Sex Offenders and Empathy

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An evaluation of the effectiveness of an empathy training module for child sex offenders : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts in Psychology at Massey University

An evaluation of the effectiveness of an empathy training module for child sex offenders : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts in Psychology at Massey University

With regards to the lack of support of the hypotheses that child sex offenders would have lower empathy scores it may be that as noted in the method of this research, the participants in[r]

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Patterns of Cooperation between Police Interviewers with Suspected Sex Offenders

Patterns of Cooperation between Police Interviewers with Suspected Sex Offenders

There are many reasons for researchers and practitioners to focus on cooperation patterns and the number and type of contributions made by the two interviewers. It is usually for more serious crimes and for the interviewing of high-interest suspects (i.e., murderers and sex offenders) that two interviewers are required, so the impact of research could therefore be significant. From the perspective of psychology-oriented research, the mere fact of the physical presence of two interviewers influences the way rapport could be established (compare with, e.g., Holmberg 2009; Shepherd and Griffiths 2013: chap. 6), the basics of conversation and nonverbal communication managed (Shepherd and Griffiths 2013: chap. 3), note-taking and active-listening strategies planned (Shepherd and Griffiths 2013: chap. 7), empathy used (Dando and Oxburgh 2016), psychological well-being retained and comprehensibility and
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Offense related characteristics and psychosexual development of juvenile sex offenders

Offense related characteristics and psychosexual development of juvenile sex offenders

The GAIJSO is developed to use in clinical practice, in order to estimate the severity of the sexual offense and to make an evaluation of the psychosexual development. The most important risk factors for sexual recidivism and deviant psychosexual development found in the literature have been included in the GAIJSO. The items were formu- lated by a group of Dutch clinical and scientific experts in the field of juvenile sex offenders. Altogether, this instru- ment consists of 25 items divided into two scales: the offense scale (15 items) and the psychosexual develop- ment scale (10 items). The sexual offense-items are scored with information derived from the juvenile sex offender and from police files. The psychosexual development- scale contains information derived from the youngster. Each item contains a group of semi-structured questions and has several response options (example of items: empathy: shows no, some, adequate empathy for the vic- tim; violence: no violence (including verbal aggression), used 'enough' violence (including verbal aggression) to take control over the victim, used excessive violence to take control over the victim (for example: used a weapon or physically injured the victim). Deviant sexual develop- ment is defined as a development towards behavior in which sexual gratification is obtained through unusual practices that are harmful or humiliating to others (or self), criminal or socially repugnant. Deviant sexual fanta- sies are defined as sexual fantasies that can be part of a deviant sexual development and that can lead to criminal conduct in real life. At the end of each scale a global assessment is given of the level of concern regarding the sexual offense itself and the psychosexual development. The GAIJSO leads to a qualitative estimation of the neces- sity of requesting extensive diagnostic assessment. In order to adjust to the jargon of the CPB counselors, the word 'concern' has been chosen.
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MANAGEMENT OF SEX OFFENDERS

MANAGEMENT OF SEX OFFENDERS

Victim empathy- Empathy is a quality which helps an individual to understand what another person is going through in their life. Although there is no clear evidence to suggest that all sex offenders can gain true empathy for victims of abuse, a universal goal of treatment is to learn to understand and value others. The importance of a lack of general or victim empathy in sexual offending has led to the development of interventions designed to address this issue. (Pithers, 1994; Marshall &Eccles, 1998) have developed awareness-raising and skills-developing programmes. These involve components aimed at offenders’ understanding the effects of sexual offending on victims/survivors (through discussion of evidence, videotape material), offenders addressing the effects of their own offending (through discussion, preparation of written material and role-playing).Highlighting the consequences of victimization helps sensitize the offender to the harm he or she has done. Empathy is comprised of cognitive and emotional aspects and both components may need to be addressed. The use of analogous experiences has been shown to be effective especially with juveniles.
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The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Attachment and Mentalization in Sex Offenders

