Sex offender treatment effectiveness examined

Many states have struggled with how to punish those who have been convicted of sex crimes. With prison costs continuing to escalate, officials want to be sure that they are distributing resources in an efficient manner. While many of these crimes carry extensive and costly prison sentences, there has always been the concern that these individuals will be likely to reoffend once released back into the community.

In Washington, if a person is convicted of a sex crime, the offender will begin a prison sentence at a facility that is designed to rehabilitate these individuals. While in prison, some offenders will volunteer to receive treatment to help them avoid reoffending once they are released. This treatment is tailored for each individual offender, to gain a better understanding of that person and the reasons he or she committed the crimes.

The effectiveness of this treatment has been something that many researchers have studied in close detail, to learn more about what is most successful at preventing reoffending. According to the Washington Department of Corrections, only seven percent of those offenders who undergo the treatment at their facilities end up returning to prison.

Washington implemented its rehabilitation techniques in 1989, and has devoted considerable resources to the program. However, even the state admits that there is no cure for sex offenders. The treatment is geared toward educating the offender, to help make him or her aware of the potential danger signs that could lead to reoffending. Offenders continue to receive treatment after their prison sentences have ended.

For the most dangerous offenders, there is the risk of civil commitment if the state believes that there is a strong likelihood that further crimes may be committed. These offenders are designated as sexually violent predators, and could be held indefinitely. If they are eventually released from the program, they will be evaluated yearly to determine the risk of reoffending.

A sex crimes conviction will, in most cases, mean that you will have to register as a sex offender. If you have been charged with a sex crime, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Do not discuss these issues with law enforcement until you have someone there who can protect your rights.

These are often very high-profile cases, and there will be extensive pre-trial publicity that can place a lot of pressure on the person accused. An attorney can help ensure that you receive a fair trial, and are able to present a strong defense to the charges that you are facing.