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Long Version
Section 2: Lecture Content and Teaching Notes
Innovative Approaches to Supervision of Sex Offenders in the Community

3 hours, 55 minutes

(10 minutes)

Use Slide # SymbolUse Slide #22: Networks of Supervision
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Collaboration for sex offender management, then, takes many forms. Beginning with the notion of collaboration between supervision and treatment and expanded to include the victim advocate and polygraph examiner, the idea of a collaborative approach to supervision has expanded in some jurisdictions to include family members, friends, employers, community police officers, volunteers, and others.

Some jurisdictions have moved beyond the concept of a team of professionals involved in offender management to individuals who are directly involved with the offender, such as a victim or an offender's family. In a family in which child molestation has occurred, it is particularly important that the family members responsible for protecting the child be made aware of the offender's cycle of offending and risk factors. In those instances, probation/parole agencies have drawn others—such as employers, neighbors, or volunteers—into the network to create a constant source of information and supervision.

The state of Vermont has been very successful in developing a supervision network. In Vermont, trained volunteers are an active part of the supervision network and work with supervision agents and treatment providers to supervise sex offenders more safely and effectively in the community.

It is important to consider who might be helpful as a member of an offender's supervision network, and who would not. Below are questions that should be asked to identify those appropriate for a supervision network:

Use Slide # SymbolUse Slide #23: Likely Candidates for a Network of Supervision
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  • Do they believe the offender committed the offense?
  • Are they knowledgeable about the offense dynamics? Do they know and are they able to recognize the offender's risk factors?
  • Do they agree to not keep secret the offender's risky activities?
  • Are they willing to speak with the probation/parole officer about the offender's activities?
  • Are they safe from potential victimization?
  • Is the probation/parole officer welcome to contact them or come to their home or place of business?

Only individuals about whom each of these questions can be answered in the affirmative should be considered as candidates for a supervision network.