Section 1: Supervision of Sex Offenders
in The Community:
An Overview of The Training
3 hours, 45 minutes
TOPIC: ORGANIZATION OF THE TRAINING
The training is organized into five major sections (four in addition to this overview section) which will be delivered over the following 2-3 days.
- Section 1: Supervision of Sex Offenders in the Community: An Overview. This section provides insight into the need for a specialized approach to the supervision of sex offenders in the community, details the goals of the curriculum, and previews its content. It also introduces participants to the conceptual basis and some of the emerging thinking that supports a specialized approach to supervising sex offenders in the community. It focuses, for instance, on the importance of having a clearly articulated, shared philosophy of supervision to guide all practitioners and stakeholders in their work. It also articulates some of the most prominent themes emerging from practice, including the importance of a victim-centered approach to supervision and the need for collaboration across traditional boundaries of agency and discipline.
Section 2: Innovative Approaches to Supervision of Sex Offenders in the Community. This section covers some of the current strategic thinking regarding how best to use existing resources to ensure the successful supervision of offenders in the community. How can the components of supervision be arrayed into an effective strategy? This section addresses, for example, what it means to conduct victim-centered supervision; the necessity and benefits of collaboration beyond agency boundaries; the use of a Containment Approach to supervision, including the use of the polygraph; supervision networks; and the use of a sanction/reward approach to supervision.
Note: For additional information on this topic, please see CSOM's forthcoming module on the role of victims and victim advocates in sex offender management.
- Section 3: Components of Supervision: Specialized Approaches to Managing Sex Offenders. This section outlines and describes the specific componentstools, activities, and methodsof sex offender supervision. They include caseload specialization, the information necessary to make decisions regarding supervision, the pre-sentence investigation, assessment, the case plan, classification, the case file, conditions of supervision, surveillance, victim impact/safety considerations, and monitoring compliance. The section focuses in particular on how and why the components of supervision necessary to supervise sex offenders safely and effectively in the community differ from those often applied to other types of criminal offenders.
- Section 4: Sex Offender-Specific Treatment in the Context of Supervision. This section outlines the current state of knowledge regarding offense-specific treatment, an emerging approach to the supervision of sex offenders in the community. The section explores the appropriate treatment of sex offenders, including what is known about its effectiveness and characteristics and how and why supervision agents should collaborate with treatment providers in the context of supervision. The section also briefly discusses the use of the polygraph in supervision and treatment.
- Section 5: Practical Supervision Strategies. This section focuses on some of the important "how to" areas for probation/parole officers. It covers techniques for gaining the cooperation of offenders, conducting effective interviews, maintaining control of interactions with offenders, and dealing with offender denial. It describes effective case work with sex offenders in various settings, including the probation/parole office, the offender's home, and the community. The section also focuses on understanding and using relapse prevention techniques to monitor and understand the flags, triggers, seemingly unimportant decisions, and other warning signs that are a part of sex offenders' offense cycles. It explains why maintaining a well-organized case file is important and reviews some suggestions on developing such a file and keeping it up-to-date. Finally, the section explains the importance of understanding the impact of this work on probation/parole officers themselves, and offers a number of practical suggestions to counteract that impact.