All tagged sex offender treatment
Although his most recent crime was not a sexual offense, he was nonetheless mandated to take the Static-99 assessment before being released from prison last month. I’m taking his word for this: he scored well on the test and was deemed “low risk”. But by the time he reached his home county, somehow the low risk score ended up being high risk, with strict mandates. How? Read more.
Social workers provide the lion’s share of sex offender treatment in this country. Many have a bias against sex offenders; some think anyone with that label will never be successful in treatment.
Thankfully, most providers see sex offenders as being able to rehabilitate themselves. Without that window hope, without a deep trust between the treatment provider and the client, the chances of successful treatment are slim.
“There are basically two types of treatment,” said Sean, a former sex offender. "The first assumes offenders are fundamentally screwed up and that treatment providers are tasked with breaking you down, and confronting your denial," he said.
The second type of treatment approaches the issue from a different angle, Sean continued. “It assumes offenders are human. We have darkness and light in us, but we are basically worthwhile.” From that vantage point, he was asked to examine himself thoroughly, including his formative years. “I had to discover what was lacking so that I chose to meet my needs in unhealthy ways.”
The act of remembering our essence, not our actions, is the centerpiece of becoming present to your behavior. Who we are, fundamentally, does not change because we were convicted of a crime. Who we are fundamentally is human, bones and flesh, brilliance and bloopers.
The pathology of this thinking aims the offender in the direction of action: “I must take what I want.” Unfortunately, this thinking derives from a selective reading of Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species (competition is the basis for positive change). Sadly, too, this thinking underpins the practice of Capitalism.
As the eclipse approached totality, people's minds shifted away from difference. Under the spell of nature, we became united in awe and wonder. We went a little bit pagan, feeling humbled by the magnificence and the magnitude of our solar system. Our squabbles quieted in concert with a hush that fell everywhere. The birds and bees landed and watched. The flowers blinked too, wondering whether this day would return and sustain them.
There is a silver lining for the young man, too, but it's a thin one. In order to get out from under the sex offender label, he must be drug free, and crime free for five years. He must visit his probation officer regularly, and be subjected to urinalysis. And he must complete sex offender training. (I told her to tell him that shopping for the right treatment provider is like shopping for a counselor, or a reputable car dealer.)
I mentioned to her that sex offender treatment was different for women than men. She then said something I truly did not expect, “I think there are more women sex offenders than people imagine. Women just aren’t thought of as sex abusers,” she said. “And the crimes they commit are pretty hard to detect and quantify,” she added.
Sex offenders are particularly worrisome to those who fear further victimization of the community. In terms of public information, there is a lot of information available online, and there is a big gap between what's available and what is understood.
State laws in the U.S. may preclude this being applicable but shows the way to more humane treatment that may also be more effective.