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#83068 - 07/05/05 11:02 PM Training the judges!
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1798
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
This is the group I'm working with in Dutchess County. I wasn't a part of this effort but I'm really proud of the ones that were!

Monitoring stricter for sex offenders
New treatments being designed
By Kathianne Boniello
Poughkeepsie Journal

July 4, 2005

Not every person on probation or parole has to keep an hourly log of their activities, but some sex offenders do.

A daily diary is only one of the restrictions that can help keep a sex offender from harming more victims.

"For us to properly supervise these guys, we really need these special conditions," said Dutchess County Probation Officer Jeffrey Walraven, who monitors sex offenders.

Under certain conditions that can be ordered by a judge at sentencing, a sex offender on probation can be placed under a range of restrictions aimed at keeping him or her from reoffending. Such conditions could also apply to sex offenders on parole.

Team teaches judges

A coalition of Dutchess criminal justice representatives is working to educate the county's judges on just what those conditions are, in hopes of getting the appropriate supervision for local sex offenders.

The effort began June 3 with a special training session for Dutchess judges on sex offenders and the issues specific to treating and monitoring them. The training was inspired by the county's sex offender management project, which is a collaborative effort by Dutchess criminal justice agencies to research and employ innovative methods. The project is funded by a U.S. Department of Justice grant.

"Research shows it's a combination of supervision, special conditions and treatment that help [reduce] recidivism," said Sharon Doane, director of forensic services for Family Services Inc. "What happens at sentencing is really critical in terms of what happens with risk management."

Keeping a diary can help offenders track thinking patterns and spot high-risk behavior before it leads to another victim, Walraven said.

"For a sex offender, that's very important, that he knows what he has been doing," Walraven said of the diary. "If he's not cognizant of what's going on around him, then he has the opportunity to fall into high-risk behavior."

Those working on the county's sex offender project are also hoping to institute a uniform standard for how to handle convicted sex offenders about to be released into the community.

One of the standards they'd like to see, Doane said, is a presentencing clinical psychological evaluation of each offender performed by qualified personnel.

Another standard being proposed is an initial six-month period during which stricter controls and conditions are placed on a sex offender. Under the plan, the conditions would be reevaluated and possibly altered by the court after six months.

"The idea is that in six months we'll get a good sense of their risk factors and how they're responding to treatment," Doane said. "Then you're able to really tailor the orders and conditions to the specific person."

Full evaluations helpful

A thorough evaluation by someone who specializes in treating sex offenders can be a key factor in helping prosecutors and judges at sentencing, said Marjorie Smith, Dutchess County senior assistant district attorney.

"As a prosecutor, I want to know as much about them as I can," Smith said. "That way the judge gets much more of a feeling about the offender and can make a much more informed decision about what special conditions are appropriate."

The special conditions also allow law enforcement to do a better job monitoring sex offenders, said county Legislator Rob Rolison, R-Poughkeepsie, who is part of the project.

"If they don't do it, then the whole process doesn't really get started," Rolison said of the conditions ordered by judges.

Conditions, including treatment, can also provide a stable environment for convicted sex offenders.

Educating judges about how special conditions work and ordering evaluations so each sex offender is getting appropriate monitoring is important, Walraven said.

"You don't want to make things worse for them either," Walraven said of the offenders.

Smith said "the better suited the conditions are for the individual offender, the goal is it will ultimately make them less likely to offend. And that's in everybody's interest, including the offender."

Kathianne Boniello can be reached at

#83069 - 07/13/05 10:55 PM Re: Training the judges!
Caetel Offline

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Dear Roland

The NGO Respect our child is preparing a project of formal training in Europe for so called "experts in courts". It would be interested for us to be in contact with the organizers of the project teaching the judges.
If you have details contacts of people interested to work on this with us or share experience please forward to
Thank you !

Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

#83070 - 07/13/05 11:02 PM Re: Training the judges!
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1798
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
I'll pass that on, thanks!

#83071 - 07/14/05 12:52 AM Re: Training the judges!
Kirk Wayne Offline

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 499
Loc: Shrewsbury UK


Wonderful stuff especially the "Teaching the Judges". I am pleased to see that such a programme exists somewhere in the world. Unfortunately most of our Judges (High Court & Crown Court)here in the UK are of an age and education to have experienced our English "Public School" (Private) system.

We had a tradition called "Fagging" here in the public schools. To be a "Fag" you were the lowest of the low and basically a slave for the senior boys. You did what you were told otherwise you would be punished severely by the senior boy you were assigned to. It is only now that some of the "disciplines" that were dished out was obviously SA.

No doubt some of our most senior judges witnessed some SA, heard of SA or have been the "victims of SA". They may have even been perps. This was the typical British way "keep silent", "Stiff upper lip" and "take it like a man" type attitude.

In the little I have read about the subject of public schools the more I am sure that some senior judges veiw SA (at Public School) as the norm. Unfortunately shame is something that most, if not all of our Judges, Politicians and the powers that be, have ever felt (recognised or accepted), what is like to be ashamed and humiliated, they appear to have become so desensitised to it, they have had any empathy conditioned out of by way of the heirarchical system in the public schools and the armed services and I fear that they feel that us survivors should "just get on with it".

"Fagging" I hasten to add was made illegal here in the early/mid nineteen seventies. Shame is such a great silencer, even of people within the public services.

You try getting your letters answered by a politician here in the UK, maybe you do a little better, in the USA

There is no way on this earth that UK judges are wanting to be educated by a recoverung survivor, alcoholic/addict and "rent boy". But I will keep chipping away. Thank heavens long hand has been replaced with the keyboard.

Something has to happen as their sentacing of perps is almost obscene.

I wish you all the best. Please let me know how you get on.


PS There is a graphic de>

#83072 - 07/14/05 01:28 AM Re: Training the judges!
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1798
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
Yeah, sometimes the louder you shout, the harder they press their hands to their ears, eh?

Keep up the fight.


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