The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Attachment and Mentalization in Sex Offenders

The level of risk dictates the level of treatment sex offenders receive (Smid, Kamphuis, Wever, & Verbruggen, 2014). For instance, research suggests a recommended treatment plan for low-risk offenders is two sessions each week for a minimum duration of three months (Smid et al., 2014). High-risk offenders, on the other hand, would need to attend three sessions each week for a minimum duration of nine months, roughly four times higher dose of treatment than for low-risk offenders (Smid et al., 2014). This indicates that high-risk offenders require more intensive treatment. Treatment specifically for these offenders typically excludes an empathy component. The reasoning behind this is that offenders who commit heinous crimes completely lack empathy and are unable to care about the pain and suffering of other people (Hare, 1993; Mpofu et al., 2016). Therefore, there is a chance that participating in sex offender treatment with an empathy component would teach high-risk offenders how to use their knowledge to
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The Reality of Sexual Offending in Kenya: Are Sex Offenders Finally Cornered?

The Reality of Sexual Offending in Kenya: Are Sex Offenders Finally Cornered?

Several theoretical frameworks exist that all attempt to explain aspects of sexual offending. Ward and Beech (2006) summarized these theoretical orientations as: comprehensive explanations of sexual abuse (Ward and Siegert, 2002); empathy problems (Marshall, Champagne, Brown and Miller, 1997); cognitive distortions (Mann and Beech, 2003; Ward and Keenan, 1999); single factors associated with sexual abuse such as intimacy deficits (Marshall, 1999). These diverse writings suggest several but not one cause of sexual offending. For instance Siegert and Ward (2003) centred on genetic predispositions while Beech and Ward (2004) focused on negative developmental experiences including abuse, rejection and attachment deficiencies. Thomas (2002) tends to favour psychological dispositions or traits such as empathy deficits and deviant sexual preferences and interpersonal problems. Cossins (2000) emphasizes social and cultural structures and processes while Hanson and Harris (2001) dwell more on context factors like intoxication and stress.
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An Interpretative phenomenological analysis of therapists' experiences of sexual feelings when working with male sex offenders

An Interpretative phenomenological analysis of therapists' experiences of sexual feelings when working with male sex offenders

On researching the personal impact that working with sex offenders has on mental health therapists, Farrenkopf (1992) proposed a ‘phases of impact’ mode. Farrenkopf suggested that there is an initial phase to the work where clinicians will feel shocked and vulnerable and this will be felt on a personal level. The second phase is where the clinician strives to be professional in showing empathy and adopting a non-judgmental stance. Lastly they experienced anger, resentment and reportedly felt disenchanted. Farrenkopf’s research is particularly interesting when viewed in relation to this research as it presents many similarities. The therapist’s interviewed in this research experienced a disturbance on a personal level which often left them feeling vulnerable, for example when experiencing victimisation. They also disclosed experiencing the second phase that Farrenkopf presented whereby they would strive to enter the professional realm. This would in turn allow the therapists to protect themselves by sanitising their experience through techniques such as compartmentalising and intellectualisation – (this is discussed later in this chapter). Lastly, much like Farrenkopf’s research the therapists spoke of feeling intense emotions such as anger. Farrenkopf writes from a Clinical Psychologist’s perspective and although his research is not focused on sexual feelings it is important to notice the sexual component to some of these feelings.
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Masculinity as a site of pre emptive intervention in the prevention of child sexual abuse : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Doctor of Clinical Psychology at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

Masculinity as a site of pre emptive intervention in the prevention of child sexual abuse : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Doctor of Clinical Psychology at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

