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Sex offender hearings a war over words

Kidnapping and rape suspect Phillip Garrido and Attorney. CA defendant faces 29 counts.
Kidnapping and rape suspect Phillip Garrido and Attorney. CA defendant faces 29 counts.
AP photo/R Pedroncelli

Colorado House Judiciary Committee members must be exhausted. A couple of intense medical marijuana hearings recently and now a late-nighter over HB 1364, Continuation of the Sex Offender Management Board. 

In a marathon hearing last Thursday, committee members heard testimony from experts and others in a fight over the words no known cure as it appears in the current statute.   

 Victim's assistance groups want no known cure to reside in the bill. According to the Denver Post," therapists and probation officers say a bill that would remove statutory language that there is "no known cure" for sex offenders could erode the state's commitment to adequately protect residents from rapists and pedophiles." 

"The simple fact is, if the House bill removes the three words "no known cure", it diminishes the strength of our ability to treat, manage and contain convicted, adult repeat sex offenders," said Greig Veeder, executive director for the treatment group Teaching Humane Existence."

The law currently authorizes the board to establish procedures to evaluate, treat and monitor sex offenders and says, "There is no known cure for the propensity to commit sex abuse".

The good news: no known cure is back in the bill. The bad news: Sexual violence is a pervasive problem. According to the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, Public safety must be a priority in managing these offenders. Public safety involves the protection of previous victims and prevention of new victimization.

I'm all for giving the Sex Offender Management Board every tool they need to reign in an incurable criminal population.  If three little words on a piece of legislation will make a difference in keeping the public safe - it's a very good thing that someone was paying attention.


  • Jean 5 years ago

    Great article! Just a note - the link works, but it is the Colorado Organizaton for Victim Assistance, not Coalition for Victim Assistance.

  • Sam Caldwell 5 years ago

    California and Colorado's recidivism issues go beyond a no-cure scenario. Texas has seen success with its prison sex offender treatment program (according to a 2007 report by the Texas State Auditor, cited below). These two states should stop looking at the politically popular sound bites and study REAL issues underlying their criminal justice issues.

    (See “An Audit Report on Selected Rehabilitation Programs at the Department of Criminal Justice.” Texas State Auditor. March 2007. Report No. 07-026. Retrieved Oct 20, 2009. URL cannot be posted due to site limitation.)

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