Sex-Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) – Before entering the Sex Offender Treatment Program, the individual must participate in a comprehensive psychosexual evaluation. The cost of the evaluation is $1300.00 for pretrial or attorney-referred clients, $650.00 for DFCS-referred clients, and $650.00 for post-conviction or probation/parole-referred clients. The evaluation includes a wide range of psychological measures and sex-offender specific measures. An evaluation typically requires two visits (up to six hours per visit) and is conducted by appointment only.
The purpose of the testing is to help identify the presence and/or severity of psychological/emotional problems that contribute to sexually deviant behavior. Specifically, the test data may be used:
1) to aid in the determination of whether or not a psychological/behavioral problem exist;
2) to help develop hypotheses about a psychological/behavioral problem, as well as course of treatment;
3) as a means of checking for and/or documenting treatment progress as it may occur.
It is also a requirement of the program that all participants have an initial polygraph within one month of entering the treatment program and a maintenance polygraph every six months thereafter. Often, one or more polygraph examinations are included among the recommendations from the initial psychosexual evaluation. Polygraph examinations are intended to enable a clearer diagnostic impression regarding the alleged or conviction offense, as well as the sexual history and ongoing sex-related activities of the program participant. It is not uncommon for persons accused or convicted of sexual offenses to be guarded and undisclosing with regard to their past or present deviant sexual behavior and/or sexual cognitions (i.e., fantasies).
If referred for treatment, program participants are often required to attend weekly group sessions and one weekly individual session for an initial period (i.e., 6 to 12 months). Treatment recommendations are determined on an individual basis. More clearly stated, specific needs for treatment are identified and strategies to meet those needs are formulated based on the individual’s sexual offense history, sexual interests, psychological make-up, criminal, and other behavioral history. The total cost for both weekly sessions (group and individual) is $100.00 per week.
The initial format of the program is designed to cover a range of topics related to sexual offending across an18-month period. Advancement in the program is based on a point system that allows a participant to accumulate 10 points per week for compliance behaviors (i.e., attendance, participation, etc.). Once the participant has accumulated 700 points, he or she is eligible for a “step-down” in required treatment activities. A “step-down” evaluation is conducted to measure progress and determine further therapeutic needs. Step-downs are graduated and are based solely on the individual participant’s therapeutic progress and risk for reoffending. Additional needs are commonly met over the course of the 12 months following the step-down evaluation. Noncompliance will extend the initial intervention period, delay the step-down process, and may result in termination from the program.
Some requirements of the SOTP include, but are not limited to:
- Progress reports will be maintained in the office of Counseling Services, Inc. and are provided to the Georgia Department of Corrections, any monitors of the Georgia Board of Pardons & Parole, and Federal Probation/Parole Offices on both a weekly and monthly basis. Information gathered during treatment, such as suspected child abuse or neglect, any violent or criminal behavior, or violation of probation/parole requirements or a court order are reported and are subject to review and inspection by the state or federal Departments of Corrections, Probation, and/or Parole Divisions. All other third party disclosures not previously mentioned will be released only with the written consent of the program participant.
- If a participant’s behavior causes the treatment contract to be canceled by the provider, no refund of any cost will be provided. The following actions are cause for cancellation of the contract.
- Failure to complete evaluation process (i.e., initial polygraph, psychological instruments).
- Nonpayment for services (i.e., evaluations, therapy sessions).
- Any act of violence in or out of group sessions or criminal behavior such as re-offending sexually (i.e., child molestation).
- Violation of probation or parole conditions and requirements (i.e., use of illicit drugs or alcohol, use of Internet for pornography).
- Failure to attend group and/or individual sessions. Tardiness on two occasions is considered to be equal to an absence.
- Failure to cooperate during group or individual sessions.
- Failure to make appropriate use of the counseling service.
- Failure to comply with program administration, curriculum, and participation requirements (e.g., homework assignments, complete maintenance polygraphs every 6 months, etc.).
- Any disruptive behavior that renders a person unsuitable for the program such as inappropriate language, actions or dress (provider reserves the right to make this determination).
- An alcohol or drug screen may be required at random intervals or at staff request. Failure to provide urine, breath, or saliva sample when requested is cause for cancellation of the contract and immediate notification of supervising P.O. A positive finding on any such test will result in a mandatory substance abuse evaluation by a certified evaluator. The lab costs associated with the drug or alcohol screen and evaluation are to be met by the program participant.
Other assessments and/or treatment recommendations may be required during the course of treatment due to concerns and/or participant changes, as may arise.