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CaliforniaGeneral News

CA: Tobin Resigns from CA Sex Offender Management Board

Tom Tobin, CEO of Sharper Future, has resigned from the California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) where he served as Vice Chairman for more than two years. Although no reason was given for his resignation, a growing number of complaints had been made that his participation on the board was at least an appearance of a conflict of interest because the company he leads provides counseling services to registrants.

Sharper Future is a subdivision of Pacific Forensic Psychology Associates, a California corporation, which Tobin also leads. Both organizations have been awarded multiple contracts by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation which is also represented on CASOMB.

Sharper Future has offices in five different California locations near Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

After Tobin’s resignation, there are a total of five vacancies on CASOMB including a representative from the Criminal Defense Attorneys Association. That vacancy has existed for more than a year and has resulted in an absence of a criminal defense perspective on that board.

Join the discussion

  1. Jonathan Hayward

    I have mixed feelings about this. He has pretty much been out of the loop for almost a year now so I don’t think this is a surprise to any of us. I will say that we often attack Tobin but forget that there are also other much larger sex offender providers in the state doing the exact same things sharper Future is doing. For example, HOPE has the contract in San Diego and the bay area and many other cities, CPC has contracts in the central valley, and that’s not forget about ANEW program in Southern California that services a ton of sex offenders. Sadly, I have been in treatment with almost all of these providers and can tell you they all are the same. Sharper future, CPC, Hope, ANEW…they all did the same thing. They all do a polygraph. They all take taxpayer money. They all use new and unlicensed staff. If we are going to attack Sharper Future we better attack the other big three as well. In my humble opinion, some of the other programs I went to I mentioned above were actually worse than sharper future. But that’s just my two cents. I would be curious to hear what other people say.

    So farewell Tobin, But I’m not holding my breath that there isn’t another just like him and a program just like his already doing the same work and about to take his chair on the board.

  2. Robert Curtis

    The position available could be filled by Chance, Janice or another of our attorney colleagues….

    • David

      @ Robert Curtis: I will second that idea!! Then we might see some real, positive change!

    • Jonathan Hayward

      What a great idea! Janice go for it! Please please please

    • Might Not Be Worth The Time

      16 deeply entrenched career government bureaucrats versus 1 defense attorney? Might not even be worth it. I’m going to guess that the other bureaucrats are a-holes stuck in their way. Hypothetically, if Chance or Janice were to object to the polygraph, SARATSO/Static-99R schemes, etc… those other 16 a-holes will just say “oh, it’s all scientific.” Then they’ll write a report citing an “expert” like Karl Hanson saying it’s “empirical,” “evidence-based,” and “scientific.”

      Chance and Janice’s efforts might be best spent litigating (what they, especially Janice, do best), and maybe helping introduce legislation *if* it helps ALL those unfortunate enough to be labeled “sex offenders.”

      CASOMB, with all the junk “sciences” and dubious practices it endorses, might not even be worth the time. Especially if you’re just going to be trampled on all the time.

      • AO

        I’m guessing my counselor will be pushed harder to accept one of these positions and I hope he takes it. At least he and Janice would be the voices of reason on the board. He always disliked the Static-99. He hates the poly except for a single time use as a sex history thing that is not shared with anyone outside of the program, not even the PO’s, and was extremely against them forcing PO polies that our county (state?) started mandating in my last year of supervision. He loathed the California law change that would make it mandatory for him to reports any admitted use of CP, circumventing the patient/client confidentiality. He basically doesn’t like anything where it would erode the trust between the patients and the counselors. He basically sees it like the government gives out the base punishment, but the treatment should be left 100% to counselors without government interference. And he absolutely hates the registry. I really hope he takes a position on the board. He’s very well respected and would be a huge benefit for all of us.

    • Harry

      Mr. Runner properly wants the job.

  3. Good Riddance, But Tobin's Still Around

    Though Tom Tobin is gone, Tobin infected CASOMB and California’s laws for many years to come.

