TN: Sex Offender Treatment Class: Four Years, $10,000 and No End in Sight

Source: 5/6/24

Recently, my wife and I were having a quiet dinner at home when armed officers arrived without warning. They ordered me to stand against the wall so they could take a mug shot. While my wife and I sat on the couch, they looked through my phone, photo albums, computer, car—whatever they wanted.

These shakedowns occur once a month without warning. The mug shot was to keep the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry (SOR) up to date. 

In 2009 I took a plea deal and spent the next 10 years in prison. I knew I had hurt people I loved, and accepted my punishment. During my decade behind bars, I held a steady job and had no disciplinary write-ups. I knew that upon release I’d have to register as a sex offender. But I thought my pound of flesh was paid, and that I could move forward with rebuilding my life.  

Once a week, I attend my community-based sex offender group treatment class: a program sort of like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Participants are legally mandated to attend the classes, and your treatment provider can say the word and make your life miserable or possibly get you sent back to prison, so no one wants to upset them. So nobody asks the questions we’re all thinking, but are afraid to ask: Does anyone assigned to this treatment program ever complete it? Do the classes ever end?

Every week for nearly four years, I’ve walked into class and handed $50 cash to the treatment provider. This has cost about $10,000 to date, but in my experience there’s little to no feedback about how we’re progressing, or what we should work on if we’re not progressing. No one really knows if there’s an end in sight, or if we’re staying in the same place and will be doing this forever. Treatment varies from person to person and from state to state, but often these programs are expected to take a year or two.

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Treatment is just a code word for Orwellian torture techniques like polygraphs and PPGs. All of these parole/probation conditions need to be ruled, unconstitutional.

I thought people who commit sex crimes weren’t curable, so what’s the point of treatment. I don’t need the government ( state or federal) to give me a provider that does more harm than good because they have an agenda and I sure as hell not paying for it.

There’s no class of criminal that is any more or less likely to lie about their history, progress, relapses. The only unique thing about people convicted of sex offenses is that we are easier to lie about, mock, and hate. Tennessee’s government is grotesque for this.

I went through this crap for 10 years when I was on “Lifetime” probation here in AZ. The worst thing was taking the poly, which is not admissible in court! until I got a doctor’s order stating I had a heart condition that would cause false readings.
It was a money shakedown and the “counselors” worked with the POs to violate people.

This sounds very much like what I was forced to do for some number of years over 20 years ago. It was all 100% stupidity. It was nothing but legalized theft. Decades later I still have nothing good to say about it.

First off, I appreciate that a PFR’s probation or parole officer is concerned with “public safety” and not really with the PFR or their family. The same can be said of these “treatment” providers. But unfortunately, I’m not going to work with anyone or anything who has no concern for my family’s well-being or needs. I don’t care what they think I “deserve”.

I’m not going to work with anyone with treats me disrespectfully. I’m not going to work with anyone who tells me I’m incapable of telling the truth. I still have no idea why the grifters think that SEX crimes are so special that a person who commits one is less likely to tell the truth than career criminals or whomever else. Or why “treatment” is more “needed”.

Long story short, the forced “treatment” was not just worthless, it was a lot worse. It really helped radicalize me. I decided early on that I would make sure that none of the “goals” of the probation/parole office or the grifters would ever be met. And that worked great. We reached a stalemate quickly and it was easy to just maintain it. The only thing they got from me was a lot of money. Just what they wanted.

I had several other treatment providers and psychologists that I choose personally who had nothing to do with probation/parole or the grifters. They were great and that worked extremely well. No polygraphs, etc. were suggested or allowed.

The criminal regimes do not want to reduce SEX crimes. They want to run their businesses and grifts. There is no doubt. The Registries are a giant part of it.

Polygraph isn’t even admissible in court the inventor of the polygraph proved it was flawed by using it on a fern plant and getting the same results as on people supreme court ruled the test inadmissible as evidence interesting read by the way and the entire sorna act is unconstitutional

“Sex offending cannot be cured and at best, can only be controlled,” states Tennessee Sex Offender Treatment Board (TSOB) policy. “Treatment is to be stressed as lifelong
Can this statement be challenged in Court?
When someone makes an uninformed statement like that we should be able to put the burden of proof on them to prove it in Court or shut up!!

