Treatment Provider Guidelines
The New York State Office of Sex Offender Management is pleased to announce guidelines for mental heath professionals who provide treatment to adult sex offenders.
These guidelines were developed in cooperation with the New York State Chapter of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), the New York State Alliance of Sex Offender Service Providers, the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYCASA), the Division of Parole, the Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, the Office of Mental Health, the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, and mental health professionals.
Research has established that appropriate treatment is one of the factors that can help reduce sexual offender recidivism. Treatment can also be an important component of supervising sex offenders on probation or parole. However, to be effective it is essential that this treatment be provided by qualified professionals with sufficient training and experience. The guidelines were developed to provide the courts, law enforcement, supervision agencies, and treatment providers with standards to help determine which providers are best qualified to treat sex offenders.
It is important to remember that these guidelines are not binding, and are not a formal licensing or credentialing procedure. In fact, there is no New York State licensing or certification procedure for treatment providers who work with sex offenders. The guidelines are intended to address this issue by providing widely-accepted and minimum standards concerning education, experience, and other areas that may be relevant in determining whether a provider is qualified to treat sex offenders or not. It is also important to remember that these guidelines concern treatment providers who work with adult sex offenders (not juveniles) and are not intended to limit the discretion of courts or agencies to select a treatment provider who may not meet these standards if there are only a limited number of providers available.
As you will notice, the guidelines are divided into three tiers, which can be used in determining which treatment providers are most appropriate for offenders with different risk levels. For example, it may be appropriate to assign Level 3 sex offenders to treatment providers who meet the guidelines for a clinical / full provider status. The three categories of treatment providers are:
- Provisional provider status - the lowest level - requires a bachelor’s degree, less then 500 hours of supervised experience working with sex offenders, and is intended for students pursuing higher degrees who meet state-wide standards to work in facilities;
- Associate provider status - the intermediate level - requires an advanced degree and experience working with sex offenders, including at least 250 hours of face-to-face clinical experience; and
- Clinical / full provider status - the highest and most-experienced level - requires an advanced degree and 2,000 hours of supervised experience in treating adult sex offenders.