NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES

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1 NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES SEX OFFENDER COUNSELING AND TREATMENT PROGRAM GUIDELINES OFFICE OF GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING NOVEMBER 2008

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction... 4 Mission Statement... 5 Philosophy of Sex Offender Counseling... 5 Overview of Sex Offender Counseling and Treatment Program... 7 Curriculum... 8 Program Goals... 8 Program Administration & Staff... 9 Sex Offender Counseling Staff... 9 Modular Program... 9 Residential Program... 9 Counselor Caseloads... 9 Sex Offender Counseling Staff Training... 9 PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY Establishing the Sex Offender Counseling Need Program Criteria ASSESSMENT AND PLACEMENT Assessment Transfer Procedure KIPY Codes PROGRAM RELATED POLICIES Policy on Pornography, Photographs and Other Materials Contact with Victims Confidentiality Treatment Amenability Legal Concerns Program Refusal Retention Review Committee MANAGEMENT OF RECORDS Program Folders Records Security Records Confidentiality and Access Records Depository Processing Inmate Records for Transfer SOCTP Record Disclosure of Programmatic Record Access to Clinical Record SORA Proceedings ASAT Records TABLE OF CONTENTS (cont.) 2

3 PROGRAM DISCHARGE AND READMISSION Program Discharges Satisfactory Discharge Administrative Discharge Unsatisfactory Discharge Readmission to the Program Credit for Previous Program Participation Policy for SOCTP Refusers to Gain Entry Into the Program ATTACHMENTS ATTACHMENT 1 - SOMTA Article 19 Sexual Offenses ATTACHMENT 2 - NYS Sex Offender Registry Registerable Offenses ATTACHMENT 3 - Waiver of Access to Pornography, Photographs and Other Materials and Other Materials and Amendment to Waiver of Access to Pornography, Photographs and Other Materials. 34 ATTACHMENT 4 - Limits of Confidentiality, Partial Waiver of Confidentiality and Acknowledgement ATTACHMENT 5 - Refusal Form ATTACHMENT 6 - HIPAA Form

4 INTRODUCTION The New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) operates the largest counseling and treatment program for sex offenders in the nation. The program is offered at maximum and medium security correctional facilities in the state prison system and is providing comprehensive sex offender treatment for convicted sex offenders, those convicted of sexually motivated offenses, and other inmates whose histories, including behavior while incarcerated, indicate that they are likely to benefit from sex offender counseling and treatment. Despite increased attention on convicted sex offenders and those convicted of certain designated offenses, including such initiatives as civil management, sex offender registration and local residency restrictions, DOCS recognizes that most sex offenders and other inmates with histories of sexual offending behavior will be released to live and work in our communities. Only a small fraction of sex offenders will be the subject of a civil management proceeding. Most participants, once released, will bear the responsibility of controlling their own behaviors. The SOCTP is designed to give convicted sex offenders, and other inmates with a history of sexual offending behavior, the knowledge and skill sets that they need to live pro-social, law-abiding and productive lives. It is also designed as a first step in the on-going continuum of sex offender treatment. As used in connection with the SOCTP, the term sex offender includes all DOCS inmates who are convicted sex offenders, those convicted of sexually motivated offenses, and other inmates who are likely to benefit from sex offender counseling. The term sex offender is not limited to participants who are required to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act (Correction Law 168-a) and/or who are detained sex offenders subject to civil management review under Mental Hygiene Law (g). These Guidelines are meant to maintain standardization of the SOCTP s. 4

