In Puritan America, a married woman’s illicit affair with a minister landed her in jail. After her release, Hester Prynne was sentenced to forever wear a big red “A” on her dress. 

Nearly 375 years later, the U.S. continues to be scandalized, tantalized and perplexed by sex, especially about sex offenders. Tough on crime, we’re still struggling to learn: 

  • Why domestic violence and incest are so under-reported by victims? 
  • Why most people think every sexual offender is a serial rapist? 
  • Why, even among therapists, many continue to believe sex-offenders to be untreatable? 
  • Why supervision after offenders’ release tends to-wards punitive rather than restorative? 

It’s time to bring the subject of sex crime out of the dark ages, time to help victims shed the shame and trauma of their experience. It’s also time to allow offenders an opportunity to show they can change, make amends and start to earn back trust and acceptance from society.

Post Prison Supervision - New Tactics Yielding Better Results

Post Prison Supervision - New Tactics Yielding Better Results

Edward Latessa deserves an award. As a researcher and professor at the University of Cincinnati, he has helped to make the lives of people under correctional supervision (parole or probation) easier and more productive.

Latessa found that the "old" way of supervising parolees and probationers was ineffective, and perhaps even cruel. With large caseloads, parole and probation officers (PO) have too little time to spend with any one person on their caseload. The short meetings then are stuffed with standard questions (got a job? staying sober?) that fail to establish any connection or trust. The PO is thus seen as authoritarian. 

The EPICS system (Effective Practices in Community Supervision) that Latessa helped to develop reduces caseloads because the PO is tasked with being a resource person, a strategist, and even a champion. From the website dedicated to the EPICS, you find that what works better than authoritarian tactics is how to be a partner to the person's change. Here's a link to the presentation. 

Eclipse Thinking

Eclipse Thinking

Reentry Can Be a Trap