This brief provides an overview and discussion of emerging practices and lessons in communities across the country in the management of sex offenders under community supervision.
A core assumption apparently underlies these emerging practices: the primary goal of managing sex offenders in the community is the prevention of future victimization. To that end, a comprehensive approach to sex offender management includes several key elements. Collaboration among those agencies and individuals charged with initiating and implementing effective supervision and treatment practices is essential to managing sex offenders safely in the community. Since a primary goal of supervision is the protection of victims and the prevention of future victimization, supervision agencies should work closely with victim advocacy organizations to ensure that their policies do not re-traumatize victims of sexual assault or inadvertently jeopardize the safety of others. Mandated specialized treatment as part of probation or parole conditions is an integral component of effective community supervision. Clear and consistent policies at all levels (State, local, and agency) are crucial components of community supervision. Clear policy should define how cases will be investigated, prosecuted, and adjudicated. It also defines the method of community supervision, the roles various agencies play in the supervision process, and the response to indications of risk of relapse. Consensus-built policy establishes the goals of the system and helps jurisdictions to identify what role each agency will play in managing these cases.