5 MISSION STATEMENT In keeping with the vision of enhancing public safety, DOCS is providing sex offender counseling to the increasing number of sex offenders and other inmates with histories of sexual offending behavior in state custody. In accordance with the Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act (SOMTA), the Department is committed to providing the highest quality and most comprehensive counseling possible. The primary purpose of the program is to reduce the likelihood of re-offending by assisting participants in controlling their chain of behaviors that lead to sexual offending. PHILOSOPHY OF SEX OFFENDER COUNSELING The Department supports and conducts sex offender counseling and treatment programs under the premise that sex offenders can change and that sexual re-offending behavior can be reduced through counseling and treatment. If an inmate is referred for review under Mental Hygiene Law, Article 10, successful completion of the SOCTP will be considered during the evaluations which take place as part of that process and may be viewed as a factor in the inmate's favor regarding the need for civil management. When participants return to the community, supervision and treatment for released sex offenders needs to be continued. Effective supervision and intervention can be accomplished with the monitoring of risk behaviors by the New York State Division of Parole and community treatment providers. Properly monitored and treated sex offenders in a supportive environment are less likely to re-offend. 5

6 PHILOSOPHY OF SEX OFFENDER COUNSELING (cont.) The Department s philosophy of counseling sex offenders incorporates the following beliefs and premises: Sex offenders are completely responsible for their behaviors and their acknowledgement and acceptance of responsibility is possible with counseling. Sexual abuse results from a series of decisions made by the offender. It is possible for the participants to learn to monitor and control behaviors which may lead to sexually abusive behaviors. Counseling services for sex offenders must be delivered in a professional and ethical manner. No discrimination is allowed against participants for reasons of race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age and religious beliefs. Provision of equal opportunity for active participation in the program is necessary. Program participants are responsible for their participation and progress in the program. Monitoring participation and progress is necessary to provide warranted intervention. 6

7 OVERVIEW OF THE SEX OFFENDER COUNSELING AND TREATMENT PROGRAM The Department s SOCTP is the only recognized program designed to meet the sex offender counseling need of identified participants and others in DOCS custody who could benefit from sex offender counseling and treatment. The program provides counseling for low and moderate to high risk participants. In accordance with Correction Law 622, the length of participation for each inmate to achieve successful completion shall be dependent upon the initial assessment of the inmate s specific needs and the degree of progress made by the inmate as a participant, but shall not be less than six months. The SOCTP provides residential and modular (non-residential) counseling programs. It is a comprehensive program that incorporates a didactic approach, group counseling and individualized counseling plans. Below is a brief description of both. 1. Residential Therapeutic Community: a setting where general confinement moderate and high risk participants are housed together in a unit that employs Therapeutic Community (TC) concepts. Participants on these units participate in other programs when not engaged in sex offender counseling, however, most if not all counseling activities occur within the residential unit, including Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT). Participants may have access to general population activities depending on the rules and policies of the facility. Residential treatment is available for maximum security inmates at Clinton Annex and Shawangunk Correctional Facilities; for medium security inmates at Gowanda, Mid-State and Oneida Correctional Facilities. 2. Modular Program: Provides for a call-out system where participants assemble in a specific area where ongoing sex offender counseling occurs. The counseling room should ensure for group privacy as much as possible, without violating facility rules. Modular programs are provided for general confinement and special populations as follows: Intermediate Care Units (Attica, Sullivan and Elmira), Special Needs Units (Sullivan, Wende and Arthur Kill), Regional Medical Units (Wende, Walsh, and Fishkill), Protective Custody (Clinton APPU and Collins P.C.), Behavioral Health Units (Great Meadow and Sullivan), Wheelchair Accessible (Groveland), Visually Impaired (Wende), Hearing Impaired (Wende and Sullivan) and General Population (Wende, Great Meadow, Mohawk, Collins, Arthur Kill and Groveland). Modular programs are offered to participants who are low or moderate-high risk for re-offense. Before an offender starts the program, an orientation is provided where the program-specific standards of behavior and expectations of the program are explained. They are provided with a copy of the SOCTP Inmate Orientation Handbook. The participants in the Residential Program also receive a copy of the Therapeutic Community Handbook. The administration at each facility offering the SOCTP is responsible for providing an acceptable and safe environment for the provision of the program. In addition to sex offender specific counseling, the participants are encouraged and expected to actively pursue other skill building and developmental activities such as education, vocational trades, moral and spiritual development and any other recommended counseling programs as deemed appropriate for the enhancement of wellness and self-esteem. For ongoing support of the recovery process, participants who complete the program are encouraged to continue treatment in the community upon release. 7