This article is a little vague as to how the subject of the article’s plea deal is structured. I suspect that TN is getting away with a little too much because the individual does not have a lawyer. First day I got a job I took a portion of every paycheck and put it towards retaining an attorney while I was on Community Supervision. The moment everyone involved realized there was an attorney lurking in the shadows there was no stupidity and it was a retainer fee I never had to use, but that attorney still has it just in case.

After receiving general mental health and treatment as a person convicted of a sex offense since 2017, I have a number of observations. The first is that there is a difference between the two treatment protocols. Treatment leans heavily on what I refer to as “psychopropaganda.” Rather than a therapist leading their “subjects” to come to their own understandings of themselves, subjects are told what and how to think. While this may result in those receiving treatment reciting what the therapist wants to hear, it does not imbue the deeper changes that come from a personal epiphany.

Psychopropagandists don’t tolerate differing opinions or deviations from their orthodoxy. A therapist in a group session once totally misstated recidivism statistics—bordering on “frightening and high.” When I countered that recidivism rates were in the neighborhood of 5%, she literally reared back into her chair and said “That’s only with treatment.” I countered that can’t be known because no studies with a control group has been nor likely will be done. No statistically valid group of people with a former sex offense conviction will ever be released without treatment, so no conclusion as to the effects of treatment can be drawn. One could just as validly conclude that people with a former sex offense conviction are simply unlikely to re-offend. I have little doubt that treatment has at least a marginal effect, and may be absolutely critical for a very high-risk subset. Needless to say, my observations were characterized as resistance and denial.

Psychopropaganda is very paternal and punitive. The people that are subjected to it are considered to be fundamentally flawed humans and not simply persons who did something stupid. A psychopropagandist once declared that people with a former sex offense conviction were “wired differently” from other people. That idea lends credence to assertions that anyone who has committed a sex offense is irredeemable. Someone who is irredeemable and fundamentally different must be subject to endless intervention to reduce, but not eliminate, future offenses. This mis-perception of how to reduce future harm is the rationale for lifetime supervised release and sex offense registries.

I googled this subject of neuroimaging to check brain wiring as an indicator of criminal behavior or intent. The articles were peppered with words like “could” and “might”, but nothing was conclusive. This seems to be yet another attempt to find a magic predictor of truthfulness, criminal behavior or evil intent. All have failed to provide definitive results. Witch drownings, trembling fingers in water bowls, earlobe analysis, phrenology and polygraphs have proved to be just wishful thinking. I suspect that measuring electrical impulses in the brain will not be a silver bullet either. As neuroscientist Kent Kiehl said, “This [fMRI] isn’t ready for prime time.”

I agree 100% with all these comments, and just cannot believe it is all still legal and allowed to continue. It’s so flippin’ obvious what’s going on here and with the registries in general and it disgusts me. We need 1,000 Janices to combat successfully.

Sickening! Disgusting! If the former Soviet Union and Iran had a baby, it would be Tennessee!!!

TRUTH: Polygraphs are simply coercive tools to force admissions of guilt, whether they be truthful or not. If you don’t give the “right answer” to their questions, you will be bullied until your emotional state makes you fail the test anyway – acts of total manipulation on the part of the system.

Treatment, like every other arm of the registry, is just a money grab. I have been in mine going on 3 years now to the tune of $40 a week, and that doesn’t include risk assessment ($500 and 3 polys that have totaled over $800). The classes and provider are so disorganized. The provider has no clue how to structure a lesson plan and most weeks we just go around the room talking about the problems in our lives. The topics that we actually do discuss, we have already talked about, and the ones we haven’t, he stops mid week and we won’t pick it back up for months, if ever. Now that I have a newborn son, it’s pissing me off that I have to spend $140 a month on this joke of a class that I could be spending it on more essential needs.

