CO: Federal judge dismisses challenge to ‘frustrating’ delays in sex offender treatment behind bars

Source: 1/1/24

Multiple federal judges have looked skeptically in recent months at Colorado’s inability to provide people who are eligible for parole with required sex offender treatment

A federal judge recently dismissed an incarcerated man’s challenge to his lack of sex offender treatment in the Colorado Department of Corrections, despite having no idea when he will have access to that mandatory component of his criminal sentence.

U.S. District Court Senior Judge William J. Martínez determined David A. Wismer III did not sufficiently allege Colorado committed a constitutional violation by repeatedly de-prioritizing him for treatment and keeping him incarcerated beyond his parole eligibility date.

While the Court acknowledges that it must be endlessly frustrating for Plaintiff not to have a date certain on which he will receive treatment, he has not alleged facts showing an arbitrary or capricious scheme that rises to the level of a substantive due process violation,” Martínez wrote in a Nov. 3 order.

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The more I hear about the, “Treatment programs” forced upon people, the more I think this man could be better off without it. However, not if that leaves him in prison beyond the point he should be paroled. While I can understand there could occasionally be a delay, but systemically is unacceptable.

How can the State require this, then not offer it in a prison situation? It’s not like these people can “shop around” for providers. They have no options other than what the State provides at their facility. This is crap…and would probably have been pointed out and fixed if it was happening to any other class of convicted.

This is exactly what happened to me. The facility had a huge backup of inmates waiting to get into the treatment program. At my first parole hearing I had just received notification about a week before that that i would start the following month. Of course I was denied parole because in my state the law was at that time that I must complete the program before I could be considered for parole. My program was an 18 month program. So I was in far longer than my minimum. After the program they had a 12 month aftercare program that followed that you had to attend. This was a one hour class once a month. After my 18 month program ended I started my aftercare. two months into it and they decided that instead of once a month it would be once a week and pushed me out the door on parole. The DOC was trying to trim the population down. Just before leaving on parole my inhouse parole agent had me attend an appointment with the head of the treatment program I attented. During that meeting he told me that he believed I would not need any further treatment once I was released on parole. WRONG ANSWER!! 3 weeks after I was released on parole I had an eval and was told I would require further treatment while on parole. First session of the treatment provider I was told that I had to pay $40 a week and I would be in treatment for the next 35 months until I maxed out my sentence and that there would be not way for me to “graduate” so I could finish treatment before maxing out. So I was held hostage to the treatment program for the next 35 months along with poly tests that I had to pay $275 for every year. I was also told that if I did not attend the 35 months I would be violated for not complying with my parole conditions.

Oh, and of course the Dr that did my eval worked for the treatment provider. So of course he was going to say I needed further treatment.

What’s so unusual about any given state setting parole eligibility requirements concurrently with circumstances in prisons to make it impossible to meet them? Colorado certainly isn’t alone in that. Nor is it unusual for any given court to find it perfectly reasonable.

This is an interesting case because it appears he’s essentially jailed on a parole violation for talking to his victim (who is now an adult, but who was a minor at the time of the crime for which he’s convicted). The victim appears to admit to having contacted him, to having professed romantic feelings for him, and to having requested money in exchange for not turning him in for a parole violation—all as an adult, after his conviction. It’s unclear what the state’s interest is in this case. He absolutely shouldn’t have communicated with her, but these are two adults with no history of violence between them. Let them sort it out. A dubious “treatment program” isn’t going to fix anything with this guy, he’s a 50-something former broker who fell for a teen.

Without a FOIA request of all the info this gent needs to file an appropriate case beyond what he alleges, he wouldn’t get very far anyway (as seen) and doubtful he’d get the info he needs anyway without some inside help for incriminating evidence in the form of memos, etc, need to establish the case foundation as noted by the judge.