8 CURRICULUM The SOCTP will adhere to the SOCTP curriculum. The curriculum has been designed in such a way that it allows participants who have had their program interrupted for a short time to restart where they left off. The curriculum covers the following subjects: cognitive distortions, core values and beliefs, understanding sexually abusive behavior, sexual abuse cycle and relapse prevention skills, empathy and awareness, relationships and establishing a discharge plan. Changes to the curriculum are only allowed and directed by the approval of Central Office Guidance. PROGRAM GOALS The main goal of the SOCTP is to help participants advance through the stages below, through education and counseling. Participants should be able to demonstrate to SOCTP staff that they have progressed through these stages. 1. Demonstrate acceptance of responsibility for the sexual offending behavior; 2. Develop and demonstrate understanding of the cycle of sexual offending behavior; and 3. Develop a viable release plan with appropriate relapse intervention and prevention strategies. Progress is measured using the Progress Indicators form adapted from the Vermont Treatment Program for Sexual Aggressors, which establishes treatment objectives and evaluation criteria, and the Sex Offender Treatment Needs and Progress Scale. 8

9 PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM ORGANIZATION AND STAFF Central Office Guidance and Counseling (Guidance) supervises the Sex Offender Counseling and Treatment Program under the direction and administration of the Deputy Commissioner for Program Services. SEX OFFENDER COUNSELING STAFF Modular Program Social Worker Sex Offender Correction Counselor Residential Program Assistant Deputy Superintendent for Programs (Gowanda & Oneida) Psychologist(s) Social Worker(s) Supervising Correction Counselor(s) Sex Offender Correction Counselor(s) Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT) Counselor(s) Security Staff Clerical staff The program staff functions as a team, including the security staff. To accomplish maximum insight and benefit during the group dynamics, facilities conducting the SOCTP strive to pair male and female group co-facilitators. COUNSELOR CASELOADS It is recommended that the correction counselors assigned to the SOCTP carry reduced caseloads: fifty (50) in the modular low risk programs (LR) and twenty (20) in the residential and the modular medium/high risk (HR) programs. SEX OFFENDER COUNSELING STAFF TRAINING SOCTP staff must attend a minimum of 32 hours of sex offender specific training per year. Sex offender training opportunities which come to the attention of facility staff must be forwarded to Central Office Guidance for review, approval and, if appropriate, statewide distribution. 9

10 PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY ESTABLISHING THE SEX OFFENDER COUNSELING NEED Inmates will be assigned to participate in the SOCTP, if one or more of the following circumstances apply: 1. The offender is serving a sentence for a sex offense, attempted sex offense or conspiracy to commit a sex offense as defined by Section (p) of the NYS Mental Hygiene Law, including a sentence for a specified offense as a sexually motivated felony under Penal Law Section (ATTACHMENT 1 - SOMTA Article 10 Sexual Offenses) or any Article 130 sex offense (ATTACHMENT 2). 2. The offender is serving any indeterminate or determinate sentence(s) of imprisonment for any non-sex crime which also satisfies a sentence for any misdemeanor sex offense (e.g., pursuant to Penal Law Section 70.35). 3. The offender s instant offense is a guilty plea to a non-sex crime, but there is evidence in the pre-sentence report or other related documents that behavior of a sexual nature occurred in the commitment of the crime and/or the offender is sentenced on a violation of probation (VOP) for a sex offense. 4. At any time of his incarceration for the instant offense, the offender has a detainer commitment lodged against him for a misdemeanor sex offense or any other offense that included behavior of a sexual nature. 5. The offender s instant offense is Failure to Register as a Sex Offender 1 st or 2 nd offense (COR Law 168-t). 6. The offender is a Returned Parole Violator (RPV) who had the assessed need of sex offender counseling before release, but never completed the SOCTP. 7. The offender is a RPV and his supervision was revoked for incurring one or more sexually reoffending risk factors (lapses) such as, but not limited to: absence of positive supports, noncompliance with supervision and/or treatment, employment instability, or substance abuse. Other risk factors such as prior sexual offending behavior, conflicts in adult relationships, intimacy deficits, deviant sexual arousal patterns, age at onset of sexual offending, same gender victims (male on male) and general and sexual self-regulation difficulties and/or psychopathy will also be reviewed and considered. 8. The reason for the offender s Parole revocation was of a sexual nature. 9. Guilty finding per the Standards of Inmate Behavior of a sex offense, threats to commit a sex offense, penal law offense of a sexual nature or attempt thereof. 10

