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Kat’s Blog: Future Risk

We hear a lot of talk about the “unfairness” of the registry, how everyone on it is “treated the same” no matter what their offense.  Lumping all registrants under the “sex offender” label is wrong, especially when there’s so many offenses under the umbrella, high risk, low risk and even no risk offenses that may be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Released from incarceration, many registrants are mandated to attend one-size-fits-all “sex offender” treatment groups. There they are continuously reminded of their “sex offender” label and the need for continuous “sex offender therapy” because they are all at “future risk” despite the fact that they and their past offenses are all different.

“Shoe-horning” all registrants into one-size-fits-all treatment seems to label them all a “future risk”.

Case in point, as part of their progress in one particular offender treatment group, registrants are asked to present “future risk plans”.

That seems reasonable, as long as we remember that everyone’s level of risk is different.

Registrants are asked to base their “future risk plan” on the person they were when they committed their offense, which may have been 5, 10, or 20 years ago.

Are any of us the same people we were that many years ago?

In one particular situation a therapist asked registrants to define the “deep, dark defect” in their personality that would “always” cause them to be a “future risk”.

Always? Does every mistake someone makes put them at future risk for the same mistake again? Or, do people grow and change and learn from their past mistakes and get to the point of zero future risk?

Shouldn’t plans and risk factors for the future reflect personal growth made over the years in treatment and not be based on who you were or what you may have done decades ago?

While our personal history will always be a part of who we are, surely there are some registrants who, depending on their offense, will probably never be a “future risk.”

Believe it or not, I hear tell that some registrants were never actually a RISK at all.

With so many “sex offenses” under the label, skinny dipping, public urination, sexting. etc. that may have been one-time, non-violent, non-contact offenses, are therapists wanting us to believe that all   registrants will always be a risk in the future, that they all have some deep-seated personality glitch that will forever make them a risk to themselves or the public?

I have to remind myself that in the state of TN, the mission statement of the Sex Offender Treatment Board states that” the treatment board is an advocate for the victims, not for the offenders.” It also states that “sex offenders can never be cured”. Maybe I’m just expecting a bit too much from those folks involved in the treatment of registrants. They aren’t advocates for registrants despite the fact that they are the Sex Offender Treatment Board and they don’t believe that registrants can ever “be cured”. It seems that no matter the offense, the amount of treatment, or the number of years gone by, registrants in some places will always be labeled a “future risk”.

 

 

 

Join the discussion

  1. Bill

    “Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’ve ever been. The one constant in our life is change.”

    By Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert.

    Here’s another quote I love although I’m not sure who said it:

    “Don’t judge me by my past, I don’t live there anymore.”

    • Will Allen

      I like:

      Mind your own business or judge me, I don’t give a fuck, but stay out of my life. Or else.

  2. Will Allen

    Only corrupt criminal regimes have Registries.

    I think all people are some level of future risk. The criminal regimes will never have any clue who is more risky than anyone else, except for some outliers that have nothing to do with Registries.

    The bad thing is that Registries have probably made everyone more dangerous than they ever would be. The Registries have made me a monster, no doubt. But it has nothing to do with $EX so no one has to care.

    • BA

      I agree with will,
      I now have prejudice against the minorities because they have more rights than me even the illegals !
      How sad is that I HAVE A MISDEAMEANOR, and years ago my lawyer said “as long as it is just a misdemeanor it will not affect your future”. Well guess what it has ruined all of us! The judges know it , the cops know it, the lawmakers know it, and our neighbors want more labeling and more restraints.
      So who is really the victim………..?

  3. James

    Every time I read an article about a sheriff, a teacher, a judge, or a principal being caught with child porn or involved in sexual assaults with minors, I’m reminded how much we as a society have been fooled by the fairy tale of the sexual predator. Society fears so much because they understand so little. They would rather believe the good people vs. bad people polarized view of life instead of the reality in which there is a complete spectrum of individuals out there, and that these offenses are behaviors which stem from the diverse and broad range of human experiences in this complexity we call life. Until society is ready to deal with the individual in the hope of redemption and personal growth, the “good people” will keep seeking to dump our human garbage (bad people) in places out of sight and out of mind, hoping that these landfills of lost potential won’t someday encroach on their equally imagined fairy tale view of the world. There is a day soon coming, however, when they will no longer be able to ignore the stench of their foolish and shortsighted worldview.

