Sexual Offender Detention Alternative (SODA)

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

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About This Program

Target Population: Children age 13-18 who have been referred by the Courts, Probation, Child Protective Services, etc. for sexual offenses

For children/adolescents ages: 13 – 18

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 13 – 18

Brief Description

The SODA Program is a 52-session, weekly group, involving a psycho-educational, cognitive-behavioral and support treatment program for sexual offenders. The program’s focus is to stop unacceptable and illegal sexual behavior problems that bring a child before the Child Welfare Department and/or the Juvenile Justice System. The program’s outpatient group is open-ended and includes a maximum of 8 adolescents, aged 13-17 years old. Caregiver participation is mandatory. Multi-family groups, including the child and the caregiver are held monthly. The caregiver must attend a minimum of 12 multi-family group sessions.

Program elements include understanding the precursors and dynamics of the offense, learning offense relapse-prevention techniques, improving personal and family dynamics, and improving societal and peer relationships. Learning the consequences of their sexual behavior on their victim (empathy and contrition) and on their own family is also stressed. Previous victimization, substance abuse, and co-morbid mood disorders are addressed in detail. The caregivers learn to better communicate with their child and deal more effectively with their own feelings about their child’s offense.

Program Goals:

The goals of SODA are:

  • Eliminate problematic (criminal) sexual behavior
  • Improve parent-child interaction and communications
  • Improve coping, self-control of problematic sexual behaviors, and improve social and proper relationship skills
  • Reduce pre-morbid mood disorder symptoms
  • Teach healthy symptom relapse prevention tools

Contact Information

Thomas Petersen, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Private Practice
Phone: (626) 278-0677
Fax: (626) 812-5674

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: September 2013

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: February 2017

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: August 2011