11 ESTABLISHING THE SEX OFFENDER COUNSELING NEED (cont.) 10. After completing the SOCTP, the offender is found guilty per the Standards of Inmate Behavior of committing a sex offense, threats to commit a sex offense, penal law offense of a sexual nature or attempt thereof. 11. After completing the SOCTP, the offender is found guilty per the Standards of Inmate Behavior of Disobeying a Direct Order for possessing, accessing/using pornography or unauthorized literature, or possession of contraband as defined in the Waiver of Access to Pornography, Photographs and Other Materials and any amendment to the waiver. The correctional facilities have the authority to establish the sex offender need in the Program/Earned Eligibility Plan of any offender whose instant offense (IO) is a sexual offense as defined by number one above. For all other cases, the correctional facilities are to send to Central Office Guidance an appropriate auto-routed electronic form (e-form) as indicated below and fax the supporting documentation to the Office of Guidance and Counseling ATTN: Sex Offender Counseling staff. Both documents are to be submitted on the same day. NON-SOREF - This e-form will be used to refer cases to Central Office Guidance which meet criteria #2 through #5. SORPV - This e-form will be used to refer cases to Central Office Guidance which meet criteria #6 through #8 and for all Returned Parole Violators (no new term) whose IO is a sexual crime as per Article 10 of the Mental Hygiene Law. After reviewing the e-form referral and submitted documentation, the Central Office SOCTP staff will make a determination about an inmate s need for sex offender counseling and will send a decision to the requesting facility via the answer mode. Facility staff will notify the inmate and file the received message in the inmate s Guidance folder and make a chrono entry of the decision made in the chrono sheet. PROGRAM CRITERIA The following criteria will be followed when admitting inmates into the SOCTP. Central Office Guidance must be consulted if questions concerning eligibility arise. 1. Following best practices, sex offenders will be placed in the SOCTP as they get closer to their release date: eighteen (18) months to earliest release date (ERD) for low risk participants and thirty six (36) months to conditional release date (CRD) for moderate and high risk participants. 2. Participants must submit to required assessments. See further information on page Participants must sign the Waiver of Access to Pornography, Photographs and Other Materials form (ATTACHMENT 3). 11

12 ASSESSMENT AND PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT All participants accepted into the SOCTP will undergo the following assessment process: 1. Re-offending risk is assessed using the STATIC 99 instrument. At reception, re-offending risk of inmates who have a conviction for one or more offenses specified under MHL (p) may be assessed by the Office of Mental Health Sex Offender Assessment Unit. Participants who have not yet had their re-offending risk assessed will be assessed by the SOCTP staff upon their admission to the program. Participants are given a designation of moderate to high or low re-offending risk. The risk level is entered into the F451 computer system under Function Code 82 by Central Office Guidance. When the risk level is entered, it will trigger the placement of the participant s name on one of two Required Program Lists (RPL). Moderate to high risk (HR) participants are placed on the 87H RPL and low risk (LR) participants are placed on the 87C RPL. 2. Psychosexual evaluations and assessments may also be done by OMH staff for participants convicted of a crime included within MHL Section (p). The Department s Mental Health staff will complete the Participation Notification Form, available in the orientation section of the curriculum, for all inmates convicted of a crime specified in MHL Section (p) who are time eligible to participate in the program. If OMH indicates that an offender should not participate in the program, the offender will not be required to participate in the program and the MPU (medically or psychiatrically unable to participate) status code will be entered in the offender s Program/Earned Eligibility Plan. 3. Once in the SOCTP, other assessment instruments are administered which may include the Vermont Assessment Sex Offender Risk (VASOR), Texas Christian University (TCU) Criminal Thinking Scales, TCU Drug Screen II, Vermont Treatment & Progress Scale (VTPS) and Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R) and/or other assessment instruments consistent with best practices in the field of sex offender counseling and treatment. 12