    Here’s a shocker: People are “recyclable” too!

  4. Gralphr

    Its quite telling how sex offenders released are put on registries and passports marked since they “may do it again” yet the same is NOT applied to people who kill in most states. Only in America are sexual crimes considered worse than actually killing someone……..

  5. Facts should matter

    “Shoe-horning” all registrants into one-size-fits-all treatment seems to label them all a “future risk”.

    I think the term “Pigeonholing” would be a more apt representation.

    These laws predictably showcase humanity’s arrogance and cowardice. it’s actually a case study in thuggery and tribalism. Megan’s Law is a brutish, misguided crusade. There’s not enough negative synonyms to accurately describe it’s ineffectual existence.

  6. mike

    I had 3 years of the therapy while on parole. I had varying experiences. Some of the counselors were great and some were not. I wasted about a year or so not getting anything out of the experience because it was “stupid how we’re all lumped together.” One day I finally woke up and realized that if I had to be there anyway, I might as well find a way to get something positive out of it. After all, the therapists went to school because they want to help people and they’re either there getting their hours or actually wanting to help, so why not. It was like flipping a light switch. I didn’t need help learning to “control my urges” or identify some “deep dark flaw’ but I did need help learning to cope. Learning to process the death of my former life and accept my new life. I needed to learn how to process the prison and parole experience. Etc. I was able to learn a lot from therapy, including finding out about All4consolaws (which had a different name back then). In some ways it was making the best of a bad experience, but in other ways I’m deeply thankful for the time I was able to have in therapy.

    If there’s anyone reading this on parole/probation who is forced to attend, my only advice from my experience is to try to be open to getting something positive out of it, regardless of how stupid or unnecessary you happen to think that it is. You’re going to be spending the time anyway, why not try to benefit.

  7. Lee

    I think for government sponsored “therapists,” they want you to believe that you will always pose a “risk” because their jobs depend on that belief. It’s sort of disgusting how there are an assortment of “tools” to legitimize this whole industry. You’ve got junk type sciences like the polygraph, risk assessments like the Static-99 Scam, ABEL, etc. etc. etc.

    Polygraph is pretty much based on the premise that people always get nervous when they lie and calm when they tell the truth which is not true. Static-99 Scam based on the premise that all sex offenses and offenders are equal in severity (i.e. lumped together) and that risk factors are the same for everyone. Not true. ABEL based on the fact that pedos linger over certain images longer. It’s all pretty stupid. Don’t know if these pseudo science scams will go away anytime soon though… especially when people depend on these “sciences” to legitimize their livelihood.

    In the end, it’s all about money, not truth. 🙁

    • R M

      @Lee: Yup, it’s all about money, not truth. The “United” States has been lying to the citizens for centuries. Title 50 of the USC allows anything (during war or not) and gives the president a “plausible deniability”. I’m wondering when the US starts “health alteration” to us, those hated by society who are such a danger to humankind (registered citizens) in today’s time. They (we) did in WWII, Korea, Japan, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the US itself, and Afghanistan (I missed a few, I’m sure). Them (we) killed many civilians without mercy; terminate with extreme prejudice is the term used.

      Can’t we just be in peace? Nope…. greed for money, oil, gold, water, etc. thrives today as it has for centuries.

  8. dead inside

    I was in treatment for 3 years. Everyone was a risk and you had to say you were. If you didn’t, you would be removed from the group and sent to jail or prison. It was a one size fits all. That drove me crazy. I was hoping for something which would help. It turned out to be a waste of time. I played along. I may have learned something, maybe not. But one thing, I will never re-offend. Being tied to the system is misery. All the system does is make you learn to hate.

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