Research has demonstrated that men leave prison with hopes and aspirations of leaving prison, repairing broken families and finding a place in their communities. Most often though, these men are vilified in their communities, continuously reminded of their crimes, and prevented from the opportunity to change. If attempts at reintegration are futile then surely the risk of returning to offending behaviour, which previously met some needs, is increased. Many CSO would likely welcome opportunities to take part in such projects, while the communities would probably strongly oppose any such undertaking (Young-Hauser, 2010). Research has shown that poor community reintegration is associated with increased recidivism (Finkelhor, 2009). Tikanga Māori approaches offered at Te Piriti acknowledge social, and spiritual factors and promote social inclusion (for example, through whanau hui with prisoners prior to release). The Te Piriti programme seems to acknowledge the need for social reintegration, however community-based interventions are better placed to offer socially focused solutions without exposing the offender to the correctional system (Willis & Grace, 2009). A strength based model that encourages reintegration into the community calls for opportunities for offenders to make amends, compensate for their crimes and make positive contributions to their communities. Gavin (2005) argues that Ward’s call for the concept of a good life in successful rehabilitation is based on the same values as everyone else – having a job, an income and a place to live – difficult to achieve when the narrative of the deviant other remains the same.
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Victim awareness : re examining a probation fundamental

Victim awareness : re examining a probation fundamental

The impact of crime can be substantial and may include physical and emotional harm, financial loss, and lasting changes in everyday behaviour for the people affected, yet historically victims have had little voice within the criminal justice system (Grey, 2002; Williams, 2007; Wolhuter et al., 2008; Zedner, 2002). This position was increasingly challenged by a variety of sources which have sometimes been collectively termed ‘the Victim’s Movement’, and resulted in a culture shift in which victims were increasingly seen as consumers of the criminal justice system (Zedner, 2002; Williams, 2007). The 1990s saw the Government introduce two Victims’ Charters and this was followed in the next decade by a new code of practice for victims of crime and the ‘Justice for All’ white paper, all of which led to substantial changes in practice (Criminal Justice System, 2005, 2007). For the probation service in England and Wales, these changes included the start of statutory victim contact work (legislated for in the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000) and the expectation that victim awareness work would be undertaken with offenders as part of their sentence (Home Office, 2000). Alongside protecting the public, reducing re-offending, the proper punishment of offenders in the community, and the rehabilitation of offenders, ‘ensuring offenders’ awareness of the effects of crime on the victims of crime and the public’ remains one of the five aims of the service (National Probation Service, 2003). Additionally, victim awareness work has been an important part of recent inspections by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation and is a factor taken into consideration by parole boards; it is not, however, something the service has necessarily undertaken well (HM Inspectorate of Probation, 2005, 2006a, 2007, 2009, 2012a, 2012b; Parole Board, 2012).
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Psychopathy and Criminal Behaviour: A Psychosocial Research Perspective

Psychopathy and Criminal Behaviour: A Psychosocial Research Perspective

Importantly, the release performance of low PCL-R scorers improved with age, whereas the opposite was seen for high scorers. Interestingly, after their mid-40s, a dramatic drop in convictions for violent offending was found for high PCL-R scorers. It is unclear whether this was the result of actual reductions in offending propensity, lengthier incarceration periods (lack of opportunity to reoffend), getting better at not being caught, or even death, perhaps as a result of their thrill-seeking and risky lifestyles (Harris et al., 2007; Rutherford et al., 1997). A similar finding was reported by Hare et al. (1988) in a study comparing the conviction rates of offenders scoring high or low on the original PCL between the ages of 16 and 45. Hare and colleagues found that psychopathic offenders committed more crimes than low- scoring offenders between the ages of 16 and 40, after which the conviction rate of high scorers decreased substantially compared to low scorers, whose offending was less frequent but more consistent. The decrease in crime by psychopathic offenders was largely accounted for by non-violent offences. This suggests that the capacity for violence among psychopaths may be relatively stable (also see Harris et al., 1991).
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Clinical and developmental characteristics of sex offenders in Malaysian prisons

