Archive for the Anonymity Category

What could go wrong?

Sex Offenders in the South End – A Secure Residence
Inside the SCTF

It’s a month since King County’s Secure Community Transition Facility opened.

The “SCTF” is SODO’s new level-3 violent predatory sex offender residence, at Spokane and Second Avenue.

“It’s not known when a court will move a qualified civilly committed sex offender into the SCTF,” says Steve Williams, spokesperson for Washington State’s Department of Social and Health Services.

This DSHS facility is equipped for six residents, with capacity for twelve.

Twenty-five cameras see you in and see you out. To enter, press an intercom button, identify yourself. From the control room, a staff member unlatches the door’s magnetically controlled lock. A concrete sidewalk follows a wall of earth-toned bricks rising 10 feet to black wrought iron bars. A corridor opens to the sky. At the end is the “sally port.”

The sally port is a steel and glass box, with doors to the sidewalk, a meeting room, a visitor bathroom, and the core facility. No two doors can open at once. Each withstands 1800 pounds of force.

Well, thank god they’ve implemented such high security measures and round-the-clock supervision over these violent sex offenders, because…. um…

Wait,  what?

Typical residents will be violent sex predators who may re-offend, who served prison time and finished a rigorous treatment program at McNeil Island’s Special Commitment Center.

Most are men, mid-to-late 40s, some older, out of shape from years of incarceration.

Each continues treatment, learning to integrate into society, to shop, manage money, find jobs. There are weekly individual and group therapies, reinforcing positive behaviors, countering negative ones. Those with histories of alcohol and drug abuse may attend Alcoholic Anonymous [sic]. Residents keep journals, share them with treatment providers.

Here’s the story.

And the linked article.

AA Members Working with the Courts

Sherburne County Probation Department is making some changes…

Alcoholics Anonymous orientation meetings
One month ago the department started an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) orientation program.

This program is designed for those offenders who are court ordered to attend AA meetings, Hancuch said.

In the past anonymity was a problem, as it put the AA facilitators in a tough spot having to verify who was coming to the meetings, Hancuch said, adding that many AA attendees outside of the court system do not want their identity known to everyone, and like that the program is anonymous.

In addition, it could sometimes be disruptive to the meetings when people who are court ordered to be there were just thrown into the mix of people choosing to be there, he said.

To help combat these difficulties, now the courts can order someone to take the eight-week orientation program.

This program is run by AA volunteers and goes through an overview and run down of the 12 steps.

This way, if a person continues on into regular AA meetings, he or she has already been briefed and has a better idea of what to expect.

From here offenders will also know how to get a sponsor and which meetings might work best for them if they wish to continue on.

Michelle Huneven writes on anonymity for the L.A. Times.

Huneven has a new novel out, called Blame. As she describes:

The book tells the story of a young history professor who wakes up from an alcoholic blackout in jail to the news that she ran over and killed two people. She goes to prison, gets sober, rebuilds her life.Breaking the ice on AA’s anonymity.

Here is her opinion piece, titled “Breaking the Ice on AA’s Anonymity,” with the subtitle: “There are several good reasons the organization wants its members to avoid the spotlight.”

What do you think?