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Ethical Treatment for All Youth

Email: etay@ethicaltreatment.org

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BJ'S SON, 17

My son was forced to go through sex offender treatment at the age of 17-18. He was in group therapy with some who, he felt, had committed some horrific crimes, and the therapy sessions, in my opinion, were VERY damaging! He would come home very angry because he was being classified the same as others in the group, when the only crime he had committed was having consensual relations with a girl who was 2 1/2 weeks away from being the age of consent (16)... and he was only 17 at the time. Personally, I felt it would be far more beneficial for him to be in with a group on YOUNG people talking about respect, self-esteem, STD's, etc. This was NOT the case.

Two days after my son was charged we had him seeing a counselor (of our own choosing) to help him deal with what he would be going through. He continued to see this counselor while he was also in the SO treatment. She helped him deal with some of his anger surrounding how the SO treatment was making him feel. He was in the SO treatment for 14 months and they WOULD NOT release him UNTIL he had admitted to something he didn't do (take advantage of someone who was intoxicated). That part of his charge had been dropped because they had NO proof. My son took his sentencing transcript for the SO therapist to look at, proving that the judge did NOT believe that the act was predatory. It did not make any difference.  He kept refusing to say that he had taken advantage of an intoxicated 15 year old, so they told him he was in denial.

Finally, one day he had had it, and gave them what they wanted (required), in writing, no less. We then had him take what he had written to the counselor WE were having him see so that he could tell her WHY he wrote what he did, and so that someone else would have ON record why he said he did it. Sure enough... the following month he was released from
having to go to the SO treatment.  By the way... my son continued to see the counselor of our choosing for a year after he had completed his sentence (3 years total) and he still keeps in touch with her.

BJ of MI