Clinical and developmental characteristics of sex offenders in Malaysian prisons

Malaysia has a multi-ethnic population with Islam being the major religion of the population, the Malay race makes up 53.3%, Chinese 26.0%, while the Indian race 7.7%. Though there is still a controversy regarding ethnic background of offenders, it is interesting to note that 85% of the perpetrators studied are Malay and Muslim in religion. It was also noted in that all the perpetrators of children sexually abused in the family were of the Malay ethnicity. As in most religion for Muslims, extra-marital sex and sex with children is strongly forbidden. Malays are the predominant ethnic group in the country, but that alone does not explain why the majority of the offenders were Malays especially in the context of intra-familial offence. Could there be under-reporting of such offences in the other ethnic group? The Indian ethnic group has been found to statistically form the major group in gangsterism and gang related activities in the country 11 . In Malaysia,
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Emotion recognition and cognitive empathy deficits in adolescent offenders revealed by context-sensitive tasks

Emotion recognition and cognitive empathy deficits in adolescent offenders revealed by context-sensitive tasks

Previous studies have shown impairments in affective processing in AOs, specifically in the recognition of negative emotions (such as anger, disgust, fear, or sadness) during facial recognition tasks (McCown et al., 1986; Jones et al., 2007; Sato et al., 2009). In our study, we explored this domain through the EMT which includes a dynamic method for the presentation of facial expressions. The results thus obtained showed that AOs have a general difficulty in emotion recognition in the EMT, regardless of emotion type. However, these differences become marginally significant after adjusting for age. A previous study (Pham and Philippot, 2010) using a similar EMT with adult offenders found that deficits in decoding emotional facial expression were accounted for by education. In our study, AOs and non-offenders were matched by education, but group differences were found in age. Sev- eral studies (Thomas et al., 2007; Mancini et al., 2013) have reported that face emotion recognition abilities develop with age, with adults displaying more sensitivity to subtle changes in emotional expression than adolescents (Thomas et al., 2007). Therefore, differences in age affected performance on the EMT, possibly due to general effects of neurocognitive development. Taken together, previous and present results suggest that demo- graphic variables, such as education and age, should be controlled for in order to unveil difficulties in basic emotion processing in AOs.
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Cognitive and Affective Empathy, Personal Belief in a Just World, and Bullying Among Offenders

Cognitive and Affective Empathy, Personal Belief in a Just World, and Bullying Among Offenders

Empathy is defined as a trait that facilitates the understanding of the emotions of others (i.e., cognitive empathy) and experience of an emotional reaction coherent with the other person’s affective state (i.e., affective empathy; Cohen & Strayer, 1996; Davis, 1996). Previous research has reported a link between low empathy and antisocial behavior (e.g., Hare, 1999), offending (e.g., van Langen, Wissink, van Vugt, Van der Stouwe, & Stams, 2014), and bullying (Jolliffe & Farrington, 2004; Olweus, 1991; Rigby, 1996). Some authors have suggested this is because those with low empathy may fail to comfort others in distress because their actions are not tempered by the vicarious emotional experience and/or
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The Warped One: Nationalist Adaptations of the Cuchulain Myth

The Warped One: Nationalist Adaptations of the Cuchulain Myth

establish power within an otherwise powerless identity (Harris, 2010). 7 Level I and II theories have the strongest influence on typologies that focus on the female abuser’s experiences with victimization such as the predisposed molester and the male-coerced molester (Mathews et al., 1989) and mother molesters (Mayer, 1992). Level III theories, or micro-level theories, attempt to understand how offenses come to occur, specifically, the process leading up to the behavior. These theories are usually developed inductively through a recollection of events and factors connected to the crime (Harris, 2010). The most widely recognized micro-level theory of female sex offending is Gannon, Rose, and Ward’s (2008) descriptive model of female sexual offending. Gannon and colleagues’ (2008) theory is composed of three phases: background factors, pre-offense period, and offense period. Background factors prepare offenders to engage in the sexual offending. The pre-offense period examines the year before and right until the offense is committed. Finally, the offense period focuses on the sexual offense itself and the time immediately after its commission (Gannon et al., 2008). Broadly, the descriptive model constructs a timeline of events and their influence leading up to the sexual offense. As the most comprehensive theoretical approach to female sex offenders, a brief synopsis of the descriptive model is necessary to further the discussion of female sex offender research.
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Articles | British Journal of Community Justice

