The oregon depo-provera prograxm: A five-year follow-up

Barry M. Maletzky, Arthur Tolan, Bentson McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


In 1999, the Oregon State Legislature, concerned about the risk certain sexual offenders might pose to their communities upon release from prison, enacted House Bill 2500. This bill required selected offenders to be evaluated prior to their release to determine whether medical treatment with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), also known by its trade name of depo-Provera, was indicated to reduce their risk. The present study reviewed the first 275 men to be evaluated under this program from the years 2000 through 2004. Data were collected on diagnoses and outcome on three groups: men judged to need MPA who eventually went on to actually receive it; men recommended to receive MPA who, for a variety of reasons, did not receive the medication; and men deemed not to need MPA. Outcome measures included recidivism data, including reoffenses, parole violations, and reincarcerations, and whether these were sexual in nature. Data were also collected on employment and whether supervising officers believed the men in each group were doing well. Significant differences emerged among these three groups, with men actually receiving depo-Provera committing no new sexual offenses and also committing fewer overall offenses and violations compared to the other two groups. In addition, almost one third of men judged to need medication but who did not receive it committed a new offense and almost 60% of these were sexual in nature. While generalizations from these types of retrospective and partially subjective findings are inherently limited, the present study lends credence to the belief that, in selected offenders, anti-androgenic medication can be a valuable, if time-limited, addition to a cognitive and behavioral treatment program. Suggestions for more practical and far-reaching implementation of this adjunctive approach are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-316
Number of pages14
JournalSexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Anti-androgens
  • Depo-Provera
  • Medroyxprogesterone acetate
  • Paraphilias
  • Recidivism
  • Sexual offending

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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