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The Phases of Treatment

Colorado Sex Offender Treatment Phases of Treatment

SOTP Treatment is comprised of four phases

Phase One involves Assessment

All individuals who have committed sexual offenses are required by the SOMB Standards to have a comprehensive sex offense specific evaluation before entering into treatment. Usually this is done during the presentence investigation. Additionally, all individuals in this program must complete an assessment of their sexual arousal patterns via the ABEL Assessment for sexual interest or the Penile Plythysmograph (PPG).

Finally, all participants must pass a polygraph examination regarding their sexual history. The purpose of these assessments is to help the offenders honestly disclose their sexual history so that appropriate treatment planning can be established.

Phase Two involves Engagement

All Individuals in this program must acknowledge their need for treatment, attend group and individual therapy sessions as required, cooperate and actively participate in treatment, participate in psychiatric services if needed, comply with all other mandates of court or probation order, and maintain a treatment journal and financial responsibility for their treatment. Generally all offenders will attend weekly treatment groups and a minimum of one individual treatment session per month.

Parents or guardians of juvenile offenders must also comply with the court or probation contract, complete informed supervision training, and follow through with any recommended family therapy during this phase of treatment. Adult offenders must have a significant other or close friend complete chaperone training which is equivalent to informed supervision traiing. Failure to do any of the above is considered an engagement problem which could result in mandatory reporting to the referring agency.

Phase Three involves Intervention

This is the bulk of treatment in the SOTP program. It involves learning new skills and tools to manage moods, behaviors, and relationships; identifying antecedents or contributing factors to offenses; understanding acting-out and behavior cycles; developing victim empathy including understanding the impact offenses have on victims; realizing high risk behavior – the various kinds of offensive or abusive behaviors and developing skills to avoid them; and learning about healthy relationships and sexuality. Maintenance polygraphs will be required at a minimum of every six months to ensure accountability throughout treatment.

Phase Four involves Integration

During this phase participants create relapse prevention plans and present them to their group for the unanimous approval of their peers and therapists. All clients in the program must complete a maintenance polygraph demonstrating integrity upon completion of the program at this time. Also when appropriate, clients will clarify their offense with their victims and/or family, and complete family therapy and reunification. This is always cordinated with the victim’s therapist and will occur only if it is in the best interest of the victim. The final task in the SOTP program that clients are required to do is to present their relapse prevention plan (RPP) to the referring agency. This is usually their Probation Officer who will help to determine whether the RPP meets the satisfaction and completion of the offender’s court requirement.

Additional treatment is allotted to any offenders who have needs that significantly differ from the majority of individuals in this population. Special populations might include (but are not limited to) female offenders; developmentally disabled offenders; offenders who have other mental or emotional disorders or a pervasive developmental disorder (such as Aspergers Disorder), who have co-occurring mental disorders (such as Depression, Conduct Disorder, or ADHD), or have learning disabilities; or who have significant sexual abuse histories.

Sex Offender Treatment in Prison. The Colorado Department of Corrections Sex Offender Treatment and Monitoring Program (SOTMP) Sex Offender Treatment Phases (from the Colorado State Website)

The SOTMP for DOC inmates is designed to utilize the most extensive resources with those inmates who have demonstrated a desire and motivation to change. The SOTMP has a cognitive behavioral orientation and has strict requirements for participation. The requirements are designed to convey the inmate’s responsibility for change and the depth of the commitment that must be made.

The following groups are currently offered to inmates:

Phase I: Phase I is a time-limited therapy group. The group includes a core curriculum on thinking errors, anger management, and stress management. Some of the sex offense specific issues and areas that are addressed include: characteristics of sex offenders, development of victim empathy; cognitive restructuring; sex offense cycles; relapse prevention; sex education; sex roles; social skills; and relationship skills. At the Fremont Correctional Facility, the Sterling Correctional Facility, and the Youthful Offender System groups meet four times per week and continue for approximately six months. This program is offered twice per week at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility (CTCF) and Colorado Women’s Correctional Facility. An additional group at CTCF accommodates deaf inmates.

Phase IB: This group addresses the same components as the regular Phase I group, but is adapted for inmates who have low intellectual functioning. This group meets twice per week and is offered at Territorial Correctional Facility and the Colorado Women’s Facility. Upon completion of Phase IB, an inmate may be integrated into a regular Phase I group at Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility with supportive services, such as homework tutoring. If the inmate successfully completes this program, he will be considered for main-streaming into the Arrowhead Therapeutic Community.

