( – promoted by Middle of the Road)
Gov. Bill Ritter today vetoed HB 1364, the bill that extend the sex offender management board and allow sex offenders to choose among three treatment providers.
Ritter vetoed the blll specifically because of the amendment Foster put on HB 1364 in second reading in the Senate.
In his veto message, Ritter says:
Unfortunately, an amendment to this bill was introduced and adopted on second reading in the second chamber of the General Assembly on Friday, May, 7, 2010, after the last of the public hearings on the bill had been concluded. The amendment, as modified in a conference committee report adopted on the last day of the legislative session, provides:
Each offender entering treatment on or after July 1, 2010, shall be given a choice by his or her supervising agency of at least three appropriate approved providers where available, unless the supervising agency documents in writing that, based on the nature of the program offered and the needs of the offender, fewer than three providers can meet the specific treatment needs of the offender and ensure the safety of the public.
Proponents of the amendment argue that the amendment is critical to improving offender-treatment matching, which is a key element to an offender’s success in treatment. Proponents further argue that the amendment does not give a sexual offender free reign to choose his or her treatment provider, but instead only allows an offender to choose an appropriate provider from a list of three providers, each of whom have been certified and approved by the SOMB.
Opponents argue that this amendment does not provide adequate safeguards to ensure that an offender knows which treatment provider would be most effective, thereby circumventing an appropriate treatment plan. Opponents further argue that the approach embodied in this amendment fails to recognize that the supervising authority, be it probation or parole officer, often have far greater experience in determining the appropriate treatment provider.
The SOMB Standards are designed to establish a basis for the systematic management and treatment of adult sex offenders. The legislative mandate of the SOMB and the primary goals of the Standards are to improve community safety and protect victims. The language of the amendment discussed above does not, in my view, adequately provide for the systematic treatment of offenders. 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.
On the other hand, an op-ed in today’s Denver Post did provide another side to this story:
The claims by the owner of THE, according to the author, are flawed and based on a one-size-fits-all offender treatment, whether it be for the kid urinating in the bushes or the rapist.