Dr Andrea Hollomotz wins ESRC Future Research Leaders award

Lecturer in Social Research Methods, Disability and Deviance, Dr Andrea Hollomotz, has recently been recognised by the ESRC for her research into Adapted Sex Offender Treatment Programs .

The Future Research Leaders award, which aims to support early career researchers carry our significant research into a range of societal challenges, will allow Dr Hollomotz to investigate the success and strengthen the evidence base for ASOPTs.

Dr Hollomotz explains:  

Adapted Sex Offender Treatment Programs (ASOTPs) have, as their name implies, been modified from mainstream treatment to meet the learning needs of offenders with intellectual disability (ID). They are designed to increase the offender’s sexual knowledge, understanding of victim harm, ability to recognise feelings in themselves and others, modify offence-justifying thinking and to support individuals to develop relapse prevention skills.

In this project I will explore what works on ASOTPs, for whom, in what contexts, why and how. I seek to make sense of these programs in the contexts in which they take place, in order to illuminate what social factors may help or hinder treatment success. In particular, I will examine how effective links between these forensic healthcare interventions and the offender’s living context and social care provision, for instance how the nature and level of supervision they receive to manage risk, during and after treatment can enhance outcomes. I aim to translate this knowledge into policy and practice recommendations, in order to inform the future targeting of public resources on the most effective treatment, supported by social care packages that can enhance effectiveness.”

By applying a realist evaluation methodology, Dr Hollomotz aims to contribute to academic understanding and public policymaking in four main ways:

  • Contribute new insights into the mechanics through which ASOTPs work and therefore inform their future design and delivery.
  • Increase the understanding of the contexts that influence the success of ASOTPs on a macro-level.
  • Encourage methodological innovation by being the first to apply realist evaluation to ASOTPs.
  • Highlight the usefulness and applicability of sociological concepts to the field of disability and crime, which has traditionally been explored by academics and practitioners with backgrounds of forensic health and psychology.