Name Date Course Section/# Best Practices of Washington Department of Corrections with Respect to Rehabilitation of Sexual Offenders With respect to sex-offender rehabilitation, the Department of Corrections in Washington State has what this author deems a best practice in this field…
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Although the Washington Department of Correction’s program is not the first of its kind, it is the first of its kind that has exhibited such a high level of success and has carefully laid out the methods by which such successful results have been obtained. As such, it will be the purpose of this brief analysis to analyze the Washington Department of Correction’s unique program in order to draw inference on the many ways in which offenders are conditioned and taught to release the negative risk factors that initially encouraged them to commit crime it the first place. Additionally, inference will be drawn based on whether or not the program should be implemented in other prison communities around the United States (McAlinden, 2007). It is interesting to note that the Washington Department of Correction’s program (also known as the Monroe Program) emphasizes a system of acknowledgement and action that is not dissimilar from that of patently successful programs such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and others (Leon, 2011). As a function of this, the first steps that are taken revolve around impressing upon the participating individual that they are responsible for their actions (Ward, 2003). Consequently, the program focuses on teaching the offenders to understand and target those patterns that initially spurred them to criminal behavior. Once this information has been learned and accepted (again acceptance of responsibility and a commitment to work to learn attitudes, thinking skills, behaviors that can assist this practice is a fundamental concept of this re-orientation) the program then moves on to the familiar ground that many rehabilitation programs cover; that of teaching new trades/crafts/or skills to the inmate (Osborn, 2007). Furthermore, the Monroe Program additionally offers group therapy sessions that are concentric around the topics of responsibility, patterns that work to regulate the behavior, relapse prevention, community re-integration approaches, as well as skills and workforce training (Briggs, 2006). Likewise, with many offender rehabilitation programs, the Monroe Program does not offer its treatments wholesale to sex offenders (Marshall, 2006). There are a list of criterion that must be met prior to the course being offered. These include: the offender must have been convicted of a sex offense for his/her current or previous term of incarceration, the offender must agree to monitor themselves and their environment to detect changes indicating that their risk to reoffend is increasing, the offender must agree to work to develop the skills necessary to intervene, manager, and reduce risky behavior, and the offender must volunteer of their own free will under the belief that the program can work to ameliorate their risk as it relates to committing crimes of a sexual nature (MacKenzie, 2006). However, the results of the program speak for themselves. Whereas many prison rehabilitation programs have low re-offense rates, currently and past literature on the issue has often indicated that sexual offenders are somehow beyond reclamation (Noles, 2008). This is however not what the results of Washington Department of Corrections Monroe Program exhibits. According to the Washington Depart
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