13 TRANSFER PROCEDURE It is very important to provide sex offenders with statutorily mandated sex offender counseling in a timely fashion. Per Section 622 of the Correction Law, participation in the SOCTP is coordinated to permit the completion of the program prior to civil management review. Participants are placed in the program according to their qualifying release date. Inmates already at correctional facilities with the program are placed in the program by the SOCTP staff as they become time eligible for the program. Participants at correctional facilities without the SOCTP are transferred to facilities with the appropriate program when they are time eligible. Management reports provided by Program Planning, Research and Evaluation are used for this purpose. These reports provide Central Office Guidance with a list of participants who are time eligible for the program. Central Office Guidance instructs the correctional facilities to submit transfer requests for the movement of these participants. Procedurally, inmates closest to their qualifying release date will be placed into the program first. The specific transfer procedure is as follows: The Sex Offender Counseling Unit in Central Office sends an message to the Supervising Correction Counselor of the correctional facility housing the qualifying participants with instructions to submit a priority unscheduled transfer request (UTR) for participation in the SOCTP at a designated facility. Unless extenuating circumstances preclude it, the transfer requests are to be submitted within three (3) business days. Central Office Guidance must be notified via answer mode if the deadline cannot be met or if there are transfer requests that cannot be submitted. The action taken by the facility will be documented in the chrono sheet of the inmates guidance folders. Transfer requests must conform to the following format: T3 must indicate the specific receiving facility specified in the . T4 must list transfer considerations affecting placement such as ambulatory limitations, hearing and speech deficits, medical concerns, etc. T5 must include the transfer explanation as follows: Inmate has been approved by the Director of Guidance and Counseling for transfer to the Sex Offender Counseling and Treatment Program at (facility name & facility code). A transfer order will be issued by the Office of Classification and Movement. Guidance will monitor movement of the participants to make sure participants closer to their qualifying release date are moved first. 13

14 KIPY CODES The correct KIPY code must be used when admitting participants into the SOCTP. If the wrong code is used, the participant s name will remain in the RPL. KIPY codes will be used as follows: PROGRAM CODE RPL KIPY CODE Residential Program 87H 892 Modular High Risk Programs 87H 894 Modular Low Risk Programs 87C 872 Substance Abuse 75D 893* *When an inmate is assigned to a Residential SOCTP (KIPY Code 892) and has a need for substance abuse treatment (i.e., ABUSE on Inmate Program Plan), the inmate is also placed in KIPY Code 893, CD/SOP unpaid. Please note that KIPY Code 893 is covered under RPL 75D as an ASAT Shop. Placement in 893 must be done at the same time as placement in KIPY Code

15 PROGRAM RELATED POLICIES POLICY ON PORNOGRAPHY, PHOTOGRAPHS AND OTHER MATERIALS Use of pornographic materials is counterproductive to the sex offender counseling and wellness process. Pornographic materials can trigger deviant sexual fantasies and are often found to be part of a sex offender s grooming and sexual assault cycle. It promotes attitudes of objectification, degradation and sexualization, which reinforce deviant sexual interests and aggression. Prior to beginning Level I of the SOCTP, the Waiver of Access to Pornography, Photographs and Other Materials, as well as the Amendment to this waiver (ATTACHMENT 3), are explained to the participants. Based upon their individual sexual abuse history, the SOCTP treatment team will detail the specific categories of prohibited materials. Both documents will be signed by the offender and a SOCTP staff member. The prohibition of pornography is intended for both current participants and graduates of the program. This includes inmates whose participation is suspended while serving a disciplinary sanction. If access, possession or use of pornography is detected while in the program, this will result in a treatment team conference to decide on appropriate intervention for the offender s behavior. If the treatment team decides to discharge a participant for this type of behavior, documentation of this action will be placed in both the SOCTP and guidance folders. If the behavior is detected after completing the program, this will be considered a relapse and a referral back to the SOCTP will be made. For these cases, it is important to send the relapse records to Parole. CONTACT WITH VICTIMS Per Directives #4422 Inmate Correspondence Program and # Inmate Telephone Calls, inmates are prohibited from communicating in writing or by telephone with victims they have been convicted of abusing or are under indictment for their abuse. If available, the names of their victims must be placed on their negative telephone and correspondence lists. Program participants who write or call the victims of their sex offenses will be discharged from the program. This includes victims who are family members. As stipulated in these directives they, as well as graduates from the program, may also be subject to disciplinary action. Their behavior will be reported to Parole and the Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders. All contact with victims is to be documented. Per Directive #4423, if the victim of an inmate is residing with immediate family members of the inmate, authorization from the superintendent of the facility must be secured by the inmate before placing calls to that residence. To prevent accidental or manipulated contact with sex offense victims, calls to the victims residence are to be discouraged. 15

