When someone is convicted of certain sex crimes, such as unlawful sexual contact, indecent exposure, or enticement of a child, then they may not only face prison sentences and fines. They may also be required to complete court-ordered sex offender treatment in Colorado.
Sex Offender Treatment Programs in the state are complicated, and there are a lot of important things to understand about how this type of treatment works and what is expected. Read on to find out more about what treatment is like for Colorado sex offenders.
The Colorado Sex Offender Management Board
One of the first important things to understand about sex offender treatment in Colorado is what the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board is. The SOMB is a board comprised of 25 members. It is a part of the Colorado government, specifically the Department of Public Safety.
This board sets the standards that must be followed by sex offenders in the state regarding the rules of treatment. They also set the standards for treatment programs and the types of evaluation and risk assessments they provide to those who are getting treatment.
What Is the Goal of Sex Offender Treatment?
The purpose of sex offender treatment in Colorado is to create a therapeutic environment for those convicted of sex offenses that allow them to explore their lives. The ultimate goal of treatment is to help the offender get to a place where they will not re-offend.
The Phases of Sex Offender Treatment
The sex offender treatment programs in Colorado have four phases. They are:
This phase is the assessment phase. Here, those who are convicted of sex offenses are required to have a comprehensive evaluation done before they can enter into treatment. This is completed primarily through an assessment of the offender’s sexual arousal patterns through an assessment called the ABEL Assessment.
A polygraph examination is also done at this stage regarding the sexual history of the offender. This is conducted in an effort to assist those in treatment with disclosing their sexual history honestly so that a proper treatment plan can be created.
In this phase, offenders have to acknowledge that they need treatment. They also have to attend individual and group therapy sessions as well as actively participate in and cooperate with treatment. If psychiatric services are offered, then they must participate. They must also adhere to any other mandates of the court for treatment. In general, weekly treatment groups are required, and individual treatment is done once per month.
Phase three comprises most of the treatment in Colorado’s sex offender treatment programs. In this phase, the offenders will learn tools and skills that can help them to manage their behaviors, moods, and relationships. They work to identify the factors that contribute to their offenses and the cycles of behavior that spur them on. They also work to understand the impact their offenses have on the lives of their victims.
This phase involves integration. What that means is that the offenders work to create prevention plans to help them avoid relapse. They must then present these plans in their group therapy, where it needs to be approved by both their peers and their therapists.
The final task of the program is to present their prevention plan to the agency that referred them for treatment, which is normally the probation department. Their assigned probation officer will help ensure this meets the court’s requirements.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012 & 2019” and a “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012-2020 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. Additionally, Expertise names her to its lists of the 25 Best Denver DUI Lawyers and 21 Best Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers, both in 2020. Ms. Diego has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.