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Sex Offender Treatment

Our sex offender treatment program provides individualized treatment for adult sex offender males and female who have engaged in child molestation; voyeurism; exhibitionism; frotteurism; public masturbation or lewd acts; rape and sexual assault; child pornography; obscene phone calls/letters; violations of professional boundaries; or sexual harassment.

Sexual Deviance

There is no set profile for what constitutes sexual deviance, as it differs by culture and legal jurisdiction. However, some consensus has been achieved in that sex offenders have convictions for crimes of a sexual nature, including sexual assault, statutory rape, bestiality, child sexual abuse, incest, rape, sexual imposition, public urination, having sex on a beach, or even the unlawful imprisonment of a minor. Sex offenders are perceived as having wronged society and society demands protection, but our society also requires helping sex offenders rectify their behavior to prevent future victimization.
Punishment v. Treatment

A sex crime is considered a felony that may lead to criminal charges where the individual faces prison, parole, or probation sentences. For many, punishment continues for years after serving jail or prison time, the individual may be required to register as a sex offender and if they qualify to be removed from the registry, the process is often difficult and costly. Sex crime laws are created to protect the public and prevent sex offenders from re-entering society and offending again, but the benefits of listing sex offenders on the registry is not always clear. Current research demonstrates that registry laws may ‘do more harm than good’ as they fail to recognize important factors associated with the crime, such as recidivism rates, the individual’s age and situation at the time of the crime, and whether they participated in treatment or not. Treatment perhaps offers the strongest argument against punishing sex offenders given that rehabilitation and treatment programs have been proven to be very effective in helping sex offender convicts address their underlying problems and their ability to reincorporate into society.

Assessment Steps

Behavioral assessment

Skills to intervene on sexual arousal

Suppression and effective management of deviant sexual urges and behaviors or hypersexuality.

Arousal-management techniques.

Those distressed by sexual thoughts

Those whose sexual thoughts and urges interfere with their ability to function

Those whose sexual behavior is dangerous.

Many sex offenders have a comorbid psychiatric illness

About the Instructor

For the past 4 years, Joseph Rengifo, LCMHC, has been dedicated to helping people learn Emotional Intelligence skills where they honor each other’s uniqueness and where adults can create safe, loving and nurturing family environments for children to grow and thrive within. Joseph offers anger management and couple’s relationship counseling and emotional healing therapy.

Joseph provides anger management and couple’s relationship classes for individuals referred by county and state court systems and social service agencies, as well as self-referred individuals who choose to learn skills to manage their emotions more effectively. His programs are also sought out by human resource departments of corporations and City and State government agencies seeking to help their employees acquire emotional regulation skills for the workplace.

Treatment will address: sex offender relapse prevention; victim impact awareness and empathy development; responsibility for one’s own actions; dealing with different emotions, such as anger, depression, arousal management, and urge control; substance abuse; own victim issues; conflicts with authority figures; social and relationship skills; sexuality, both normal and abnormal; sexual conflict; full disclosure of sexual offenses; identifying distorted thinking; medical evaluation relevant to conditions affecting treatment compliance and arousal control

Common Myths

While these are not always true, here are some common misconceptions about sex offenders:

Most sex offenders are predators. Reality: The most common sex offender is opportunistic, has one victim and is known to the victim.

Most sex offenders are dirty old men, strangers and pedophiles who will grab children off playgrounds. Reality: First, pedophiles (those sexually attracted to children) are not necessarily child molesters, for most do not commit offenses regardless of their attraction. Most sex offenders and child molesters are relatives or otherwise known to the family; only 2-3 percent of such offenses are committed by strangers. An estimated half of all child molestations are committed by teenagers.

Once a sex offender, always a sex offender (most sex offenders will reoffend). Reality: Study results vary considerably depending on the nature of the crime, whether the offender was previously incarcerated, whether the offender received treatment, what kind of support exists and the time after release and/or treatment completion. Yet contrary to popular belief, studies and statistics (including those from the Bureau of Justice) indicate that recidivism rates for sex offenders are lower than those for the general criminal population. A five-year study from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services noted a rate of recidivism ranging from 6 to 23 percent, depending on the offense (incest had the lowest recidivism rate, while molestation of boy victims had the highest recidivism rate). The Center for Sex Offender Management cites a recidivism rate of 12-24 percent but adds that many such offenses are underreported.

Treatment for sex offenders does not work. Reality: This statement has been a source of debate for decades. The effectiveness of treatment depends on a number of factors, including the type of offender, the type of treatment and how much management, supervision and support the offender has. Although the risk of recidivism exists even in the best of cases, most offenders can and will lead productive and offense-free lives after treatment.

Most sex offenders were sexually abused when they were children. Reality: Although sex offenders are more likely to have been sexually abused than nonoffenders, the vast majority of individuals who were sexually abused will not go on to commit sex crimes. A 2001 study by Jan Hindman and James Peters found that 67 percent of sex offenders initially reported sexual abuse in their history. Yet, when subjected to a polygraph, that figure dropped to 29 percent, suggesting that reports of sexual abuse were initially exaggerated to justify or rationalize their offenses.

I recall my former graduate school classmates, and even some of my professors, asking me, “How can you do that kind of work?” Most often the question came from those working with victims of sexual and physical abuse. Others in law enforcement and victim advocacy programs often repeated the question. The implication from some is that a counselor who treats the instigators of sexual abuse cannot also identify with the victims of such abuse. That argument could not be more fallacious.