The California Coalition on Sexual Offending (CCOSO) is developing positions on various relevant issues. We will express these positions in a series of papers that will guide our educational efforts.
The papers will represent all of us and will likely affect policy throughout the State. The CCOSO Board of Directors will solicit membership input before officially adopting a paper as the Coalition’s Guidelines or position on an issue.
CCOSO Guidelines, Informational or Position Papers
These documents have been accepted as formal CCOSO positions.
Sexually Abusive Youth Residence, Recidivism, and Registration: Critical Implications of AB 403
The California Coalition on Sexual Offending (CCOSO) developed this paper to address three very complicated issues involving sexually abusive youth: residence, recidivism, and registration. These issues are addressed separately in the text below although they have overlapping elements. Part One briefly addresses the three issues; Part Two provides a deeper rationale for CCOSOs concerns in these areas. Sexually Abusive Youth 2017 CCOSO.pdf
TREATMENT COMPLETION CONSIDERATIONS
Assessing “Treatment Completion”
The need for California-specific criteria to determine when treatment has been “completed” for Penal Code (PC) 290 Registrants, who have participated in a sex offender treatment program, has led to the creation of the Treatment Completion Criteria Work Group under the auspices of the California Coalition On Sexual Offending (CCOSO). The efforts of the Work Group have resulted in this document.
The CCOSO Work Group took into consideration a sampling of treatment completion criteria and checklists used in numerous programs throughout the nation. Although no well-established and readily-adoptable model was identified which would meet California’s needs, considerable consensus was found among the criteria reviewed.
The approach provided here is put forth as the recommended California model for adult community-based sex offender treatment programs when determining treatment completion.
The CCOSO Work Group’s intention in providing guidelines is identical to that of the 2014 Adult Practice Guidelines published by the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA): to help sex-offender-specific treatment providers evaluate a client’s progress in meeting the goals and objectives of his or her treatment plan - a treatment plan which is designed to reduce identified risk factors for re-offense and increase stability along with prosocial behaviors.
In developing these guidelines, the goal was to create a useful tool that will help treatment providers and others involved in sex offender management make good case management decisions that acknowledge the importance and benefit of successful treatment completion.
Making such a tool available will help California’s systems of sex offender management achieve the ultimate goal: reduce sexual recidivism.
GUIDELINES FOR THE ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT OF SEXUALLY ABUSIVE JUVENILES
The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance for the assessment and treatment of male juveniles, between 11 and 17 years of age, who have come to the attention of law enforcement and may or may not have a sustained sexual offense (i.e. they may be on either formal or informal probation). These youth are referred to as sexually abusive juveniles because the term “juvenile” includes youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Experts in this field have repeatedly urged that such juveniles not be described as “sex offender” because such a label carries misleading implications about their probable future behavior. These implications are not supported by the research. These guidelines are written with the aim of preventing recidivism and promoting the prosocial development of the youth. These guidelines are for professionals conducting the assessment and treatment of this population. The intent of these guidelines is to help reduce sexual violence victimization by providing more effective assessment and treatment as well as by encouraging enhanced collaboration between relevant agencies. Adol Guidelines.pdfAdol Guidelines.pdf
Guidelines and Best Practices: Adult Male Sexual Offender Treatment 2010
The prevalence of sexual abuse is difficult to determine. In 2007 an estimated 248,300 reported sexual assaults occurred against individuals above the age of 13 years in the United States1. In 2006, 79,000 cases of substantiated instances of sexual abuse occurred against children under the age of 132. It is estimated that less than 10% of sex crimes are detected. Research on un-disclosed sexual abuse suggests that the actual number of sexual abuse incidents per year. adultguidelines.pdf
THE CALIFORNIA SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR STATUTE: HISTORY, DESCRIPTION & AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
An informational guide for the citizens, professionals, and legislators of California
Across the nation, the subject of the violent repeat sexual offender elicits strong emotional reaction from the public, which in turn motivates legislators to increase criminal justice sanctions for sexual offense perpetrators. Among the most stringent of such responses is involuntary civil commitment legislation for sexual offenders, often referred to as Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) laws. In 1996, California emerged as the fifth state to enact SVP legislation. The SVP statute allows for post-incarceration detainment of sexual offenders determined to be mentally ill and dangerous (SVP, Section 6600, California Welfare & Institutions Code). Although the California Sexually Violent Predator statute was enacted over a decade ago, there remains much controversy among an array of professionals and private citizens regarding the purpose and merits of this legislation. CCOSO SVP Paper.pdf
Position Paper on Sex Offender Residence Restrictions
The past two decades have seen a dramatic increase in the number of state and federal laws in the United States intended to protect communities against sexual assault. Under these laws, penalties for sex crimes have increased significantly, including longer prison sentences and extended parole terms. Probation and parole offices throughout the country have tightened supervision of sex offenders, sometimes using GPS satellite tracking. The maintenance of sex offender “Registries” or data bases has become standard. In a number of states, including California, “civil commitment” statutes now seek to hold convicted child molesters and rapists in state mental hospitals far beyond their prison terms when they are deemed at high risk to re-offend. ResidenceRestrictionsPaper_0.pdf
Position Paper for Clinical Polygraph Examinations in Sex Offender Treatment
The polygraph instrument precisely records physiological measurements that are interpreted in accordance with specific protocols by professional polygraphists with specialized training. These interpretations are used to form professional opinions about whether an examinee was attempting deception while answering specific “relevant” questions during the examination. The California Coalition on Sexual Offending (CCOSO) supports post-conviction (clinical) polygraph testing of sex offenders. The CCOSO believes that post conviction sexual offender polygraph testing (PCSOT) motivates clients to be truthful about their past sexual behaviors, possible recent relapses, and high-risk conduct. polygraphdraft.pdf
Position Paper for Family Resolution
All child sexual abusers belong to families, have offended against families, will return to families, and/or at some time in the future, may create new families. Therefore, an important component of sex offender treatment is the sex offender’s consideration of the impact he/she had not only on the victim(s), but also on the families that were hurt by his/her abusive behavior.
Effective Management of Sex Offenders Residing in Open Communities
1. Although the number of sexual offenders behind bars continues growing, most eventually spend a portion of their sentence under some form of community supervision. Communities are best served when they have mechanisms in place that allow these offenders to participate productively in community life while holding them accountable for the harm caused by sexual assault and minimizing the likelihood of further assaults on their part. When sexual crimes are committed within families, relationships between victims and abusers may be especially multi-dimensional and complex, necessitating exceptionally sensitive and sophisticated management.
2. The California Coalition on Sexual Offending supports managing sexual offenders who are serving community sentences in ways that:
1. Maximize community safety while the offender serves his or her sentence
2. Minimize probability of further assaults after the offender is discharged from supervision
3. Further the best interests of already victimized individuals and their families, without unduly compromising community safety.