    Tom Tobin peddled the Static-99 and 99R progeny, presumably to increase “treatment” duration and frequency for “High” Risk Sex Offenders, resulting in more tax funding for his Sharper Future program. CDCR sex offender reports only cite the High Risk Sex Offender (HRSO) label for one year after a person’s release, resulting in the false and misleading illusion that an HRSO has a “high” lifetime risk.

    CASOMB’s Static-99R “studies,” which rely on Karl Hanson’s non-transparent “trade secret” (no joke) sample, only examine the Static-99R for a five-year period after release. And virtually all of CASOMB’s “studies” that give raving reviews of the Static-99R are either authored or co-authored by Karl Hanson himself. Yet another conflict-of-interest in plain sight!

    All of Tom Tobin’s Static-99R claims are in direct contrast to the fact that after five-years that an offender has remained in the community offense-free, “risk” is halved. This is per the Static-99R’s very own Coding Rules! So virtually no offender, at least the ones who remain offense-free for at least five years, deserves lifetime registration and/or to be labeled “Tier 3.” Even the 20 year requirement is a complete joke, considering risk drops to half after five years!

    With the tiered registry law, under the misleading pseudonym “SARATSO tool,” Tobin’s Static-99R will further infect WHO will be required to register for LIFE. Many of those who are deemed “high” risk by the Static-99R sham are non-violent offenders who committed their offense at a young age — since non-violence and young age are given higher scores. A disproportionate figure of those deemed “high” by Tobin’s Static are gay — since those with a male victim are also given higher scores.

    As CASOMB co-chair for over a decade, we have Tom Tobin to thank for the SARATSO/Static-99R/”tool”/”instrument”/Minority Report sham. If, as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” then let Tobin be judged for the junk “science” and practices (i.e. ABEL, polygraph, Static, unlicensed clinicians, dubious “client” contracts, etc.) that Tobin sells in his so-called treatment program.

    Keep in mind that even though Tom Tobin has stepped down, Tobin is still CEO of Sharper Future — the largest CDCR contracted “treatment” program. Not doubt that Tobin still has the connections to influence law, policy, and grow/retain CDCR contracts. I suspect that “doctor” Tobin will now work behind the scenes and out of government transparency. Given my familiarity with Tobin and Tobin’s practices, this is a particularly troubling thought.

    • Jonathan Howard

      I agree, lots will remain. But want to point your attention to the fact that Sharper is actually not the largest anymore. After last round they only hold 8 of the over almost 3 dozen contracts. The contracts they hold are pretty small these days. If you want to know who is the largest and actually hold more parolees in their CDCR contracts… check out HOPE Program run by Dr. Shannon Smith or Open Door run by Dr. Scott. Don’t forget about CPC that has a strangle hold on Northern CA and most of the central valley. Interestingly, CPC is actually owned out of New York! Talk about a money making scam!!! Oh and if we include county and federal probation clients (not CDCR) then you can’t miss ANEW out of Los Angeles. OMG, they have tons of clients in scam treatment. So yes Tobin is gone. His agency is shrinking… but we cannot forget there are other providers getting much richer, larger and in my opinion doing worse work. All of the programs above have connections on CASOMB. So Tobin is gone, but greedy providers will still have a voice. Let’s get a defense person on CASOMB! We must start to explore the other programs and expose their ways too!! Otherwise people believe the only scam is Tobin and Sharper which is faaaaar from the truth!

    • CR

      “A disproportionate figure of those deemed “high” by Tobin’s Static are gay — since those with a male victim are also given higher scores.”

      That appears to be supported by SMART/DOJ studies. See the google doc below. They looked at re-offense rates for different types of sexual offenses, and found higher rates for some of them. Unrelated boy re-offenses higher than unrelated girl higher than related boy higher than related girl, for example.

      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q3M0m_0hhySzmC4pqw0j2y0432O7mK780iNxclHdU3o/edit

      https://all4consolaws.org/2018/03/ca-sex-offender-management-board-to-release-recidivism-report/comment-page-1/

      https://all4consolaws.org/2018/03/general-comments-march-2018/comment-page-2/#comment-203046

      • AO

        The data though is somewhat incorrectly presented here and/or incomplete. Straight males who had male victims have higher rate of recidivism. Not gay men specifically with male victims. A gay man with a male victims is more or less equivalent to a straight man with a female victim.

