Complex Litigation

New Resources on Sentencing Sex Offenders


Pursuant to a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, The National Judicial College created a model curriculum on sentencing adult sex offenders. To create the Sentencing Sex Offenders curriculum, the NJC partnered with the Center for Sex Offender Management and also tapped into the expertise of judges, prosecutors and defense counsel, forensic psychiatrists, probation experts, victims’ rights professionals, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Trafficking (SMART Office) of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The curriculum will assist trial judges in developing sentencing practices for some of the most challenging criminal defendants: convicted sex offenders. The curriculum was designed to serve as an introduction to six facets of sentencing and managing sex offenders: the contemporary research and literature on sex offenders and sexual victimization; tools used to assess sex offenders, and the areas of uncertainty; types of treatment and other interventions used to reduce the risk of offenders; sentencing decision and its implications, including conditions to impose; evidence-based sentencing research; and the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

The Sentencing Sex Offenders curriculum includes a handbook for faculty and judicial educators; PowerPoint presentations with substantive faculty notes; five case studies; and a resource center with articles, references, and additional resources. The case studies each consist of a pre-sentencing investigation report and a psycho-sexual examination – taken from actual cases.

The curriculum will be distributed to state judicial educators in October.

To support the curriculum, NJC is offering the following three resources:

1. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE: Effective immediately, NJC now offers in-house technical assistance to answer sentencing sex offender questions posed by judges and judicial staff via e-mail, by telephone, or in-person.

2. WEBCASTS: In 2010 and 2011, two web-based sessions based on the model curriculum will be offered free of charge. The first free webcast, “What Research Tells Us About Sex Offenders,” will be presented on Tuesday, February 1, 2011, at 12:00 p.m. PT/3:00 p.m. ET. See below for registration information.

3. EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS: In 2011, NJC will offer additional valuable assistance to two states interested in presenting the model curriculum, with instruction provided by NJC faculty. NJC will issue an announcement soliciting applications from states interested in receiving this training.

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