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ATSA-Development and Implementation of Sex Offender Treatment Standards

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $1,500,000)

The SMART Office is soliciting a set of standards to help jurisdictions design programs and/or assess the effectiveness of existing programs or providers who can competently satisfy the requirements set forth within SORNA. To develop these guidelines, an objective process must be articulated to evaluate the research relating to the assessment, treatment and management of adult and juvenile sex offenders. And once the standards are established, they should be easily accessible to practitioners and jurisdictions and provide a self-evaluation process that can be tailored to different environments and populations.

Key stakeholders in the field including victim advocacy groups, sex offender treatment providers, and governmental agencies agree that providing effective treatment services to adults and juveniles who have sexually offended is a key strategy to increase community safety by preventing further sexual offending behaviors. Research findings indicate that to maximize effectiveness, treatment must be grounded in evidence-based principles and practices and be delivered in a consistent manner by qualified and well-informed practitioners. Therefore, to optimize treatment effects, the community needs an understanding of the current trends in sex offender treatment and practitioners need access to current research, resources and ongoing professional development. In addition, to enhance community safety, stakeholders (e.g. Departments of Corrections, Probation and Parole, etc.) need access to information on what are best treatment practices for adults and juveniles who have offended and how to find qualified treatment providers. To address these need areas, the Project Team of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) and the Safer Society Foundation (SSF) have partnered to propose an initiative with the goals of identifying current trends in adult and juvenile sex offender treatment, developing and implementing best practice standards at the state level and simplifying the process of finding qualified treatment providers. Specifically, the Project Team will: 1) Conduct a national survey of current best practice trends in sex offense specific treatment programs serving adults and juveniles; 2) Develop core, overarching treatment standards for adult and juvenile treatment as well as a self-assessment instrument for practitioners to assess their program components against the practice standards; 3) Provide the community treatment providers of three states (Idaho, Missouri and Hawaii) with ongoing professional develoment (i.e. the Project Team will assess the state’s current practices and policies and make recommendations for implementing practice standards, provide training on the newly developed evidence based practice standards and the evaluation instrument); 4) Provide each state with on and off-site technical training to assist with implementing the practice standards; and 5) Create a nationwide database to facilitate referrals to treatment providers following evidence based practices. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 26, 2016