      • "SMART?"

        Not all “sex offenders” with a male victim are child molesters. It’s also interesting to note that many of SMART’s “studies” cite Karl Hanson. And Karl Hanson has this terrible habit of citing himself. Karl Hanson citing Karl Hanson citing Karl Hanson is something that the academics have never questioned in citing Karl Hanson.

        Which brings me to yet another flaw within the Static-99R: The Static-99R lumps all types of sex offenders and sex offenses together. When an actuarial assessment lumps a variety of people and their offenses together, what exactly is the Static measuring? Tom Tobin loves to compare the Static to insurance actuaries. However, Tobin’s comparison is inherently flawed because insurance actuaries are limited in sample representative. Also, insurance actuaries are limited in the time that they claim to provide predictions (usually only a few years).

        Here, we are dealing with the constitutional civil rights of people. Despite what Tobin may say, the God-given rights of a person must NOT be subject to the whims of “junk” statically derived tests. Even if Tobin’s business may just happen to benefit from said junk “science.”

        The fact that the Static-99R was even included in the tiered registry law, and hid under the name “SARATSO,” is even more perplexing. There are literally an infinite number of flaws to the Static-99R.

    • Static 99 Sham

      Thing about being gay is that it’s a protected class. Karl Hanson’s Static sham does disproportionately harm gays. As for scoring non contacts higher… wtf kind of logic is that? If all other things are equal, and you got a peeping tom vs. a freakin’ violent rapist, the peeping tom actually gets a higher Static score than the rapist!! Again, wtf. Defies basic logic.

      Also, one more thing about the Static. Why do younger men score higher? Young men may be more easily malleable and maybe not ‘set in their ways.’ Static sham doesn’t even adjust for age as a man matures. Again, Static 99 sham!!

      • CR

        “Thing about being gay is that it’s a protected class.”

        If by “protected class” you mean federal legislation that outlaws discrimination nationwide against gay people, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, then you are wrong. Some states and municipalities provide certain specific non-discrimination protections in one or more contexts. But while these are on the increase, they are not nationwide or comprehensive, like the protections guaranteed under the Civil Rights Act to those classes of people who are specifically named there.

        It is legal to discriminate against LGBT people in employment, housing, and private and public services in much (most?) of the US. LGBT people, of course, have all the same civil rights as non-LGBT, but that is not the same as being a protected class, and some states are actively passing laws that explicitly allow specific forms of discrimination against gay people in certain contexts, such as religious or conscience-based exceptions to adoption, marriage services, etc.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_United_States

        I agree with you that the Static 99R is a scam. I also think that laws that differentiate on the basis of sexual orientation should be subject to heightened scrutiny. But presently, that is not the case.

      • Call It What It Is

        CORRECTION: The Static-99R is a SCAM, not merely a “sham.” Calling the Static-99R a sham is giving the Static-99R scam too much credit.

        As for CR, he or she makes an eloquent point. Also, here is anonbinding document from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that interpreted “sex,” under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to include orientation:

        https://www.eeoc.gov/decisions/0120133080.pdf

  4. kind of living

    As much money these programs are racking in you can bet no matter who sits on that board stand to get many pay offs in our blunt future .

  5. Debo

    They are just avoiding the fact that its all punitive and they are going to have to give a person due process in order to prove a person is such a threat to the public they can impose more punitive restriction on a person This is what has to happen. Anything else the glove don’t fit and you must acquit.

  6. Agamemnon

    I would nominate Dylan Ford to take the Defense Attorney seat on CASOMB. He’s based out of LA and has been terrific in helping registrants, including winning a lawsuit that ended outrageous residency restrictions for most parolees.

  7. Lyle Sakamoto

    Chance, Janice or their selected attorney would be FANTASTIC!

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