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TN Sexual Offender Treatment: A Conflict of Interest

When TN registrants are court-mandated to attend therapy, you would assume that therapy is being delivered by a professional, unbiased counselor or therapist.

But, no, if you read the “Philosophy of Treatment” put out by the TN Treatment Board, this isn’t the case at all.

The “Philosophy” of the TN Treatment Board clearly states  “we are victim advocates, not offender advocates”.

Isn’t that a tad bit biased when you are treating “paying” registrants? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?

Reading through the whole philosophy was an unbelievable head-trip thru antiquated and draconian thinking and I can’t help but wonder when was the last time these folks read any current literature on the subject of registered citizens.

I kid you not, here are a few of their philosophy highlights:

“Sexual offending cannot be cured, only controlled at best. There is no known treatment that is 100% effective for stopping sexual offending.  Offenders do recidivate….they do it again.” 

“We are victim advocates, not offender advocates.”

“Nothing “just happens” as in the “impulse rape”, there is a process to the offending that is marked by a “deviant” cycle.”

“Offenders are master manipulators.”

“Lessened risk is not necessarily inferred by progress in treatment. We must recognize that offenders are dishonest in many respects with themselves and you no matter how open they are with admitting their offense. Denial, justification, intellectualizing and minimization are the hallmark qualities of the offender.”

“Many offenders who offended within the family also offend outside the family and visa versa. (Most offenders have multiple paraphilias/a person’s sexual arousals and gratification are dependent on fantasizing about and engaging in atypical and extreme sexual behaviors.) Having offended is a clear sign that one may do it again.”

“We place a high value on the rights and needs of others before the rights and needs of the offender.  We are victim and community safety advocates.”

“We believe offenders initially oppose treatment, have an initial poor recognition of problems with limited and distorted insight, that they act out in ways to harm others. That offenders are initially dishonest to us and themselves, they hold and hide secrets, blame others for their problems and will do anything to avoid the counselor’s scrutiny or involvement in their lives.”

And yet…under the board’s tenets for offender treatment providers, it states “we need to know our own vulnerabilities, we need to know our biases in working with this population”.

How can this treatment board be government-sanctioned when its entire philosophy is biased against registered citizens?

To put it in a nutshell, by the TN Treatment Board’s own admission, registrants are viewed as incurable, bound to re-offend, impulsive and deviant, and master manipulators.  They are all in denial with paraphilias, poor recognition of their problems, and having distorted insight. They are dishonest and secretive and blame everyone else for their problems.

And these are just the highlights!

This is the board that is responsible for providing therapists who provide the court-mandated treatment for registrants. Registrants that are court-mandated to pay for this treatment!

Would you seek treatment from a physician that didn’t have your best interest in mind? Would you take your dog to a vet that was an advocate for cats but not dogs? Would you hire a contractor that could care less about the work he does on your home?

Of course, you wouldn’t.

So why would any registrant want to receive or participate in treatment provided by providers who openly state they put the needs of everyone else BEFORE the needs of the very people they are supposed to be treating, registered human beings? This seems to be a highly “unethical” treatment conflict of interest and maybe worth pursuing in the courts.



6 thoughts on “TN Sexual Offender Treatment: A Conflict of Interest

  • Jeffrey M Baughn

    I am a citizen required to register with TDOC in Chattanooga, TN. Since released in Oct. 2020 after serving 12.5 years for offenses I didn’t commit but was coerced into agreeing to a plea deal(s) by a public defender I am now being asked to/required to go to weekly “offender” treatment class for an hour where even if you didn’t actually commit that which you’re accused of; you must describe the event accused of and take polygraphs. If you do not comply with the instructor’s requirements you are subject to violation and reprimand. The treatment should be a case by case basis. Plus I am starting a job to comply with TDOC requirements of gaining employment and housing yet the weekly class conflicts with full-time employment and would cost me the job while put me in conflict with TDOC job requirements leading to registry violation. People have come to know me as responsible and not a threat or deviant and have gone to bat to get me in the door with an employer yet “treatment” would put me in the position of not being able to fulfill both TDOC employment requirements and the employer’s full-time work schedule. The timing of treatment should be case by case, required only if an offender displays irresponsible/non-compliant/deviant behavior to his/her supervision and should be able to be excused from said weekly treatment if it conflicts with proper employment. I’m not trying to get out of treatment but it should be considered for a postponement until stable housing/employment is secured. Then once the employer can move work hours to a shift that opens up an hour each week where I can comply and also maintain the job the therapy would begin. I don’t want to disappoint those who have helped me with gaining employment, but also do not want to be seen as non-compliant. I have nothing to hide,no agenda of deviance. I want to comply while doing what is legal and proper to be a contributing registered citizen while showing that, as I have already, my only motivation is to not be a burden, statistic, or threat to anyone. How can this be fixed?