The crazy part is, The District attorneys office is using these forced confessions to keep people on the registry past their mandatory minimum registration time period.
I personally would never attend any type of sex offense treatment program, I’m still worried about my probation repot and my psychological evaluation i did back in 1999 before sentencing.
I can only imagine what my angry 17 year old self said those people.
I do remember telling the therapist, “this whole situation was a bunch of bullshit” and when asked, Do you think u deserve to be here I replied no, he asked why, I said because I didn’t do anything wrong.
Fast forward 25 years later those words might come back and hunt me.

Then it dawned on me why we don’t do this in CA!

While I’m sure they would love providing unearned income for the Reich Pseudoscientists, it’s a violation factory! This would install a heavily trafficked revolving door at the State Prison and County Jail Systems, can’t have that! They don’t have room for their new customers, much less return ones! Also, the bureaucratic paperwork involved with violating, Kangaroo Courting, then locking up the thousands of people this would return to jails and prisons every year would cost hundreds of millions, if not billions.

Too expensive, and takes up too much valuable behind bars space!

In the real world, the complete lack of necessity for this would be obvious! Not every State does this, and want to bet the ones that don’t experience the same level of recidivism as the ones that do, roughly 5%? Same could be said for the Shadow Prison pogrom, not every State does that, and even the ones that do don’t have identical versions… but all experience the same amazingly low levels of recidivism. Almost as if the Shadow Prison system is unneeded and provides no value! That’s what would be obvious in the real world, but not here!

Only 2 kinds of people are always right, liars and delusional. Only 1 kind of person knows they are always right, because the other kind knows they’re lying.

These types of programs attract the worst of the therapy profession. People realizing it’s an easy paycheck for them because the person convicted of an offense is mandated to attend. They usually do in groups, take only cash and provide nothing more than an occasional suggestion. Few are experienced in the genre of People Forced to Register and even fewer really care. It was required while on probation so I did individual sessions. The therapist signed off on me after 4 months and a polygraph (worthless!). She actually wasn’t on the county list of providers but the man she worked with was. That’s how shady the entire thing is. She was actually a family therapist.

Treatment providers should be hooked up to polygraphs and the males should have their ….. hooked up to see if they’re aroused to images/audio of minors. While we are at it let’s hook up politicians and those in blue to see if they are pure also. I doubt they would pass with flying colors

I’ve told the story ad nauseam regarding my exit from my “treatment” program, but it bears repeating and hopefully, others will follow suit.

Pull up the provider’s website and note all of the mental health organizations they belong to. Then go over the code of ethics of those organizations and submit formal ethics complaints – you will find them. My particular favorite was common among them, that “treatment” must be grounded in proven fact or at least reasonable theory – my complaint was the reliance of polygraphs, grounded in not reasonable but thoroughly and repeatedly disproven theory. Others included allowing external influences (i.e., POs) to determine the course of “treatment or progress”, reasonable lengths of “treatment” periods, obligations to terminate “treatment” if “progress” isn’t made, etc.

Also look up the mental health statutes of your state. Most require competent diagnosis from a licensed psychologist or physician (most, if not all, providers are not, they’re merely substance abuse counselors) before mandating involuntary “treatment.” Many also state that the commission of a crime specifically can not be used as an indication of mental health illness, presumably to go along with the criminal statutes stating that a person who commits a crime is of sound mind unless proven otherwise. Thus, the legal conundrum regarding the criminal sex code – a person who commits a sex crime is of sound mind when committing his crime and at trial/plea hearing, but somehow insane enough once his confinement period is over (even if mandated to “treatment” and completed it while confined) to force more “treatment.”

A pseudo-bonus in my case was that I was relieved of polygraphs. The providers and PO liked to keep it murky whether it was a court or “treatment” requirement. After I was discharged from the stupid program, I made it pretty well known that I would challenge the requirement in court and was pretty sure no judge (or rather, DA) wanted to write an opinion that polygraphs were somehow on a par with the Word of God when used on registrants, but absolutely worthless in all other cases as shown in their very own archives. (I called it a pseudo-bonus because I really wanted to take that matter to court but the would-be case became moot when I was relieved of the requirement)

well at least it’s not a lifetime of
Shadow prison. Their prison sentences are done, but N.J. is still holding 416 men indefinitely.

