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National

IN: Prison Sex Offender Treatment vs. The Fifth

Remember the Inquisition where you could either deny your guilt and get burned at the stake, or confess and get burned at the stake? The idea was that since confessing saves you from eternal damnation, the Inquisition was simply a strict and intensive rehabilitation program, enforcing “acceptance of responsibility” for the offender’s own good. Full Article

Related

IN: 7th Circuit rules DOC sex offender program violates Constitution

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  1. Bo

    Can anyone link to another non-prison or probation program where polygraphs are used as part of treatment?

    • Sam

      They do polygraphs as part of the program here in Oklahoma.

      • Anonymous

        NY probation does it in the forced treatment groups too. Very expensive & often. Other types of “tests” too. You won’t find much information about any of it anywhere. It’s a secretive program & contract.

    • Fuzzy

      @Bo

      Michigan uses it for parole, but only in 3 counties. I had to do one and was apparently “deceptive”, which caused me to basically be put on house arrest for months. I was also on GPS tether at the time prior to and during the polygraph. I don’t know what I was “deceptive” about, I was never told or allowed to look at any of the results. I was also not permitted to retake it. 6 months later I moved to a different county that doesn’t do them, and all prior restrictions were lifted and I was taken off GPS tether. The whole ordeal was absurd, and I feel the results of the polygraph was retribution to me working with the ACLU here to get some of my parole stipulations relaxed.

      • Will Allen

        The whole “$EX offender” nonsense is all just a giant pile of stupidity. I think part of the reason that they use polygraphs is that they want it to appear as if they have a clue. Like they are doing something intelligent and useful. That is what they want to sell to the public that pays them and keeps them big.

        The crazy thing is that if a person uses polygraphs then it is concrete proof that they are clueless. Smart, informed people know they don’t work. Or perhaps they “work” by intimidating the dumbest 5% of the targeted people? Is it worth that?

  2. Worried In Wisconsin

    During the time I was in the SOTP here in Wisconsin we had to do a thorough inventory of our past sexual history. We were given specific instructions on how to do this without putting ourselves at legal risk, but many program participants were leery of completing the inventory for obvious reasons. The basics of the instructions were to use pseudonyms for victims, not to be specific as to time and place, and not to provide enough information to trigger mandatory reporting. I felt like we were being asked to walk a tight-rope, because if we gave too little information our inventory was rejected, and if we gave too much information it might be passed on to a prosecutor.

    Some chose to not complete the inventory. They were eventually removed from the program. It was a difficult decision for me, but in the end I went forward with it. There was only one door out of confinement, and it was necessary to complete SOTP before walking through that door.

    I was already locked up. Treatment completion was necessary to be released. If I didn’t complete SOTP there was a good chance of being held as a predator after my sentence. The upside of completing treatment was bigger than the potential for legal risk involved in doing the inventory needed to move forward.

    I was one of the lucky few that successfully completed the 3-1/2 year long SOTP, got a transfer to a minimum security lockup working on a farm, and was granted early parole. For me it worked out.

    • Will Allen

      Just seems idiotic to me that people think that “therapy” is needed for anything that involves $EX but not for all kinds of clearly more dangerous and damaging crimes. I really can’t understand that at all.

      I think good therapy for just about anything can help just about anyone. But the government forced therapy didn’t seem good or useful at all. It’s possible that it’s even counterproductive. So given that it isn’t going to help a person, why should a person worry much about how they “complete” the program? For these $EX history reports, why wouldn’t a person write down only what the criminal regime already knows and nothing further?

      If the person is in prison for molesting one child, why would the person write that they molested more than one? Fear of polygraph? BFD. Just write down one victim and never say anything else, for any reason. I don’t expect these $EX history reports have ever helped anyone. But I bet they’ve hurt many people. And it wouldn’t surprise me if they hurt people decades after they are completed (e.g. in a petition to be released from Registering).

      • Worried In Wisconsin

        You clearly have not participated in a good treatment program. I have, both SOTP in prison and private treatment afterwards. While I don’t agree with all the methods/techniques used in the SOTP I did while locked up, there is no question in my mind that these programs were helpful in many ways.

        Wisconsin used to be quite progressive in the way it handled corrections issues. Not as much anymore, but still more so than many other states. There are actually many treatment options available for people in Wisconsin prisons – not just for those with sex offenses.

        I’m going to go against the common thought here, but the answer to why one should talk about all their history and not just what they were caught for is simple – to move forward and deal with the issues on the table. I wanted to move past all the crap I was carrying around. I wanted to deal with the issues as they were, not as I wanted them to be. I wanted to be honest with myself and those trying to help me.

        If you talk to anyone that’s been in your shoes, you know almost instantly when they’re full of BS. There’s no way I could have pretended that the charges I faced were the only issues in my life.

        The problem with these forced inventories isn’t their existence, it’s the use of heavy-handed tactics to obtain compliance. The problem is not informing those in treatment programs how to talk about their past history without putting themselves in legal jeopardy. The problem is not having strong enough policies and procedures to allow people in treatment to move forward honestly without fear of further ramifications. Punishing someone for not completing treatment is crazy, although I have no problem making treatment a condition of early release.

        • Will Allen

          I did participate in a good treatment program that had nothing to do with government and wasn’t forced upon me. It was very good and beneficial.

          I also participated in a treatment program that was forced upon me by government and that was really little more than an extension of the probation/parole department. That treatment was worthless. Counterproductive even, nearly certainly.

          I agree with pretty much everything you said. But the problem with doing an “inventory” as part of any therapy that is attached to government is that it seems like it will almost nearly always be attempted to be used against you in some way at some time. It might be decades later when you least expect it. I can certainly see them using them during petitions begging to be removed from the Registries.

          I found out fairly quickly that government (of course, the “people” in government) weren’t really interested in the truth. They were interested in harming me to the greatest extent and level that they could and the truth didn’t matter. So I stopped worrying about giving them the truth. They still aren’t interested in the truth a couple of decades later even. Just interested in their games.

          If someone wants useful therapy, they should get it somewhere government is not. People should try to get what they can out of forced therapy but the most important goal should be to never trust them.

  3. John

    I have to precede my remarks with a big sigh. Many innocent people are convicted of sex crimes. So, in the midst of my SATP program some twenty years ago my partner was terminally ill and about to die. Being able to visit was obviously important to both of us. I was required to memorize and recite the prosecutor’s summary, none of which was true. Failure to “take ownership” of the summary would mean maximum security and no visits and civil commitment. So basically I was required to lie. I am mad about it to this day. A better arrangement would be education but no coercion. To this very day I have flashbacks about the abusive facilitator.

  4. John Lester

    See above

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