16 CONTACT WITH VICTIMS (cont.) All orders of protection will be adhered to and complied with. If an order of protection prohibits physical contact, telephone and written communication, the name(s) of the protected person(s) must be placed on the negative telephone, correspondence and visiting lists. If a protected person changes his/her mind and wishes to resume contact with the offender, it is that person s responsibility to contact the court and ensure that the order of protection is rescinded or amended as applicable. However, per Directive #4423, written and telephone contact with formerly protected persons who are victims of crimes for which an offender has been convicted or is under indictment for, is still prohibited. Their names will remain on the negative correspondence and telephone lists. CONFIDENTIALITY The Professional Code of Ethics of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) requires its members to inform clients of the limits of confidentiality, exceptions to any agreed upon confidentiality, mandatory reporting requirements, and to address issues of confidentiality in a group setting. The Department's SOCTP is designed to be as consistent as possible with the ATSA standards and the Limits of Confidentiality, Partial Waiver of Confidentiality and Acknowledgment form (ATTACHMENT 4) is intended to assist in meeting this ethical standard of treatment. Before proceeding to Level II, each participant must sign the Limits of Confidentiality, Partial Waiver of Confidentiality and Acknowledgment form. Signing this acknowledgement form is required before further participation in the SOCTP will be permitted, and before any sexual offending behavior specific counseling and treatment will be conducted. An inmate who declines to sign the acknowledgement form will be unsatisfactorily discharged from the SOCTP and documented as a refusal. The disclosures contemplated in the Acknowledgement form take into consideration those statutory and other disclosure requirements most often associated with treatment of incarcerated sex offenders and other inmates with a sex offender counseling need within New York State. These disclosure requirements may not be applicable in every case, however, as the law, facts and circumstances continue to change, so may disclosure requirements. TREATMENT AMENABILITY Participants with low amenability to sex offender counseling and a high level of denial cannot be excluded from participating in the SOCTP. It is well-accepted that having the need for sex offender counseling does not necessarily translate into wanting or seeking participation in sex offender counseling. In recognition of this, the Department will transfer inmates with an established sex offender counseling need to an appropriate program site. Although inmates cannot be forced to accept treatment, they will be provided with the necessary information for making an informed decision about participating in the SOCTP. Our legal and moral obligation is to make available to them the tools to self-manage their deviant behavior; it is up to them to accept and/or use those tools. 16

