional psychology.

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