  • Ben Franstook

    I’ve been in treatment for about 7 years. The main concern of most of the providers is do you have your money. Honestly the difference between being on probation or parole and having completed your sentence is nothing. Think of it this way $40 a week at least for treatment (weather your there or not) $15 a month for supervision $150 a year to be on the registry $150 every six months for a polygraph and now they want to add another $50 a year to publish notification about you. That might not sound like a lot to some people. Combine that with the difficulty in finding housing and employment that is adequate and it leads to chronic homelessness which leads to a GPS monitor that they charge you $50 a month to
    wear. All the fees you pay the state itself must be paid through JPay, who charges you a fee to do so.

    • Lilli carp

      Then I suppose maybe you should not have done something illegal. From post rant about monetary cost, what about cost your illegal actions created both financially and otherwise.

      Your victim: years and years of emotional and psychological issues, possible low self esteem, insecurities, financial cost to YOUR victim as well. Embarrassment of going to court reliving your illegal actions forced to verbalize the abuse.

      Your other victims: your immediate family: financial cost as you mentioned all the court cost attorney fees, treatment, monitoring, who knows what else as a result of your illegal actions.

      Your children if you have any financial cost as monies normally used for other things such as housing good recreation clothing now MUST be used to pay for YOUR illegal actions. The isolation because of restrictions from your actions trickles down and impacts your spouse or children. The embarrassment. If you are like some who misdirect or Blake others or attempt to shake someone else never accept or acknowledge your actions or the impact of your actions the trauma and psychological Issues that your manipulation does should be illegal as well.

      Stop whining cause you got caught. That’s the only meaning seen in your post. Poor you, you are being held somewhat accountable for your illegal activity. It’s creating a hardship to go out and secure another victim.

      • Lilli- we approved your comment which is more like an attack and that compels me to ask where is your anger coming from? Are you a victim or family member of one? I am sorry that you have experienced whatever it is that angers you. But, please don’t gloss over the statements of someone who has already paid their debt to society. The ‘you got caught’ statement is the mantra of prosecutors who have more government support *incentives and funding) than the resources of the poor which is the over-worked and underfunded public defenders. You obviously are among those who believe in ‘selective redemption!’ Vicki Henry

  • Billy Jack

    Good points Indeed and a great article on the TN dementing “treatment” program. In CA it’s much the same. I’ve been in it for 5 years now and never reoffended at all. The silly and insane questioning, the accusations, the unreliable unscientific polygraph test that take time up for my job and accuse me of things I have not done. Asking if I’m gay, asking me if I’m a deviant, asking if I have cheated on relationships, all these irrelevant and unnecessary and harmful questioning has cause me to consider ending my life.

    I have lost 3 jobs and lucky now to to have a job. But the treatment programs do not help you feel better about yourself even though mine was a first-time nonviolent breaking of the law.

    Clearly this is something I will never do again knowing what I know now and everything else. However situations like these people say very bias and harmful accusations had made one man sick in the parking lot.

    Thank you so much for your article and we really appreciate everything you do.

  • Isn’t that fine and dandy to know that TN S.O. counselors know it all. What a gift they have to know the thoughts and future thoughts of the people that are forced to pay and go see them. What’s worse is none of the former offenders will ever/ can ever redeem themselves. Insanity at its best. They have zero true documentation to prove their point, because it’s blasphemous falsehoods.


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