Volume 73 Number 3
Federal Probation
 
     
     
 
  New Directions in Juvenile Sex Offender Management: Designing a Collaborative Approach

Tables

   

 

Table 1.

Major Needs of the System: A Sample of Assessment Findings

Investigation, Prosecution, and Disposition
  • Consistent and comprehensive assessment for use in prosecutorial and jurist decision-making
  • Comprehensive training related to juvenile sex offenders and investigative work with alleged offenders (modus operandi, victim issues, dynamics involved in juvenile sex offenders, physical evidence)
  • Comprehensive guidance to prosecutors, jurists, assessment personnel, and other stakeholders in decision-making regarding juvenile sex offender treatment needs Regular and systematic review of juvenile sex offender data by all stakeholders
  • Comprehensive understanding of broad-based impact and review of outcomes related to prosecutorial and judicial decision-making
Assessment
  • Consistent and comprehensive juvenile sex offender-specific assessment for use across system (including ethical issues, legal issues, instruments) Comprehensive data sharing and communication among the various stakeholders
Treatment
  • Case management, community-based, and residential providers’ access to comprehensive resources and knowledge regarding available resources
  • Increased understanding and knowledge related to treatment needs by all stakeholders
  • Ability of juvenile sex offenders and families/caregivers to efficiently access treatment
  • Treatment for specialized juvenile sex offender populations (i.e., younger than 13 years, developmentally disabled, older than 18 years, mentally ill)
  • Policy/standard mandating adherence to current empirically-based best practices in juvenile sex offender treatment
  • Specialized educational and experiential requirements for juvenile sex offender treatment staff
  • Adjunctive services to minimally include family therapy, parent education, mental health treatment, educational and vocational services, and substance abuse services, as needed
Re-Entry & Supervision
  • Involvement of multiple stakeholders in comprehensive re-entry/release planning, including: victim advocate, educational personnel, others
  • Comprehensive release planning that takes into account the various needs related to community re-entry
  • Referrals to community-based providers of adjunctive services (i.e., mental health, substance abuse, family therapy, education, employment, vocation) prior to release
  • Collaboration among all relevant stakeholders to promote positive re-entry, ensure that rights of juvenile sex offenders are not violated through discriminatory practices, and promote community safety
  • Presence and use of community support networks to support re-entry and guidance for the development and utilization of community support networks
  • Identification of assets and resources to support the re-entry process
Legislation
  • Legislation mandating treatment of juvenile sex offenders
Other
  • Comprehensive understanding of available continuum of care for juvenile sex offenders among all stakeholders
  • Established guidelines for information-sharing among all relevant stakeholders (e.g., children’s protective services, law enforcement, prosecutors, medical facilities, victim advocacy, victim treatment, offender treatment)
  • Comprehensive juvenile sex offender training for all stakeholders (e.g., CPS, law enforcement, prosecutor’s office, jurists, detention providers, treatment providers, victim advocates, victim treatment providers) to increase collective understanding of juvenile sex offending behaviors, patterns, treatment needs, current research, etc.
  • Complete information contained in client files, including extensive background, past assessments and scores, registration documentation, sex offender specific evaluation, previous agency and Court reports, and documentation
  • Comprehensive data collection and maintenance practices throughout all aspects of the system

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Table 2.

