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DOC Outlines Sex-Offender Selection Criteria

Public safety is the priority, the DOC spokesman says

Brian Garnett, spokesman for the Department of Correction, explained the criteria that are used for determining which sex offenders are eligible for inclusion in the sex-offender treatment facility, located at 984 Norwich-New London Turnpike, on the grounds of the Corrigan-Radgowski prison.

Last year, while the town was battling the state over the facility, DOC Commissioner Leo Arnone that the facility would not contain “the worst of the worst.”

Half of the offenders in the facility, according to the DOC website, have convictions for first-degree sexual assault.

None of the offenders has a conviction specifically for a violent crime.

“Public safety is the primary consideration when reviewing offenders for placement at the January Center,” Garnett wrote in the memo.

Each case, he wrote, is thoroughly reviewed by parole staff “who specialize in the community supervision of sex offenders, community sex offender treatment specialists and victim advocates.

 

ACCORDING TO THE MEMO, and to the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding that the town signed with the state:

  • The facility is surrounded by a 12-foot-high fence topped with razor wire
  • There are alarms on all doors
  • There are cameras in “key locations” both inside and outside of the building
  • Offenders are not allowed to leave unless escorted by parole or probation officers or program staff

For the full MOU, click on the pdf in the photo box.

 
IN TERMS OF SELECTION CRITERIA, Garnett wrote, parole staffers “who specialize in the community supervision of sex offenders,” sex offender treatment specialists and victim advocated review the case of each sex offender who might be included in the center.

The foundation of the selection process includes clinical recommendations for treatment, as contained in each offender’s evaluation, and whether there is appropriate housing for that offender.

Documents are also reviewed, he said, including police reports, victim statements, polygraph results, and medical or mental health reports.

Also fitting into the equation, he wrote, is “the offender's ability to benefit from the program in terms of learning style, motivation, ability and strengths.”

All offenders who are in the program at this time, Garnett wrote, have completed their prison terms and are serving terms of probation or parole.

“ If not for the January Center,” he wrote, “some of these offenders may have been placed in homeless shelters.  Unstable housing is a widely recognized as a contributing factor for sexual reoffense.”

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