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Critical Issues in Corrections Essay


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Critical Issues in Corrections

In the United States, there is an alarming case of sexual assaults. Approximately 300,000 women are raped annually and nearly 3.5 million suffer from unwanted sexual activity. Estimates of 950,000 children are victims of maltreatment annual, of which 9 percent are abused sexually. New cases of sexual offenders in the United States are increasing in the last decades. In prison, they pursue Sexual Offender Treatment program. However, studies have recorded that approximately 7 percent of the offenders return to prison (Harrison, & Rainey, 2013). The treatment program plays a major role in facilitating the safety of the community. Sexual offender treatment initiate facilitate a crucial effort, which aims to assist them to start a new life. The program has reentry initiative to ensure that delinquents receive training and training. Therefore, by the time they are returning to the society, they have enough capacity to make sound decisions that will help them out of prison. Research indicates that nearly 95 percent of the sex offenders return in the society from prison (Petersilia & Reitz, 2012). Therefore, treatment programs are valuable instruments that enable them to become law-abiding individuals.

Wright, (2014) suggest that the best treatment practices help the deviants to learn new methods of managing risks. They also ensure that adequate information is available to assist society and departments in monitoring and controlling sexual offenders sufficiently.  Additionally, it ensures that improvement and evaluations are conducted (Siegel & Bartollas, 2014). Sexual deviancy is a self-acquired trait; therefore, a core factor of the treatment is that deviants can understand to evade sexual aggression. There are equipped with skills to live harmoniously with the society (Harrison, & Rainey, 2013). Effective treatment starts with broad assessment that involves psychological examinations, crucial interviews and other strategies aiming to define treatment strategies and goals for every defender.

Professional counselors conduct the treatment whereby they determine what contributed to previous offender’s action (Whitehead, Jones & Braswell, 2010). Subsequently, their history of offences helps to determine their attitudes, behavior and thinking skills, which are necessary for re-offending reductions. Group and individual therapies are very crucial in sexual offender’s treatments. For instance, groups of 12-15 members have very essential in offender’s re-orientations (Petersilia & Reitz, 2012). The groups meet regularly for six to ten hours.

The aims of group therapy in sex offenders’ treatment is to assist in taking responsibility for assaultive traits. The delinquents learn on the best practices to know their arrangements of criminal activities. Besides, it helps them to know how to avoid relapse and other skills for management of re-offenses risks (Petersilia & Reitz, 2012). Therefore, they are capable of knowing the behaviors, thinking skills and attitudes that are important to reside safely in the society. Ultimately, the group therapy helps in preparation of learning new skills and knowledge (Wright, 2014). Most notably, the treatment programs focuses on the life skills and sexual deviancy.

However, the prison receives a wide range of sexual offenders. Therefore, there are differences in their commitment and motivation to transformation (Harrison, & Rainey, 2013). If treatment program succeeds, the sexual offender is able to realize and learn on the factors that influenced their behaviors. They are also in a good position to control themselves and their surroundings to identify risky changes that can lead to reoffending. Moreover, they develop adequate skills that help them to intervene, control and minimize risky behaviors. Therefore, they are capable to retain their willingness and capacity to utilize monitoring and intervention skills in a in an effective and timely manner (Siegel & Bartollas, 2014). In this respect, they are able to pursue outside helps when necessary.

The eligibility of sex offender in treatment program includes conviction of a sex offence for his or her former or current incarceration period. They should be eligible for future release from prison and must voluntarily participate in the treatment programs.  However, the administrators may change the rules of those who can attend the treatment programs (Siegel & Bartollas, 2014). Most of these people who think that they can repeat their offenses after release should adequately attend the programs.

According to Whitehead, Jones & Braswell, (2010), persons who have a high level of violence when committing such crimes should be considered. The underlying reason behind this is due to their high capacity to commit more crimes than their records indicate. Petersilia & Reitz, (2012) argues that offenders who indicate signs of sex offenses repeat should be included in the treatment programs (Petersilia & Reitz, 2012). Additionally, prisons are areas with more cases of sexual abuses; therefore, those who engage in aggressive sexual behaviors must be in the treatment programs. Moreover, study by, Harrison, & Rainey, (2013) indicate that persons with fantasies and thoughts related to sexually abusive traits are highly likely to repeat their risky sexual behaviors (Harrison, & Rainey, 2013).