17 TREATMENT AMENABILITY (cont.) All identified sex offenders, and other inmates who are likely to benefit from sex offender counseling and treatment, will be interviewed by SOCTP staff including those refusing to participate in the program. The staff will explain the program and the role sex offender counseling has in lowering reoffending risk and how important understanding and managing risk factors are in the prevention of sexual re-offending. Participants need to make the connection between participating in the program and a successful community reintegration. Although the focus of the interview and program orientation will be on how the SOCTP will improve the participants chances of remaining in the community, participants will also be informed of the impact that refusing sex offender counseling or receiving an unsatisfactory discharge from the SOCTP may have on their eligibility for certain privileges such as transfers closer to home, earned eligibility, time allowance and family reunion. If an inmate is referred for review under Mental Hygiene Law, Article 10, successful completion of the SOCTP will be considered during the evaluations which take place as part of that process and may be viewed as a factor in the inmate's favor regarding the need for civil management. Reluctant participants who want to give counseling a try will be given the opportunity to participate in the program provided they sign the Waiver of Access to Pornography, Photographs and Other Materials and comply with the assessment process. If given the opportunity, some participants will begin to accept responsibility for their behavior and will become invested in the counseling process. If that does not occur, the offender can sign a program refusal form and an unsatisfactory discharge from the SOCTP will be made. Participants in the modular and residential programs will demonstrate the ability to: lower or attempt to lower self-protective defenses to facilitate counseling intervention; change or attempt to change maladaptive patterns, rather than to try to change others or their environment; accept constructive feedback from others and use that feedback to make positive changes in their lives; give feedback to others in a positive and constructive way; appropriately control anger, aggression and destructive behavior; actively participate in group dynamics and all other activities of the SOCTP; apply the principles learned in counseling to daily activities instead of rote memorization and verbalization of concepts; abide by all prohibitions and restrictions ordered by the Court or recommended by SOCTP. 17

18 LEGAL CONCERNS An inmate s legal concerns may serve as an impediment to effective treatment. In order for an inmate participant to benefit from the program of treatment, he or she must feel as comfortable as possible fully and frankly discussing his or her history of sexual offending behavior, whether that behavior resulted in the conviction for the instant offense, was behavior that occurred in connection with the conduct that resulted in the conviction, or was wholly unrelated to the instant offense. Most often, an offender s legal concerns are expressed in the context of the Fifth Amendment right to be free from compelled self-incrimination. Accordingly, an offender is not required to admit the commission of a particular crime, whether it resulted in the present commitment or not. Furthermore, no written or oral statement made by a program participant in conjunction with treatment services rendered in connection with the Sex Offender Counseling and Treatment Program may be used against the inmate in any subsequent criminal proceeding in accordance with the Limits of Confidentiality, Partial Waiver of Confidentiality and Acknowledgment form. In addition, no program participant may reveal in any subsequent criminal proceeding any information disclosed by another inmate in a group therapy session or otherwise disclosed in conjunction with treatment services rendered as part of the Sex Offender Counseling and Treatment Program. For successful program participation, the offender may discuss his or her behavior in general terms without providing the full/last names of victims, without disclosing the exact dates, times, and places (e.g., the city, town, etc.) of various sexual offending behavior, and without admitting to any specific crime or the violation of any specific section of the Penal Law (e.g., rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the third degree, sexual abuse in the second degree, etc.). Nonetheless, the offender must openly and honestly discuss the behavior that resulted in his or her incarceration and referral to the program, demonstrate acceptance of responsibility for the conduct that resulted in his or her criminal conviction and demonstrate an understanding of his or her sexual offending behavior and cycle of abuse. In order to do so, an inmate will be expected to fully and frankly discuss the behavior that resulted in the conviction and any other history of sexual offending behavior. This will include discussing prior incidents of sexual offending behavior, and the individual thoughts and feelings associated with that behavior, regardless of whether any criminal justice intervention occurred. Although there is no prohibition against providing exact dates, ages of victims and other specific information, an inmate is not required to provide the full names of victims, exact dates, times, and places of various sexual offending behavior in order to appropriately participate in treatment. 18