I was never ordered to attend such meetings during my sentencing and years later, after I was released, I eventually married and my wifes crazy mother tried to secretly call CPS, telling them lies (which CPS after investigation quickly closed the case as unfounded). However, while they were doing their investigation, they recommended I go to counseling for people with a sex offense conviction, during the investigation, which they paid for. I wasn’t under probation or parole, but decided to go just to let things run its course, not to mention they said it would look good for the case. Lets just say counseling was a joke. The woman in charge was pretty rude to everyone in there and always threatened to have people sent back to prison. If a person wasn’t quick enough to talk about their past offenses, she would then bring up their most sensitive allegations, which would result in many in the group laughing at the individual, even the counselor trying not to laugh, which was a big violation in my eyes because how can you get people to feel comfortable when you try to embarrass them?

The funny thing is the woman couldn’t stand me. When it was time to collect money, I told her I wouldn’t be paying a dime and to speak to their payment department. She then said she expected me to talk about my offense and if shes not happy she will talk to my probation officer, which I informed her I was not under probation or parole. She then said “surely theres someone over you I can talk to if I feel you’re not cooperating”. I told her I elected to come for a few weeks and someone else way paying. After she investigated, she didnt talk to me again. I basically just sat in the group and listened. She was highly unprofessional, and I dont see the point of counseling if its just meant to embarrass the person. If they were truly trying to help people, it would be 1-1 counseling so said people would be more at ease talking about their offenses without the snickering and other forms degradation.

@The truth. The man who ran the probation sex offender required therapy was actually respectful and informative in Macomb county Michigan. However. 8yrs later my aorta split open. Which ended me up on insurance ran therapy. (Spent my savings and ended up on SSI, unable to work) That woman therapist did not disclose, until she after, she intentionally included my registration status on all my medical records, very every doc, specialist, or anyone on my health care system to see. 1 time a had incredible headaches. Ct scans showed nothing. It was intense. The neurologist said she would see me after o got out of the hospital and she would definitely find the cause. Then she hugged me. She was called away. When she returned, it was like I had the plague. I called her office upon release but her receptionist said she was booked up for eight months. The list in non punitive. And doctors always do their best. And I never, ever, will speak with a mental therapist again! Not only on court, but even with therapist, all things you say will be used against you!!

I went thru the same thing with my group.
I was told at first group session in front of everyone that I would be in group until I maxed out; no graduation out of treatment would be expected. $40 a week for almost 4 years. Could not even miss because of work conflict. Polys every 6 months. If you had an “inconclusive” result on the poly you had to attend twice a week for 3 months til the next poly exam and had to pass it. I failed my 2nd one because I got so flustered but did not lie. My anxiety was really kicking up that day. They say the poly can filter out anxiety; not always true!!

So my freedom was held captive to group treatment. Group was so hard on me I had to see a therapist and psychiatrist on the side. Was prescribed Xanax to help with my anxiety since I had GAD already. My PO was a jerk; showed favorites. Depending on your crime would determine how he treated you. I had to call him “Agent —–” while others could call him by his first name. I asked him why others could call him by his first name and he said “because we have a different type of relationship” – really?! My PO also threatened me with sending me back to prison if I discussed anything with my therapist or pshc about what I said in group sessions. I never mentioned what others said in group to my therapist only what I said or the group leader said to me.

The group sessions in prison were so far much better and I actually learned a few things about myself as I had a fantastic group leader fortunately. The head of the psch dept in prison on my exit interview even told me he felt I would not need further treatment once I paroled out. Wrong answer, the pych that interviewed me after I got out of course said I needed further treatment because he was employed by the treatment provider I ended up going to. Conflict of Interest – anyone?…. anyone?…. thought so.

This was 14 years ago. I have been working a part-time “business consulting” job for the past 8 years at the same company. Owners (husband and wife team) are GREAT!! They know my background and believe as Christians in “second chances” in life. I am in management. We have another guy who is on the registry (I am no longer required to reg). He does not know about me though. We are treated with respect by the owners.