Articles | British Journal of Community Justice

Although COSA continue to exist in England and Wales, this paper seeks only to explain their origins and implementation between 1999 and 2005. To appreciate why the Home Office (and some local criminal justice agencies) came to value Circles it is necessary to understand how policy towards sex offenders had been developing throughout the 1990s. Numerous national and international studies had documented the activities of “predatory paedophiles” and enlarged professional understanding of the scale and nature of child abuse. (Wyre and Tate 1995; Grubin 1998). The tabloid media were quick to demonise these offenders (Kitzinger 1998), and to elide the clinical term “paedophile” with the generic categorisation “sex offender”. While increased levels of multiagency working and changes in legislation would have occurred anyway in response to heightened sensitivities towards paedophiles, the strident and aggressive tabloid critique formed the backcloth against which changes occurred. It created an image of released paedophiles/ sex offenders so loathsome and terrifying that no-self respecting community would be prepared to tolerate them in their midst. Indeed, communities were encouraged to take steps to shame and/or expel them. The (admittedly challenging) cases of Sydney Cooke, Robert Oliver and Lennie Smith, (present during an orgy in 1985 during which a 14-year old boy died), who were hounded from venue to venue after release and eventually housed either in Police stations or in a flat in the grounds of Nottingham Prison, received considerable attention in 1998. It also led, in the Home Office, to the development of an “early warning system” which apprised ministers of the imminent release of potentially high profile sex offenders. Notwithstanding that predatory paedophiles do pose real risks to children - Cooke made contact with a paedophile network quite soon after release and was subsequently re-imprisoned - the often prosaic human reality of releasing sex offenders from prison was obscured by the media’s skewed imagery. Not all offenders who sexually assault children resemble the tabloid stereotype - some had undergone treatment, some were motivated to desist and to start new lives, and some were themselves very fearful of the way communities would react to them.
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Demographics and Classification of Sexual Offenders and Associations with Non- Compliance of the Tennessee Sexual Offender Registration Laws

Demographics and Classification of Sexual Offenders and Associations with Non- Compliance of the Tennessee Sexual Offender Registration Laws

The research question for this study is what demographic factors are associated with a sex offender’s non- compliance of the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry? The purpose of this paper is to examine what influence tier level (classification), race, age and gender have on the non-compliance of the Tennessee Sexual Offender and Violent Sexual Offender Registration, Verification and Tracking Act of 2004. The Tennessee Sex Offender Registry has over 19,200 registered sex offenders. A portion of these offenders does not comply with the regulations of the registry which is a concern to the citizens and local law enforcement. Tennessee’s sex offenders populate 95 counties that are divided into four grand regions; west, middle, east, and northeast. Sex offenders are required to inform local law enforcement of address changes, jobs, schools, etc.; however, sometimes that doesn’t happen. One of Metro Nashville’s Police Department’s tasks is to eliminate sex offender registration violations. In 2011, Davidson County issued 385 warrants for sex offenders who did not comply with the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry. Overall, there were 499 arrests for registration violations in Metro Nashville Davidson County (Greenberg, 2012). Public registration has an enormous effect on all aspects of the lives of sex offenders and their families. There are a number of after- effects of sex offender registration as well as notification laws that can explain why sex offenders risk sanctioning for failing to register rather than deal with the ramifications of the daily life of being a registered sex offender (Wagner, 2011). Sex offenders are one of the most despised members of society. They commit outrageous crimes against the most vulnerable persons and are known to recidivate. Sex offenders are also perceived to resist or avoid rehabilitation. Society will not tolerate these types of criminals. There are specific laws in place to protect society from sex offenders. These laws have become stricter and apply to a variety of offenders. For example, residency laws which mandate where sex offenders can live upon release from incarceration. Twenty-two states currently have some form of residency law that restricts where sex offenders can live.
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Therapists’ perceptions of the therapeutic alliance in “Mandatory” therapy with sex offenders

