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A child sex offender treatment program that successfully halved the incidents of reoffending has been axed by the NSW Government. State Attorney General, Greg Smith, announced last night that the Cedar Cottage in Westmead will no longer accept offenders. Smith says the move reflects community expectations that those who engage in child sex assault should serve prison time. Yet, the program has been declared a success by researchers at Charles Sturt University. Their research shows that child sex offenders who were incarcerated and did not take part in the program had a reoffending rate of 12 per cent compared to a less than 5% reoffending rate by those who completed treatment. Those who oppose the decision say it will be a major setback for evidence-guided social policy.

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