19 PROGRAM REFUSAL An offender s unwillingness to participate in the SOCTP based upon a claim that participation violates the offender s Fifth Amendment rights will be construed as a refusal. In accordance with the private settlement agreement in Donhauser v. Goord, and consistent with the programmatic need to encourage participants to fully and frankly discuss their history of sexual offending behavior, no written or oral statement made by a program participant in conjunction with treatment services may be used against the inmate in any subsequent criminal proceeding. Similarly, a claim that an offender cannot suffer adverse consequences for refusing to participate in sex offender counseling because the case is on appeal and there is a continuing Fifth Amendment right not to be compelled to self-incriminate is incorrect. The Second Circuit United States Court of Appeals ruled in Johnson v. Baker, 108 F.3d 10, that state officials are permitted to take adverse administrative action for failure to respond to inquiries, even where the answers might tend to incriminate, so long as the adverse consequence is imposed for failure to answer a relevant inquiry and not for refusal to give up a constitutional right. The court said no doubt that inquiries seeking an inmate s admission to an alleged sexual offense are relevant to the proper functioning of a rehabilitative program. The court further stated: an inmate who is unwilling to admit to a particular criminal activity is unlikely to benefit from a rehabilitative process aimed at helping those guilty of that activity. In light of program policies that permit an offender to participate in the SOCTP without providing the full names of victims, without disclosing the exact dates, times, and places of various sexual offending behavior, and without admitting to any specific crime or the violation of any specific section of the Penal Law, together with the policy providing that no written or oral statement made by a program participant in conjunction with treatment services rendered in connection with the Sex Offender Counseling and Treatment Program may be used against the inmate in any subsequent criminal proceeding, an inmate s assertion of his Fifth Amendment rights as a basis to avoid fully participating in the SOCTP constitutes a refusal. The treatment team will conduct interviews with inmates who are refusing the program. The Program Refusal Form (ATTACHMENT 5) will be explained to the offender, completed and signed by both the offender and a treatment team member. If the inmate refuses to sign it, a notation to that effect must be entered on the form. The refusal will be properly documented in all pertinent records: chrono sheets of both the SOCTP and Guidance folders, the Program/Earned Eligibility Plan and Section I, Item 2 - Refusals to Accept Recommended Programs of the quarterly evaluation. An inmate who initially refused to participate in the SOCTP may subsequently, at any time, request to participate in the SOCTP. For these cases, the status code of REF (refusal) will remain in the Program/Earned Eligibility Plan until the offender starts participation in the program. He/she will be placed in SOCTP according to his/her applicable release date. 19

20 RETENTION REVIEW COMMITTEE The Retention Review Committee (RRC) functions to assess program status. The RRC meets with an inmate to review poor program performance, disciplinary problems and continued non-compliance with program objectives or failure to complete the program. Major areas of review are as follows: assignments, counseling notifications, monthly evaluations (learning experiences and behavior contracts may also be considered). The RRC is comprised of the treatment team members and may include the following: Supervising Correction Counselor (SCC), the inmate s primary Correction Counselor, ASAT Correction Counselor, Social Worker, Psychologist, Security personnel, when available, (preferably area Sergeant). The Committee is chaired by the SCC or appointed designee. The Committee should have at least three members to convene but additional staff input is always encouraged. When a staff member desires to share a concern or provide relevant documentation, contact should be made with the SCC. The RRC attempts to educate the inmate in reference to the seriousness of poor program performance or disciplinary problems. The goal of the RRC is to communicate a positive message which will impact the inmate s personal decision making processes, translating into productive programming and satisfactory adjustment. Procedure Referrals: Completed by any staff member, the referral source must provide documentation for consideration at the meeting and include evidence of non-compliance or failure to meet the minimum standards of behavior as outlined in the Standards of Inmate Behavior, the TC Handbook, or other SOCTP guidelines or contracts. Documentation: A Chrono must be entered in the SOCTP folder indicating referral source, specific reason for the referral and sanctions imposed. Appearance: Referred inmate is required to be present at the RRC meeting. Reasons for the referral will be explained and the inmate will be given the opportunity to discuss the referral briefly. The course of action or sanctions will be discussed and expectations will be spelled out. No witnesses from the inmate will be permitted. Notification: Inmate will be notified in writing of the RRC s decision within 72 hours of his or her appearance. At times, an inmate will refuse positive reinforcement and dismiss any direction. In this case, the RRC shall recommend a program removal and all facility/program policy and procedures or guidelines regarding program removals will be followed. The RRC may assign interventions such as behavior contracts, learning experiences or other tasks in relationship to treatment issues to promote both compliance and understanding of specific treatment objectives. 20

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