In every sex or non-sex case, the goal of the criminal justice system is to provide justice and make our community safer. Since we cannot put everyone in jail, we have established probation as a means to ensure defendants are safe. In Jefferson, Arapahoe and Douglas County, a primary component of probation is treatment. Alcoholics get alcohol treatment, drug users get drug treatment, domestic violence offenders get DV treatment, mentally ill get mental health treatment, and sex offenders get sex offender treatment. In all cases but one, completion of treatment is ensured since doing treatment is better than jail. Jail is held over a defendant’s head as an incentive to do the treatment.
With increasing numbers today, sex offenders in Adams, Broomfield and Denver County are opting to go to jail or prison rather than do sex offender treatment. This occurs because treatment has become so onerous that incarceration is seen as better than treatment. Why? Imagine being told you cannot see or speak to your own children. Imagine being forced to sell your house and move. Imagine being told you must quit your job or being told you cannot have contact with your wife. These are all realities in Colorado’s sex offender treatment program, and reasons people would rather do jail or prison compared to treatment. As a result, our communities are less safe. Untreated sex offenders are being released back into our communities once they have served their maximum sentences.
I place the blame squarely on the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board. With unchecked power, they have created a system with a “no cure” philosophy which permeates treatment and management of sex offenders in Weld and Larimer County. Their attitude is that sex offenders are subhuman and cannot change their ways, so they must be contained at all costs. Their “one size fits all” treatment program makes it impossible for a person to live and work in society.
We need balance in sex offender treatment which recognizes the difference between a defendant who grabs a stranger and sexually assaults her, versus the man who consensually has sex with his young girlfriend. We need a sex offender treatment and supervision system that does not equate the misdemeanor crime of Indecent Exposure, C.R.S. 18-7-302, with the felony Sexual Assault, C.R.S. 18-3-402. We need a system that makes isolation from your children and required quitting your job rare, rather than routine.
If you are involved in a sex offense and have been contacted by police in Grand, El Paso, or Summit County, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call the experienced attorneys at the O’Malley Law Office today. Together, we can protect your future.