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Emotional Support Group Meetings 2020 (Phone only)


PA: This Vermont program might reduce sex offender recidivism. Could it work in Philly?

Counting down his last days in prison, Greg thought about his daughter, and the grandson he’d never met.

But his first days of freedom in Summer 2016 yielded more loss than gain. His fresh start was spoiled when Greg’s face appeared on the local television news. There were anticipatory town meetings, preceded by the police of his small Vermont town stepping up patrols, just for him. Within a couple months, Greg was asked to leave his stepfather’s house, before he ended up at a homeless shelter. Full Article

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  1. CR

    I liked this comment in the article:

    “Reformers argue that these registries, in pushing former offenders further to the fringes, actually lead to less accountability and more desperate behavior. State registries might be perpetuating sex offenses more than they’re preventing them.”

    But this statement from a Circle’s coordinator in North Carolina seems suspect, in that it mentions “recidivism” statistics that seem improbably high, based on credible current studies:

    … says Drew Doll, Durham’s Circles coordinator. “The average recidivism rate for Durham is 55 to 60 percent. For those people who spend a year with us [in the Circles program] that rate is under 10 percent. It makes a huge difference.”

    What is counting as evidence of recidivism? There is no way that the re-offense rate can be anywhere near those figures. It would be best to either explain that, or discuss re-offense rates, since that is what most people think of when they read or hear about recidivism.

    • AJ

      Part of the problem with trying to get anything achieved based off recidivism data is that there’s no set standard among the States. ( Without agreed definitions and standards, someone can almost always find a dataset that fits their argument.

      • AlexO

        I would think one simple standard would be “was the new crime actually sex based?”. Steeling candy, punching someone, DUI, etc. should not count as sexual recidivism. Eliminated that, there’s no way the norm is anywhere near the 50% mark. I wouldn’t even think this data would be hard to come by. Simply look at the conviction records and see what the actual crime was. Anyone applying convictions outside of this realm has a very clear goal in mind, and it’s not to simply to collect data.

    • David

      @CR, I also noted the reference to recidivism being reduced by 70%, but no mention of the Department of Justice statistics that indicate that sexual reoffense/recidivism rate is incredibly low already.
      I find it surprising and frustrating that a journalist puts in this much effort to write a lengthy, detailed article but doesn’t bother to research the real statistics and the real information, but just takes recidivism rates as common, accepted knowledge of “frightening and high”.

  2. Marty

    This “55-60%” recidivism rate being lowered to “10%” stinks of a Psychology Today article that used the term “frightening and high” to sell another program in the past. Does that sound familiar to anyone?

    • CR

      Yes, that crossed my mind. The people who are behind the Circles program may be as much or more interested in promoting and spreading their program as they are in the actual benefits to communities and former offenders. That is what the fellow behind the “80%” figure was doing. Selling a product.

  3. Tim Moore

    The real problem is not the recidivism rate. We are 95ers. The problem is fear in the general population based on the BS that was preached in Plano, Texas and became scripture through the legislatures of this nation. That may be Circles value, reversing that dogma. No other reintegration program focuses on changing the attitude of the public. Of course to sell the program in this social environment, they have to focus on their success with the repeat offender.

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