Sex Offender Management
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, at yearend 2005 there were more than 160,000 offenders convicted of rape or sexual assault in state prisons. The vast majority of these offenders will be released to communities at some point in the future. Additionally, there are presently more than 700,000 registered sex offenders residing in communities across the U.S. These numbers create a significant management challenge to criminal justice professionals. In response to this challenge, lawmakers have enacted many laws and policies aimed at controlling sex offenders in communities; and for those under some form of community supervision (i.e., probation or parole), a variety of strategies have evolved to effectively manage these offenders.
The evolution of sex offender management has brought about changes in the ways that criminal justice professionals supervise and treat offenders, as well as the ways in which they communicate and collaborate with others involved in the management of sex offenders. Sex offender management is much more than simply supervision and treatment conducted by a few knowledgeable individuals in a community, effective sex offender management necessitates a comprehensive approach, one that the SMART Office supports.
The Comprehensive Approach to sex offender management is a framework that has been developed to define and encourage a strategic and collaborative response to managing sex offenders and reducing recidivism. The Comprehensive Approach offers a promising and well–grounded framework that jurisdictions can consider using to build an informed, integrated set of policies and practices to promote the shared goal of ensuring victim and community safety.
Since 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs has administered the Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Offender Management (CASOM) Grant Program. Authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 13941, the CASOM Program has provided funds to 176 state, local and tribal jurisdictions to enhance and improve the management of sex offenders in their communities. Over the past decade, CASOM program funds have been assisting jurisdictions in implementing and maintaining cutting-edge sex offender management programs throughout the country. For instance, under CASOM jurisdictions have created standards for treatment and supervision of adults and juveniles, employed sex offender-specific assessment and truth-verification tools, enhanced advocacy and support to victims, developed specialized sex offender courts, and improved information sharing and collaboration within and across disciplines and jurisdictions.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance previously administered the CASOM grant program and in FY2010, the SMART Office continues its support of CASOM through the Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Offender Management Grant Program and the Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Offender Management Training and Technical Assistance Program.
The SMART Office is providing funding for a training program that supports the development and enhancement of comprehensive strategies for sex offender management. The training is designed for all those involved in the management of adult sex offenders and juveniles who commit sexual offenses. This is a basic training that emphasizes the importance of collaboration and system‐wide planning that promotes community safety. Training topics include an overview of the comprehensive approach, who offenders are, and what we know about victims of sexual crimes. Sex offender assessment, registration, treatment, and monitoring, as well as public education and collaboration will be covered in this 2-day training. For more information about these trainings, visit http://www.fvtc.edu/casom.
Training and Technical Assistance Opportunity on Sex Offender Management for Judges and Their Agency Partners
Through funding from the FY2011 Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Offender Management Training and Technical Assistance Program, the National Judicial College (NJC) and the Center for Effective Public Policy’s Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) are providing training and technical assistance to courts and their partners as a means of enhancing sex offender management efforts within the Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Offender Management model. This assistance will be offered in the forms of:
- Multi-disciplinary training events to be provided in local jurisdictions regarding the CASOM model; and
- Targeted technical assistance to address specific issues in order to support the efforts of the courts and their partners in enhancing sex offender management efforts.
The training and technical assistance will be conducted during 2013 and 2014. Because resources are limited, sites will be selected on a competitive basis. Information about this assistance is available at: http://www.judges.org/smart/