Policies governing the sex offenders are governed by the Department of Corrections. After they are allowed to re-enter, the society, offenders under a close supervision from the DOC. The policies ensure that there is follow up treatment in the community. In addition, rules ensure proper protection of offenders, entire public, vulnerable people and the victims of sexual abuses. There are rules that require registration of sex offenders through the courts and the Department of Community. The primary role of the DOC is to assist the sex offenders to become law-abiding members of the community (Wright, 2014). Therefore, they are required to report weekly or monthly to the department. In addition, after release, they should remain with specified geographical locations and retain contacts with Community Corrections Officer (Harrison, & Rainey, 2013). Before, moving to another city, state or county, sex offenders and kidnappers should register pursuant to the law. The county Sheriff’s office ensures that they are registered with 24 hours prior to their release.

The Community Corrections officer should confirm the living arrangement and residence of the kidnappers or sex offenders. Prior to their movement, they are granted permissions, which has their address and after careful assessment to determine potential of a risky behaviors to the society (Whitehead, Jones & Braswell, 2010). The rules prohibit owning a personal computer for the offenders. However, the community correction officer allows only access of specific sites if they must use a personal computer. Policies do not permit sexual offenders to possess materials with pornographic contents such as telephones, videos and magazines (Harrison, & Rainey, 2013). Ultimately, community corrections officers have mandates to inspect every area of their homes.

Treatment in the society ensures that a sufficient follow up is determined to sex offenders released from prisons. The policies require that sex offenders released from prison should live under tight supervision. They should also follow extra sets of offender’s probation and should follow all the state laws and register in the Utah’s registry (Petersilia & Reitz, 2012). In this regard, all their crucial information is such as the where they work and live. Every state authority employs professional sexual deviancy counselors who issue psychosexual treatments and evaluations. These professionals allow the Community correction officers to observe continuously their treatment progress. However, sexual offenders cannot change their counselors without permission (Harrison, & Rainey, 2013). Besides, they deliver to plethysmograph and polygraph assessment to determine their sexual arousal under the guidance of the CCO and the therapists.

Sexual offenders cannot buy, consume or possess any type of substance that affect their mood or mind without the guidance of the doctor. They should first undergo a chemical dependency treatment prior to use of prescribed treatment. These substances include alcohol and other drugs. Indeed, to monitor their compliance, they should deliver urine test or breathalyzer assessment (Whitehead, Jones & Braswell, 2010). Furthermore, the law requires submission of HIV and DNA test reports.

The court bars the individuals from contacting families of victims or victims themselves. They cannot use third parties or mails to the victims unless the court monitors the communication through the CCO (Wright, 2014). Their relationships are closely supervised since they are required to give all details concerning their conviction to potential sexual partner. The community correction officer must be aware of the intimate relationship in order to protect any child from abuse (Siegel & Bartollas, 2014).

Strengths and weaknesses of sex offender’s treatment programs

Siegel & Bartollas, (2014) argues that sex offender corrections programs reduce the likelihood of recidivism among the sex offenders. Therefore, the rate of recidivism reduces among the child molesters and rapists. However, the researcher noted that the effectiveness of the treatment depends on the criminal behavior of the offender. Most notably, rapist showed a lower rate of recidivism as compared to child molesters. Therefore, more rapists re-entered the prison after release to the community. These treatment programs also protect the society from rapists and sexual molesters (Siegel & Bartollas, 2014). However, these programs have not reduced the high incidence of sexual assaults. The treatment programs have not effectively solved the problem of mental and physical problems from the victims. The corrections mechanisms should be improved in order to reduce high cases of sexual assaults.


Harrison, K., & Rainey, B. (2013). The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of legal and ethical aspects of sex offender treatment and management. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.

Petersilia, J., & Reitz, K. (2012). The Oxford handbook of sentencing and corrections. New York: Oxford University Press.

Siegel, L., & Bartollas, C. (2014). Corrections today. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Whitehead, J., Jones, M., & Braswell, M. (2010). Exploring Corrections in America (2nd ed.). Burlington: Elsevier Science.

Wright, R. (2014). Sex offender laws (2nd ed.). New York: Springer Pub.