of Difficult Cases
Sex Offender Treatment for Juvenile Sex Offenders
Juveniles charged with sex offenses are a significant part of the cases we see at the Meryhew Law Group. Juveniles are different than adult offenders in many ways, and we have learned that the key to success in representing those clients is to understand their needs and find appropriate solutions based on the particular juvenile we are working with. Sex offender treatment is one of the most effective ways to help a juvenile end a pattern of destructive behavior, and we are very experienced in finding the appropriate evaluator and treatment provider for our clients.
Juvenile Sex Offenders are Different From Adults
There are several important differences between adolescent and adult sex offenders. Juveniles offenders are much more responsive to treatment and have lower rates of reoffending after completing treatment. Juvenile offenders have fewer victims than adults, and most are not predatory and do not meet the criteria for pedophilia. Juvenile offenses tend to be opportunistic and situational, and most kids stop that behavior as they mature and understand the consequences of their behavior. The reoffense rates for juvenile sex offenders are significantly less than for other juvenile delinquent behaviors, averaging approximately 7% to 14%. These reoffense rates are also much lower than adult offenders. Juveniles who have successfully completed a community-based specialized sex offender treatment program have the lowest reoffense rates of all.
Juvenile Sex Offender Treatment—What is it?
Sex offender treatment for juveniles is concerned with sexual behavior and a lot more. In treatment the juvenile will learn to overcome their denial and tell the whole truth about their past behavior. This helps the juvenile to become a more responsible and honest person. Treatment also helps the juvenile to identify the motivations for sexual acting out, and works to change their thinking and behavior. Treatment will teach the juvenile skills for expressing their feelings and establishing self-control with the goal of helping the juvenile to better cope with stress without acting out. Relapse prevention is a key component of treatment, and teaches the juvenile tools to use in the future when temptations occur. Treatment works to help the juvenile build healthier relationships, and strives to develop a sense of empathy toward their victim and other vulnerable members of society. Juvenile sex offender treatment is largely done in a group setting, though individual treatment is available for juveniles who would not do well in a group.
Juvenile Sex Offender Treatment—How do You get Involved
Before a treatment provider can accept a juvenile into their treatment program there must be a psychosexual evaluation done by a state certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider with expertise in working with juvenile offenders. This first step is required to enable the treatment providers to assess the risk a juvenile poses to the community if placed in outpatient treatment, as well as to develop a treatment plan based upon the particular needs and abilities of the juvenile. Once that is completed the juvenile can begin to participate in treatment.
What Does Sex Offender Treatment do to Help the Criminal Case
Washington has sentencing alternatives for juveniles who participate in sex offender treatment that offer an opportunity to avoid long-term incarceration. The Sexual Offender Dispositional Alternative allows a juvenile who commits even a Class A felony sex offense against a juvenile the opportunity to remain in the community and participate in treatment rather than spend 6 months to several years in the Juvenile Rehabilitation Authority, or juvenile prison. In other cases the fact that the juvenile has been found to be a good candidate for treatment assists us in negotiating reduced charges, and in convincing the Court to give our client the opportunity to complete treatment rather than be incarcerated.
If your child has been accused of a sexual offense you need an experienced and aggressive attorney who understands how to help that child get through this ordeal. At the Meryhew Law Group we have that experience. Call today for a free initial consultation.
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