Responses to Violation Behaviors

Agency policies and procedures should provide for a continuum of sanctions and other responses to violation behaviors in order to guide decisionmaking. Depending upon the nature and seriousness of the behavior or violation, supervision officers should discuss violation behaviors with other members of the collaborative case management team and strive to develop a coordinated response, keeping in mind that it is important to respond to all violations and non–compliance as quickly as possible (Cumming & McGrath, 2000, 2005; Greer, 1997; Ryan, 1997a, 1997b; Scott, 1997).

In addition, officers should keep in mind that—as discussed in other sections of this protocol—most sex offenses are not spontaneous or unplanned. Rather, there are often identifiable precursors such as thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that come before them. As such, officers can work proactively to anticipate problems, intervene before they become worse, and thereby reduce the likelihood of a more serious transgression or reoffense.

Decisions about the types of responses to risk factors, non–compliance, and violation behaviors that occur during the course of supervision should be driven, in part, by the following (Cumming & McGrath, 2000, 2005; English et al., 1996, 2003; NAPN, 1993; NCJFCJ, 2005):

It is also important that supervision officers recognize that some non–compliance is to be expected in their work with sex offenders, and that one of the goals of their responses and interventions is to provide these offenders with sufficient opportunity to disclose concerns or problems voluntarily, develop and practice effective and appropriate coping skills, modify their behaviors, and ultimately maintain placement in the community. Thus, it is preferable that supervision officers utilize a range of pre–revocation interventions, responses, or graduated sanctions, including:

There are also viable treatment– and programming–based options, such as:

It is also recognized that in some circumstances (e.g., multiple or repeated instances of non–compliance, very high risk activities, new criminal behavior), an immediate and severe response may be required in order to ensure victim and community safety, including potential revocation of community supervision and subsequent incarceration. With juveniles, if parents or caregivers are unable or unwilling to provide adequate structure or support to manage the juvenile sex offender’s behaviors, an out–of–home placement in a more restrictive setting may be required to ensure victim and community safety (Bengis, 1997; NAPN, 1993; NCJFCJ, 2005; Ryan, 1997a, 1997b).

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