Comprehensive Strategies to Address Major System Needs

Investigation
1. Develop or use existing protocol (i.e., Child Abuse & Neglect Protocol) to train law enforcement, schools, child welfare providers, residential providers, and Children’s Protective Services for use in response to complaints of juvenile sex offenses and communication and collaboration with other stakeholders.
2. Develop multiple methods for distribution of protocol (e.g., training, self-training modules, facilitated discussions, flyers).
3 . Develop a protocol to guide comprehensive law enforcement data collection for delivery through multiple methods (e.g., training, self-training modules, facilitated discussions, flyers).
Prosecution, and Disposition
4. Develop a Comprehensive Pre-Disposition Investigation Protocol (CPDIP) (e.g., modus operandi, victim impact, offense history, sexual history, family functioning) for use by the prosecutor and jurists and a plan for completion of the CPDIP.
5. Develop a plan for instituting the CPDIP that includes live training and a self-instruction module.
6. Develop a Prosecutorial Decision-Making Guide to provide additional (in addition to the CPDIP) information and guidance in juvenile sex offense cases.
7. Develop a Jurist Decision-Making Guide to provide additional information and guidance in juvenile sex offense cases.
8. Explore the possibility of adding a part-time investigator or additional prosecutor to handle assessment and data collection for juvenile sex offense cases.
9. Develop data collection plan for comprehensive data collection (e.g., data elements, entities involved, data extraction plan) across relevant entities (e.g., Court, Juvenile Assessment Center).
10. Conduct annual systematic reviews of juvenile sex offender data for examination and discussion among all stakeholders.
1. Coordinate a bi-annual (twice per year) breakfast meeting for prosecutor’s office, jurists, case management organizations, providers, Court probation and Clinic, County officials, and other stakeholders to discuss issues related to juvenile sex offenders (including annual review of data).
Assessment
12. Develop a Comprehensive Assessment Practices with Juvenile Sex Offenders Protocol that minimally includes the significance of comprehensive assessment, use and types of a variety of assessment tools, use and type of assessment to promote community safety, use and types of assessment tools across the continuum of care to guide treatment planning (i.e., initial assessment, residential assessment, re-entry, and supervision), ethical and legal use of assessment tools, types of juvenile sex offender-specific assessment tools, strengths and limitations of assessment instruments, and use of assessment tools as outcome measures.
13. Develop a plan for instituting the Comprehensive Assessment Practices with Juvenile Sex Offenders Protocol that includes live training and a selfinstruction module.
14. Develop informational sheets regarding juvenile sex offender assessment practices and specific tools for quick references.
15. Develop a Task Force to explore the pros and cons of the use of the polygraph for juvenile sex offenders, including legal issues, appropriate use, purpose, etc. and incorporate findings into the Comprehensive Assessment Practices with Juvenile Sex Offenders Protocol.
16. Institute a Task Force to develop an Information-Sharing Protocol to Guide Work with Juvenile Sex Offenders to address the types of information to be shared, with whom and when, legal and ethical issues related to information-sharing.
Treatment
17. Revise and expand the existing region-wide policy to identify minimal program standards for all sex offender treatment programs (i.e., residential, community-based).
18. Develop a Sex Offender Treatment (SOT) Committee as a regular forum for SOT treatment providers to discuss issues pertinent to treatment (e.g., group composition, caregiver support and family involvement in treatment, staff training, substance abuse treatment).
19. Develop a Sub-Committee to make recommendations regarding an expanded continuum of care for the treatment of juvenile sex offenders to address current gaps in the system including various options in community-based treatment and treatment for JSO youth with special needs (i.e., developmental disabilities, 18-20 year olds).
20. Develop a comprehensive Best Practices Guide for Residential Treatment of Juvenile Sex Offenders minimally identifying such issues as informed consent, evidence-based practices, resource coordination and other adjunctive service coordination (e.g., mental health, vocational), assessment, family treatment, caregiver capacity for supervision, community safety and monitoring, staff credentialing, intake and termination practices, participation in community-based treatment following residential discharge and transition planning for re-entry.
21. Develop training to educate stakeholders about Best Practices in Residential Treatment.
22. Develop a comprehensive Best Practices Guide for Community-Based Treatment of Juvenile Sex Offenders minimally identifying such issues as working collaboratively with other professionals, informed consent, evidence-based practices, resource coordination and other adjunctive service coordination (e.g., education, employment, mental health), assessment, family treatment, caregiver capacity for supervision, community safety and monitoring, staff credentialing, intake and termination practices.
23. Develop training to educate stakeholders about Best Practices in Community-Based Treatment.
Re-Entry & Supervision
24. Develop a Best Practices Guide for the Supervision of Juvenile Sex Offenders minimally identifying such issues as treatment plan development, assessment, information sharing, use of a multidisciplinary team in case planning and oversight, community safety, specialized training, caseload size, staff credentialing, utilization of victim impact statements in case planning, assessment of caregiver capacity and community safety.
25. Develop training to educate stakeholders about Best Practices in Supervision of Juvenile Sex Offenders.
26. Develop a Strategies & Resource Guide for Addressing & Reducing Secondary Trauma and Burn-Out among professionals working with juvenile offenders to be made available to all stakeholders.
27. Develop a Guide to the Formation and Use of Community Support Networks in the Supervision of Juvenile Sex Offenders.
28. Institute a Task Force to explore legal issues related to re-entry of juvenile sex offenders, such as school re-entry, information sharing among community members.
29. Develop a Brief Resource Directory for Supporting Work with Juvenile Sex Offenders for distribution to all stakeholders.
Sex Offender Registration
30. Form an Exploratory Committee to examine the process and feasibility for pursuing legislative changes to the Michigan Sex Offender Registration law that allow for greater differentiation between juvenile sex offenders and adult sex offenders.
Other
31. Develop a specialized training curriculum for all stakeholders (i.e., juvenile justice workers and administrators, policy makers, Court officials) to increase knowledge of issues related to working with juvenile sex offenders, minimally including the following topics: decision-making, evidencebased practice, clinical assessment, community safety, information-sharing, legal and ethical issues, and supporting professionals working with juvenile sex offenders (topics are in addition to specific trainings identified previously).
32. Discuss the formation of an Exploratory Committee with the Department of Human Services for possible exploration of the development of a multidisciplinary team for juvenile sex offender victims.
33. Form an Exploratory Committee to explore funding for victim services and victim treatment options.
34. Develop a comprehensive website to promote continuous access to project resources (e.g., protocols, self-training modules, informational sheets) and other information that is part of the Implementation Plan as well as to continue to keep juvenile sex offender management a key topic in the region and state.
35. Develop a broad-based public awareness campaign to raise awareness about juvenile sex offenses and legal implications, specifically targeting young persons, parents, teachers, and other community members.
36. Develop and deliver briefings to multiple groups of stakeholders regarding the work of the Collaborative Team, summarizing the assessment findings and implementation plan to garner support and promote momentum for the implementation plan.

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