Friday, November 1, 2013

VT - Sex offender investigation: Treatment programs

TherapistOriginal Article (Video Available)

11/01/2013

By Bridget Shanahan

Studies have shown the therapy can help lower recidivism rates but not everyone gets help.

COLCHESTER - It’s a rare glimpse into a treatment program for sex offenders.

Studies have shown the therapy can help lower recidivism rates but not everyone gets help.
- Ex-sex offenders already have the lowest recidivism rate, for a new sexual crime, than any other ex-felon.

Sex offender treatment is only an option for Vermont inmates, and those who enroll end up being less than a quarter of the population.

But for those who choose, there is help. There are meetings and groups all over the state where convicted sex offenders can find support.

It was like losing my child cause we were so close living together, you know,” Lucinda Milne said.

Not a day goes by for Milne without remembering her granddaughter, Brooke Bennett.

Terrible. It's like a nightmare. A terrible, terrible nightmare that I haven't woke up to yet,” Milne said.

Milne's son-in-law is awaiting his final sentencing after being convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing his 12-year-old niece, Brooke, five years ago.

I just couldn't believe that he did those things. You know? Tore my family apart,” Milne said.

_____ was a convicted sex offender when he killed Brooke, and like many others in Vermont he'd been through treatment, both while he was in prison and when he was released on probation.

When we asked Milne if she thought treatment could help someone like _____  she said, “I'm not sure. I'm not sure.

According to a Vermont Department of Corrections study, those who go through treatment are less likely to reoffend. But convicted sex offenders cannot be forced into a program while they're incarcerated. Prison officials say that's because the program works best when offenders are committed to it similar to AA or drug rehab programs.

If I’m in a situation where I may be tempted, I have the skills to think my way through it and get out of it. That's what we can offer in a treatment program,” Corrections commissioner Andy Pallito said.

That study is now more than 10 years old.

And according to more current information obtained by Newschannel Five, the number of sex offenders in Vermont prisons was between 450 and 550 each year from 2008 to 2012 but because of limited space only 78 of those can be in treatment at any given time. In an email to WPTZ the DOC noted there has not been a waitlist for quote "quite some time."

And because Vermont has no civil confinement law, which can keep high risk offenders in prison past their sentence, those without treatment are simply released when their sentence is up.

Some people, I think, tend to judge people when they hear the word or when they find out you've come out of prison they tend to judge you on what you did and that's who they think you are.”

Two years after his release, this convicted sex offender still worries about the repercussions of identifying himself as a sex offender. He asked us to conceal his identity.

He went through treatment in prison and says he's continuing to make progress now that he's on the outside.

It's accepting responsibility for what you've done, what you're capable of, that you did what you did, acknowledging it and not making any excuses.”

He attends a weekly faith-based meeting in Burlington for ex-cons. It's hosted by Pastor Pete Fiske from the Church at Prison.

Nobody is born wanting to be a sex offender. It happens in their lives. They get messed up. And it's despicable and they know it,” Fiske said.

Fiske helps provide support to those he says society often rejects.

If you have that you have to learn how to manage that, like in AA alcoholics learn how to manage their addictions,” Fiske said.

Still, some will never find faith in treatment. There's simply too much to overcome.

I don't want somebody to buy the house that right over there and move in that's a sex offender. I don't care if he's married, got kids or not. I don't want him in my neighborhood. It would bring back too much. Too much,” Milne said.


8 comments :

Loneranger said...

Interesting as it shows that just because you committed a sex offence doesn't mean you have somehow become a drooling idiot. I wonder how much more good can be accomplished if sex offenders were allowed to continue their careers. Given most if not all are banished from society and their knowledge has been lost. Offenders come from all walks of life. They come in ages the range from 8 to 80. but all have one thing in common and that they are not allowed to contribute. If they get a menial job after say they were a computer tech as this person anything good they could have done and for the betterment of society is lost. Who knows maybe one of these people we have banned had the cure for cancer and we tossed them aside.

Happy. Joyous and Free said...

There is a stigma for being a felon, it's far worse being registered. The idea is that an XSO has NO VALUE to society, which is totally wrong. Granted, there are those of us who didn't have the best education or job prospects, while there are many that have advanced education and capability. It is hard enough getting employed without additional restrictions that make it next to impossible to work in the public sphere. What's even more interesting is what happens when short-sighted people meet an XSO that has an education and capability to work. It either shatters their misconceptions or it causes them to shut you out. I've been able to continue my IT career, which has been a great blessing, yet more people that I've met cannot handle reality.

Mark said...

“If you have that you have to learn how to manage that, like in AA alcoholics learn how to manage their addictions,” Fiske said Oh wonderful. So (all) sex offenders have to learn to "MANAGE" because like alcohol, they may want to drink of the forbidden waters. So I now assume that ALL SEX OFFENDERS have to "manage" because they cannot help themselves? And just was is: "If you have that?" What exactly is -- "that?"

"I don't want somebody to buy the house that right over there and
move in that's a sex offender. I don't care if he's married, got kids or
not. I don't want him in my neighborhood. It would bring back too
much. Too much,” Milne said. So the entire world will be altered for Milne so this person can "FEEL" COMFORTABLE?" I've read enough of this article.

Mark said...

“It does kind of expose the waste at all the other facilities. It was just one of those genuine, lightning-strikes things,” Murphey said. Waste? This article is the tip of the iceberg folks believe me! You have to understand if prisoners were fed well to begin with, they may not need to try to sneak in for a second round of SOY food. But since these are all convicted prisoners and hidden away from the eyes of America - who gives a crap what they eat - right? And of course since prisoners really cannot steal anything but food if they work in those prison kitchens, who else is left to pilfer? You guessed it folks, the men in blue/brown! Don't believe me, check it out for yourselves!

Mark said...

Ah, this is the classic set up for a guy who got involved with Ms. America, so he thought. Only to realize later she is probably a "borderline personality" with a very terrible father complex or she is a pure misanthrope. (I hope a good defense lawyer will demand an evaluation of this girl! And any lawyer worth his salt should quickly!) And if this gets into court and the complaining witness testifies, (after she has been coached, coddled, papered to death, victim advocates fawning all over her as though she was terminal with hours to live, repeatedly told what a victim she is, then she gets on the witness stand and guess what? The tears will flow like Niagara Falls. And even assuming arguendo, the allegations if proven false are not going to help good ol Caleb in his future endeavors.

Guest said...

Will these inmates get compensated for their work - which in the free market should net them a tidy penny...

And something does not sit quite right with people using their (extensive) talents to enable their punishers to do their job more efficiently.

Last, if you think this monitoring will be limited to the prison chow line (or even prisons, for that matter) I have a bridge for sale.

Loneranger said...

Well when they want to paint a picture of a monster and then use it to portray their opinion they have hand picked one individual and told a story. Now we all know this is what I have learned to be called a black Swan. Something that is so uncommon but often tried to be portrayed as common. Frankly searching out this case and then interviewing her like they did is cruel on so many levels. I can see why she would feel like she does and rightfully so. However they used her to paint a picture that is harmful in so many ways. One would think that people having situations like this would have strong feelings against anyone that wears the sex offender label. So I am going to take this one step farther as always. If one out of four females has been sexually assaulted according to statistics then we can assume that one out of every four household has a victim that keeps having this brought up. How does this help victims heal?with reporting like this no wonder they want to run all sex offender out of the country. And sad part is we want to go and can't.

Mark said...

To Guest: "Last, if you think this monitoring will be limited to the prison chow line (or even prisons, for that matter) I have a bridge for sale." DITTO, DITTO.