Therapists’ perceptions of the therapeutic alliance in “Mandatory” therapy with sex offenders

This theme represents the issues and difficulties which are thrown up when there is a dynamic of doing necessary work with a person. One participant stated ‘it’s unusual I think to work with sex offenders individually who buy in to what you are doing in the way that you see with non-forensic settings’ [PK]. Ambivalence about undertaking therapeutic work presented difficulties for trying to engage with a person: ‘you still sometimes are in a room with someone and think you don’t even want me to be in this room. That is a challenge’ [PE]. Participants raised the issue of what this might mean for therapy, ‘so you get like a public agreement, private dissent, always being very aware of that dynamic’ [PD].
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The impact of science-based knowledge on attitudes towards sex offenders

The impact of science-based knowledge on attitudes towards sex offenders

This present study focuses on the influence of in-depth scientific knowledge on existing attitudes held by undergraduates. Participants are selected based on their probability to be working with sex offenders in their future careers. For this reason, the selected participants are all students within the field of (forensic) clinical psychology. The aim of the study is to investigate whether scientific knowledge can play a role in positively changing attitudes towards sex offenders. This is important, because, even though recidivism rates are relatively low among sex offenders, any sex crime that can be prevented is worth the effort, since a sexual offense can cause serious psychological harm for the victim (Hogue & Peebles, 1997; Ward & Beech, 2006). In the Netherlands, where the present study will be conducted, almost 7000 sex crimes were registered by the police in 2002. From 1985 to 2002 the number of sex crimes increased with over 40%, from 4800 crimes to 7000. It is likely that these numbers are an underestimation of the true extent of the situation, since not all victims of sexual offenses report the crime (Brouwers & Smit, 2005). Thus, even though recidivism rates for sexual offending are highly overestimated, there is still scope for improvement.
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Reflections on the public disclosure of sex offenders in the UK and considerations for the future

Reflections on the public disclosure of sex offenders in the UK and considerations for the future

makers, managers and practitioners with leading UK and international academics to facilitate learning from the recent UK pilots of a Sex Offender Public Disclosure scheme (Kemshall et al, 2010; Chan et al, 2010); focusing on the schemes impact upon sex offender reintegration and management, as well as public awareness.

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Criminal Recidivism of Illegal Pornography Offenders in the Overall Population—A National Cohort Study of 4612 Offenders in Switzerland

Criminal Recidivism of Illegal Pornography Offenders in the Overall Population—A National Cohort Study of 4612 Offenders in Switzerland

One of the major findings from the present study is the relatively low “progression rate” for those convicted of illegal pornography offences, predominantly of child pornography offences, to contact child sex offences. Still, ten of a total of 4249 consumers of illegal pornography were later reconvicted for having sexually abused children, and it would be important to try and identify the small minority at such risk. It is of course possible that the reconviction rate is smaller than the true offence rate. For example, in a Dutch study of child pornography offenders who were subjected to a polygraph examination, 21 of the 38 individuals who were examined and who had all denied any form of contact sexual offending behaviour towards children in their self-report, disclosed during the polygraph test that they had in fact committed contact sexual offences on children, including penetra- tion, penile masturbation and fondling (Buschman & Bogaerts, 2009). A more recent study from the same group in a similar sample of 24 offenders found significantly more high-risk behaviour to children disclosed in a poly- graph examination but did not report contact offences (Buschman et al., 2010).
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