We now have added "Informational Posts" which are tidbits of information that may come in handy at some point.


September 2008:

Reagan Daly. Treatment and Reentry Practices for Sex Offenders: An Overview of States. New York: Vera Institute of Justice, 2008.

Executive Summary
Over the past 15 years, the response of the criminal justice system to people who have been convicted of a sex offense has become increasingly punitive, relying heavily on incarceration. Yet, a consequent increase in criminal justice costs has led some states to reconsider their response to sex offenders. Concerns about public safety and the protection of victims remain the primary focus, but many states have also invested in treatment and reentry programs as alternatives to incarceration for some people.

Although the content and structure of treatment and reentry programs vary considerably from one jurisdiction to another, few if any resources provide criminal justice officials and policymakers an overview of these programs or a comparative assessment of their effectiveness. This report attempts to address these issues by providing an overview and analysis of existing treatment and reentry practices for sex offenders who are involved with the criminal justice system. It focuses, specifically, on four broad areas of practice: treatment in prison, treatment under community supervision, reentry programming, and community supervision. Interviews with state officials and treatment providers from 37 states that responded to our survey revealed several findings:

• In both prison and community settings, the treatment of sex offenders is generally grounded in evidence-based practices, especially cognitive-behavioral therapy. In general, treatment is much more available in the community than in institutional settings.

• In most of the participating states, community-based treatment for sex offenders is supported, at least in part, by collecting fees from those in treatment—a circumstance that may limit access to these programs.

• Standardized risk assessment tools such as the STATIC-99 are now widely used nationally in both prison- and community-based treatment programs. Needs assessment tools, especially the ACUTE, are becoming more prevalent in community supervision.

No reentry initiatives were found that specifically target sex offenders. Although eligible for general reentry programming in most states, people convicted of a sexual offense have few, if any, options for reentry programming that addresses their unique needs.

eAdvocate Note: Further, the Second Chance Act (HR-1593) passed in 2008, specifically PROHIBITS sex offenders from any programs funded by this Act.
(a) Eligible Offenders-
(1) IN GENERAL- In this section, the term `eligible offender' means an individual who--

(A) is 18 years of age or older;

(B) has been convicted as an adult and imprisoned under Federal or State law;

(C) has never been convicted of a violent or sex-related offense; and

(D) except as provided in paragraph (2), has been released from a prison or jail for not more than 180 days before the date on which the individual begins participating in a grant program carried out under this section.

• Correctional institutions and community supervision agencies in most states share information about the case histories and treatment plans of sex offenders who are
returning to the community from prison. Research suggests that this type of inter-agency communication can help reduce recidivism.

• In general, community supervision agencies manage risk and provide services. Research suggests that this is an effective approach to reducing recidivism.

• A limited number of states are conducting research on their own treatment, reentry, and supervision initiatives. Almost no studies have examined these programs from a cost-benefit perspective.

For the remainder of this study: by Reagan Daly

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