Phase IE: This group addresses the same components as the regular Phase I group, but is
designed for sex offenders who are Spanish speaking. Phase IE is offered at Fremont Correctional Facility.

Phase II: Phase II focuses on changing the inmate’s distorted thinking and patterns of behavior, as well as helping the inmate develop a comprehensive personal change contract. Participants must keep a daily interactions journal and maintain appropriate behavior. This phase is offered as a therapeutic community treatment program at Arrowhead Correctional Center. The therapeutic community treatment program will house sex offenders together in a therapeutic milieu operating 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. The offender’s sexual history and monitoring of current behavior are verified by polygraph testing.

Phase II is offered at Arrowhead Correctional Center with an adapted format of Phase II offered at the Colorado Women’s Correctional Facility and the Youthful Offender System. Specialized Treatment Formats for Lifetime Supervision of Sex Offenders The 1998 passage of the Colorado Lifetime Supervision Act requires that offenders must serve the term of their minimum sentence in prison and participate and progress in treatment, in order to be considered a candidate for parole. The Lifetime Supervision legislation is not intended to increase the minimum sentence for sex offenders. In order to provide treatment without increasing minimum sentences, the Department of Corrections has designed treatment formats that provide offenders the opportunity to progress in treatment and be considered a candidate for parole within the time period of their minimum sentence.

The new treatment formats were designed with the following assumptions:.. sex offenders will continue in treatment and supervision if placed in community corrections or on parole; sex offenders should be given the opportunity to sufficiently progress in treatment within the time period of their minimum sentence; specialized formats will not ensure sex offender cooperation with or progress in treatment.

Offenders need to be willing to work on programs and be motivated to change; and, sex offenders must meet all of the Sex Offender Management Board Lifetime Supervision Criteria to receive a recommendation for release to parole from the Sex Offender Treatment and Monitoring Program staff.

Foundation Format (Offenders with 2 year or less minimum sentence) The SOTMP does not make parole or community recommendations until an inmate: is actively participating in treatment and is applying what he or she is learning; has completed non-deceptive polygraph assessments of his/her deviant sexual history. In addition, any recent monitoring polygraph exams must also be non-deceptive; has participated in a comprehensive sex offense-specific evaluation and have a SOTMP approved individual treatment plan; has had no institutional acting-out behavior within the past 12 months; is compliant with any DOC psychiatric recommendations for medication that may enhance his/her ability to benefit from treatment and/or reduce his/her risk of re-offense; has a plan to establish at least one approved support person; and, is able to be supervised in the community without presenting an undue threat.

As of September 2005, the Department of Corrections had 115 minimum to life sentenced offenders requiring the Foundation Format. Modified Format (Offenders with 2 to 6 years minimum sentence) The SOTMP does not make parole or community recommendations until an inmate:.. is actively participating in treatment and is applying what he or she is learning; has completed a non-deceptive polygraph assessment of his/her deviant sexual history. In addition, any recent monitoring polygraph exams must also be non-deceptive; is practicing relapse prevention with no incidents of institutional acting out within the past year. has defined and documented his or her sexual offense cycle; has identified at least one approved support person who has attended family/support education and has reviewed and received a copy of the Offender’s Personal Change Contract; is compliant with any DOC psychiatric recommendations for medication which may enhance his or her ability to benefit from treatment and or reduce his/her risk of re-offense; and, is able to be supervised in the community without presenting an undue threat.

As of September, 2005, the Department of Corrections had 138 minimum to life sentenced offenders requiring the Modified Format. Standard Format (Offenders with 6 years or more minimum sentences) also all non-lifetime offenders. The SOTMP does not make parole or community recommendations until an inmate: is actively participating in treatment and applying what he/she is learning; has completed a non-deceptive polygraph assessment of his/her deviant sexual history. In addition, any recent monitoring polygraph exams must also be non-deceptive; has completed a comprehensive personal change contract (relapse prevention plan) that is approved by the SOTMP team;.. has identified, at a minimum, one approved support person who has attended family/support education and has reviewed and received a copy of the offender’s personal change contract; practicing relapse prevention with no institutional acting-out behaviors within the past 12 months; is in compliance with any DOC psychiatric recommendations for medication that may enhance his/her ability to benefit from treatment and/or reduce his/her risk of re-offense; and, is able to be supervised in the community without presenting an undue threat.

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