Special Commission to Reduce the Recidivism of Sex Offenders
September 24, 2015, 9-11 am
One Ashburton Place, 10th Floor, Video Conference Room
Materials provided or presented at Commission Meeting:
Draft Minutes from 7/28/15
Agenda for 9/24/15 Meeting
Possible Topics in Scope of Commission Recommendations
Co-Chair William N. Brownsberger, State Senator
Co-Chair Paul Brodeur, State Representative
Joan B. Lovely, State Senator (arrived after vote on 7/28 minutes, represented prior by designee Anna Roy)
Evandro Carvalho, State Representative (arrived after vote on 7/28 minutes, represented prior by designee Peter Roby)
Larni Levy, Esq., Committee for Public Counsel Services
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.
Edward J. Dolan, Commissioner, MA Probation Service (arrived after vote on 7/28 minutes)
Nancy Connolly, Psy.D., Program Director, Mentally Ill/Problematic Sexual Behavior, Program of the Department of Mental Health
Kevin Hayden, Acting Chair, Sex Offender Registry Board (represented by designee Maria Piccillo)
Robyn Kennedy, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families
Marian Ryan, District Attorney for Middlesex County
Secretary Daniel J. Bennett (represented by designee Brian Domoretsky)
Robert Kinscherff, Ph.D., Esq. (represented by Joan Tabachnick, designee)
The Special Commission to Reduce the Recidivism of Sex Offenders began its meeting with introductions of all Commissioners and attendees.
The Commission adopted the draft minutes from 7/28/15 without correction.
Senator Brownsberger explained that the Commission Chairs have solicited summaries of the presentations from each presenter to the Commission for inclusion in the final report of the Commission.
The Commission next decided the following relative to possible topics for inclusion in the scope of the Commission’s eventual recommendations:
The Commission will make specific recommendations for data collection by the Sex Offender Registry Board.
The Commission will address make general recommendations for data collection by other agencies.
The development of an actuarial risk assessment tool is outside the scope and beyond the capabilities of the Commission and will not be included among its recommendations.
The Commission will address in its recommendations the use of actuarial risk assessment tools by the Sex Offender Registry Board.
The Commission will comment on best practices as to the use of actuarial risk assessment tools by other agencies.
The Commission will generally address in its recommendations interventions and prevention but will not make any specific recommendations as to particular programs. However, the Commission will comment broadly on the importance of prevention as a strategy.
The Commission will not address the professionalization of sex offender treatment in its recommendations but will take note of the significance of the question in its report.
The Commission will not make specific recommendations relative to changing registration requirements in its report but will recommend that the results of data collection and improved use of risk assessment tools drive any indicated changes in registration requirements.
The Commission will address in its recommendations collateral consequences. Commissioners Brownsberger, Lovely, Levy, Knight, Guidry, Gallagher, Dolan, Connolly, and Tabachnik (voting as Robert Kinscherff’s designee) voted in favor of making recommendations in this area, while Commissioners Brodeur, Carvalho, and Piccillo (voting as Kevin Hayden’s designee) voted against inclusion of making recommendations relative to collateral consequences.
The Commission will address in its recommendations the coordination of efforts among agencies.
The Commission voted to make a minimal statement rather than make an in-depth statement in its recommendations relative to sentencing policy. Commissioners Brownsberger, Gallagher, Levy, Connolly, Knight, and Tabachnik (voting as Robert Kinscherff’s designee) voted in favor of making a minimal statement, while Commissioners Brodeur, Guidry, Lovely, Dolan, and Carvalho voted in favor of addressing sentencing policy in its recommendations in greater depth. Commissioner Piccillo (acting as Kevin Hayden’s designee) abstained. Chairman Brownsberger suggested that in light of the closeness of the vote, this issue should get further discussion.
The Commission will meet next on October 27, 2015, from 9-11 am [in the Matta Conference Room at One Ashburton Place, although the location was not mentioned at the meeting]. The first half of the meeting would be devoted to discussing special populations. The experts on juvenile registration Larni Levy was hoping to bring to that meeting are no longer available, but the Commission expects to hear from Dr. Guidry and DMH. Dr. Kinscherff may speak about juveniles. The Commissioners also decided to save the following dates and times for hearings or meetings: November 4, 2015 from 9-11 am; and November 18, 2015 from 9-11 am.