Minutes from 1/14/15 Meeting (As Approved 4/1/15)

Special Commission to Reduce the Recidivism of Sex Offenders
January 14, 2015, 9-11 am
One Ashburton Place, 11th Floor, Matta Conference Room

Meeting Minutes

Materials provided or presented at Commission Meeting:

Draft Minutes from 12/3/14 Meeting

1/14/15 Meeting Agenda

Presentation by Office of Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan

Commissioners Present:

Co-Chair William N. Brownsberger, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary

Co-Chair Paul Brodeur, State Representative

Evandro Carvalho, State Representative

Deputy Assistant Secretary Robyn Kennedy (replacing Kathy Betts, Former Assistant Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families)

Robert Kinscherff, Ph.D., Esq., Associate Vice President for Community Engagement, Office of the President, and Teaching Faculty, Doctoral Clinical Psychology Program, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology

Larni Levy, Esq., Committee for Public Counsel Services

Nancy Connolly, Psy.D., Program Director, Mentally Ill/Problematic Sexual Behavior, Program of the Department of Mental Health

Raymond Knight, Ph.D., Gryzmish Professor of Human Relations, Department of Psychology, Brandeis University

Laurie L. Guidry, Psy.D., President, Center for Integrative Psychological Services, Inc., and President, Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers

Maureen Gallagher, Director of Policy, Jane Doe, Inc.

Anne Conners, Chairperson, Sex Offender Registry Board

Marian Ryan, District Attorney for Middlesex County

Commissioners Absent:

Edward J. Dolan, Commissioner, MA Probation Service (represented by his designees, Dianne Fasano and Brian Mirasolo)

Andrea Cabral, Secretary of Public Safety and Security


Representative Brodeur called the meeting to order. Dr. Kinscherff made a motion to approve the draft minutes from the 12/3/14 meeting, which Senator Brownsberger seconded. The minutes were approved unanimously among all Commissioners present.

Assistant District Attorneys Jessica Langsam and Jessica Noble gave a presentation on the civil commitment of sexually dangerous persons (SDPs). Attorneys Langsam and Nobile took questions from Commission members and attendees.

The conversation of the Commissioners, following the presentation, turned to a discussion of when, if ever, in the process of screening, trying, and committing an individual as a sexually dangerous person professional judgment and experience should play a role and supersede the conclusions reached through actuarial instruments.

The Commissioners agreed it would be helpful at each stage of the decision process to have data on the sexual and nonsexual offense recidivism of both people who are released from the Massachusetts Treatment Center and also those who are not pursued for commitment by the District Attorneys. This would inform the efficacy of decisions that are made as to whether to move forward at each stage in proceeding against certain individuals as sexually dangerous persons.

Representative Brodeur indicated that the next meeting would include a presentation focusing on corrections, programming, notice, supervision, probation, and parole. The Commissioners agreed to meet next on February 25, 2015 from 9-11 at a location to be determined.

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