The WatchHouse News
 
New Pact for Low Risk Offenders
June 7th, 2010

Proposal: Low-risk sex offenders could get less-intensive treatment
By Kirk Mitchell 
The Denver Post
 
Sex offenders deemed low-risk could soon qualify for a less intensive track in which they don't have to undergo treatment if 15 months of evaluation confirms they are unlikely to reoffend.
 
The proposal would free about 100 sex offenders statewide from stringent measures that include regular polygraphing, group therapy and intensive probation supervision.
 
The "risk discrimination" subcommittee of the Sex Offender Management Board will present the proposal to the board June 18.
 
Experts say a small percentage of sex offenders would qualify for the program. Only those categorized as low-risk during pre-sentence evaluations would be eligible, said Cathy Rodriguez, adult- standards coordinator for the Division of Criminal Justice.
 
The evaluation considers dozens of criteria, including whether the offense was attempted, involved force or was part of a pattern of abuse.
 
"Groundbreaking" plan
 
The proposal to free some sex offenders from the requirements was made two years ago by Greig Veeder, executive director of the treatment program Teaching Humane Existence. State Sen. Joyce Foster, D-Denver, criticized the program for being "retaliatory." Veeder said his agency is considered the toughest in Colorado because it consistently invokes consequences for rule violators.
 
Based on complaints about THE, Foster had proposed an amendment to the SOMB sunset bill that would have al ... [read more]


According to Teach Humane Existence, Colorado Legislative Proposal Reduces Public Safety with Repeat Sex Offenders
March 19, 2010

According to Teaching Humane Existence, Colorado Legislative Proposal Reduces Public Safety With Repeat Sex Offenders

 
DENVER, Colo., March 19, 2010 – House Bill 10-1364 is scheduled to be heard at the House Judiciary Committee at the Colorado capitol building the afternoon of Thursday, March 25. The bill deals in part with whether to keep the words "no known cure" in an existing statute governing Colorado's Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB). The SOMB oversees the state's treatment program for sex offenders.   
 
A growing group called the No Known Cure group including Greig Veeder, executive director of Teaching Humane Existence (T.H.E.), leading sex offender management professionals and concerned citizens, believe the bill itself is effective overall because it promotes the continuation of the SOMB. However, they believe the removal of the “no known cure” language reduces the SOMB’s power to prioritize public safety.
 
The SOMB's statute states that, "...the board shall develop and prescribe a standardized procedure for the evaluation and identification of sex offenders. Such procedure shall provide for an evaluation and identification of the offender and recommend behavior management, monitoring, and treatment based upon the knowledge that sex offenders are extremely habituated and that there is no known cure for the propensity to commit sex abuse."
 
It is important to note that the language is meant for the management of convicted, repeat adult sex offenders, not low-risk, one-time offenders, developmentally delayed adults, juveniles or women.
 
"The simple fa ... [read more]


Sex-offender measure vetoed by Gov. Ritter
May 24, 2010

Gov. Bill Ritter on Friday vetoed a bill that included an amendment that would have allowed sex offenders to choose the court-ordered treatment program they wish to attend.

In his veto letter, Ritter cites the amendment by Sen. Joyce Foster, D-Denver, who lied to local media about a personal connection she had with the amendment before it came to light that her brother-in-law attended one of the treatment programs in question.

Foster’s brother-in-law, Julian Newman, is a registered sex offender who attended the very treatment program that Foster cited as the impetus for her amendment to House Bill 1364. The amendment would have allowed sex offenders to choose from three programs selected by their probation or parole officer. The bill itself would have extended the life of the Sex Offender Management Board for another five years.

Foster had taken aim at the Teaching Humane Existence Program (THE), criticizing the program for allegedly threatening clients with prison time for not meeting obligations of the program. Her brother-in-law had attended the program.

In his veto letter, Ritter cited Foster’s controversial amendment as his reasoning for vetoing the legislation.

The language of the amendment É does not, in my view, adequately provide for the systematic treatment of offenders,” wrote Ritter, a Democrat and former district attorney. “In fact, allowing offenders to choose from a list of three providers potentially degrades systematic management and treatment, based on specific evaluation tools and accepted practices.”

The governor also pointed out that the amendment was introduced on the floor without consideration in committee, meaning it received no public comment.

“ ... [read more]


Greig Veeder Interview on the Caplis & Silverman Show
May 26, 2010

KHOW clip from Interview on the Caplis & Silverman Show

Clip: Listen NOW

... [read more]


Ritter's wise veto on sex offender bill
May 25, 2010

The governor's experience as a prosecutor served him well in analyzing the problems with the controversial House Bill 1364.

By The Denver Post

Gov. Bill Ritter's veto of a flawed sex offender management bill last week shows the former prosecutor at his best, wading into a complex criminal justice issue and exercising independence to make the right call.

We were glad to see the governor shoot down this bill with a strong analysis of its problems, and a blueprint for creating a substitute bill next session.

It was unfortunate that it had to come to a veto, but legislators had sent the governor an untenable bill, and we hope they realize the error of their ways.

House Bill 1364 was supposed to be a vehicle for extending the life of Colorado's Sex Offender Management Board.

Instead, it made sweeping changes to the philosophical approach to handling sex offenders. It also was seriously compromised by a last-minute amendment offered by Sen. Joyce Foster that would allow sex offenders, in some circumstances, to choose their treatment provider.

As has been reported since then, Foster's brother-in-law is a sex offender who was displeased with his treatment provider, a situation that Foster hid from the public and then lied about.

The people of Colorado deserve better from their lawmakers, and Ritter's veto will allow legislators to take another shot at extending the life of the state's Sex Offender Management Board. They must get it right this time.

The board oversees the supervision of sex offenders and the application of the state's highly regarded containment model, whereby offenders who are not in custody are closely monitored.

In crafting the bill to extend the life of the board, legislators ... [read more]


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Take an active role in getting sex offenders out of your community.
If all the people who were victims of sex offences reported their crime we might increase our caseload in this regard 5,6, 7 times." - Governor Bill Ritter

 

The Watch House is an initiative sponsored by Teaching Humane Existence (T.H.E.), a 501 C (3) organization, dedicated to effective sex offender management. C2008 The Watch House