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Abstract: Can convicted offenders be classed as 'volunteering' for therapy? Working with men who have committed sexual offences and volunteered for treatment in a prison-based therapeutic community

Men 'volunteer' to transfer to HMP Grendon to address their offending behaviour in a prison-based therapeutic community. This work includes them discussing their sexual interests and offending and possibly having to modify their sexual interest to fit with society's norms. They may think that if they are to reduce their risk, and be released from prison, they have to go through this process, so can this be described as coercive? Other men choose to change their views of children, women and other potential victim groups and so could be deemed to have 'volunteered' for therapy. This session will describe the work undertaken at HMP Grendon with men who have committed sexual and violent offences and some of the ethical implications and difficulties working in this setting and with this client group. 


Patrick Mandikate is a Group Analyst trained at the Institute of Group Analysis in London. He has previously been on the IGA Council and Ethics Committees. Patrick worked on the community treating sex offenders in Grendon for a period of 3 years and continues to clinically manage a smaller caseload of sex offenders within a therapeutic community that houses prisoners with a range of violent offences. He has been the Head of Psychotherapy at HMP Grendon for the past six years. 

Geraldine Akerman is a Senior Forensic Psychologist working at HMP Grendon and a PhD student at the University of Birmingham under the supervision of Professor Anthony Beech. Geraldine is a Chartered Forensic Psychologist, Chartered Scientist, Health Professions Council registered Forensic Psychologist, and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Geraldine is a student member of ATSA sits on the research committee of the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers (NOTA) and is on the Sexual Interests Assessment Forum and Division of Forensic Psychology committee. She has been employed by the Prison Service since January 1999 working with perpetrators of sexual and violent offences. Geraldine has had papers and book chapters published in the areas of sexual offending, therapeutic communities, offence paralleling behaviour, and the Good Lives model. She is currently undertaking a PhD developing a measure of current sexual interest.