SOMB Quarterly Minute
Hello SOMB world and welcome to your quarterly newsletter!
Recently the board participated in a retreat that focused a great deal on purpose and direction and what we want this board to be. Of course we have the statutory mandate of the board’s purpose and that is our biggest driver. Along with that however, was a focus on the “why”. Something that came up over and over was the desire to be a voice for our respective stakeholders and community at large. In the spirit of that I thought it might be a great time to remind you all of who your representatives are. They are YOUR voice. We all have the hope that we represent those voices well. Please reach out to them with feedback, concerns, ideas, etc. Below is a list of each member along with the constituency they represent. And as always, this is your quarterly reminder to take care of yourselves. There’s a whole lot of folks that depend on you and the work you do that is so vital in this world. Be well!
Kimberly Kline, MA, LPC, ACS
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)
October is a time where we collectively work to raise awareness about intimate partner violence through unity, action, and advocacy. This is done to elevate survivor voices because they are often silenced and marginalized. The Domestic Violence Offender Management Board (DVOMB) met on October 13th and honored DVAM with two featured presentations. The first presentation, Then and Now: Changes in the Movement to End Domestic Violence, was organized by the Victim Advocacy Committee and featured three prominent leaders speaking about their views of how the field of domestic violence has changed. The second presentation, Look Who’s Stalking: Identifying and Corroborating Allegations of Stalking by Dr. Patrick Brady highlighted the complex aspect of stalking and its impact on victims. In recognition of DVAM, these presentations were recorded and are available to view:
- Then and Now: Changes in the Movement to End Domestic Violence
- Look Who’s Stalking: Identifying and Corroborating Allegations of Stalking
If you would like to view the presentations, please email Taylor Redding at firstname.lastname@example.org
The consequences of strangulation are becoming more understood in the research, especially in the context of non-fatal strangulation. A recent systematic review looked at 30 articles from the literature for the pathological, neurological, cognitive, psychological, and behavioral outcomes of non-fatal strangulation in domestic and sexual violence. The study found that “Severe, life-threatening injuries were reported, including stroke, arterial dissection, and symptoms of hypoxia and venous congestion. Clinical outcomes included loss of consciousness, changes to vision and voice, motor difficulties, and sensory loss. Psychological outcomes indicated profound trauma reactions, including acute and chronic fear, PTSD, dissociation, depression, anxiety, and suicidality.”
The extent of brain injuries and these long-term consequences of non-fatal strangulation are not well known and sometimes minimized. To combat that, the Alliance for Hope Foundation published an infographic to convey the damage that can be caused to a victim in less than three minutes. There is an infographic that portrays this data, it can be viewed here.
In the recent data collected from DVOMB Approved Providers between January 1st through June 30th, 2023, strangulation was endorsed in 17.8% (n = 78) of cases; however, not all of these cases were charged or convicted for strangulation.
Throughout October and November, Violence Free Colorado (VFC) will be sharing content on their social media channels to help raise awareness and educate the public on the complex dynamics of domestic violence. You can find more information about events by visiting the VFC events calendar.
Meet the New Director for the Division of Criminal Justice
Dr. Matthew M. Lunn was appointed as the director of the Division of Criminal Justice in September 2023. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Lunn was the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Denver Police Department where he focused on public policy, developed short- and long-term strategic goals, drove innovation and evaluation efforts, and maximized organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Prior to his tenure with the Denver Police Department, he worked for the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office and for the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner.
Dr. Lunn earned his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, a Master of Science from Regis University, and a Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University. Lunn is a graduate of the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Police Executive Research Forum's Senior Management Institute for Police. Dr. Lunn held leadership roles on local, state, and federal boards and commissions, and held faculty appointments at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, University of Colorado Denver, and Binghamton University-SUNY.
In his first month, Director Lunn has spent significant time connecting with DCJ team members and external stakeholders to understand the current needs and opportunities of the division. In the coming months, we will be releasing our strategic plan and look forward to feedback from the DVOMB and SOMB community.
New Board Member - Judge Priscilla J. Loew
Priscilla J. Loew was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 2006. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in History from the Colorado State University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Judge Loew served as a district attorney in Weld County, law clerk for the Honorable Larry Naves, and from 2008 through 2016 as a district attorney at the Denver District Attorney’s Office. In that role, she served in county court, juvenile court, drug court, and district courts. Prior to be appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to the district court bench, she served as a district court magistrate in the Seventeenth Judicial District handling juvenile, domestic relations, truancy, paternity, and protection order matters. She has served as co-chair of the Juvenile Services Planning Committee as well as judicial representative on the Seventeenth Judicial District Human Trafficking Committee, Crossover Youth Committee, and Best Practices Juvenile Committee.
As you are all aware, the SOMB began collecting service level data from treatment providers in 2019. Since that time, the SOMB has published the results of this data collection each year in its Annual Legislative Report (You can view the report here). In addition to these annual summaries, the SOMB is now compiling comments submitted by treatment providers into Policy Briefs. The second Policy Brief on factors related to treatment discharge was approved by the SOMB on September 15, 2023. Here is a quote from the Policy Brief:
"Overall, the specific qualitative factors identified by SOMB Approved Treatment Providers as contributing to either successful or unsuccessful completion of treatment appear consistent with the findings of both the quantitative analysis of the treatment outcome data and treatment attrition. The rate of successful completion of treatment has increased from 36% in year one to 48% in year three. Correspondingly, the rate of non-compliance treatment discharges decreased from 40% in year two to 37% in year three. However, the overall rate of non-compliance treatment discharge still warrants attention given that it adversely impacts community and victim safety, and client rehabilitation and reintegration.
Implementation of and adherence to the RNR Principles appear to play a consistent role in improving treatment outcomes across both quantitative and qualitative measures. In particular, the role of risk assessment and the client developing effective risk management strategies is of particular importance. Assessed level of risk is a significant determinant of whether a client is likely to successfully complete treatment or not. Clients with higher levels of risk are less likely to be compliant in treatment than clients with lower levels of risk."
For more information related to the second policy brief,
please see the full report here.
In September 2023, the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board approved revisions to Standards regarding clients under appeal. Previously, in order to accept a client into treatment and modify the standards without a variance, providers were required to verify the status of Use Immunity. Revisions to 3.162 include changes to the title to remove the distinction between an Appeal of a Sentence or Conviction. For treatment providers, there is no benefit to making this distinction and caused more confusion. The standard now reads “Clients who have filed an Appeal”. Once verification of the appeal is provided by the client, providers can choose to accept the client and modify the following Standards:
A. Not discussing the offense of conviction
B. Not completing clarification work specific to the offense of conviction
C. Not discussing Sex History questions specific to the offense of conviction
Although not required to submit a variance, if they accept a client into treatment while under an appeal, and modify the Standards, they are still required to update the ARC every 6 months. Providers shall not modify the following standards for clients under appeal without a variance
A. 3.200: Successful Discharge from Treatment
B. 5.735: Criteria for CST Approval of Supervised Contact with Secondary or Non-Victim Minor Children
This does not include Standard 5.720 A. Clients may still have contact with their own minor children when the Court or Parole Board has not prohibited contact.
Regarding Use Immunity, the revisions include changing the requirement of providers to verify the status of Use Immunity, to simply asking a client if a Use Immunity Agreement is in place. Due to the nature of the agreement between the District Attorney, the Client with their attorney, and the Court, a client who is granted Use Immunity will be aware and able to provide verification to their provider. If this agreement is in place, providers shall follow the standards as written.
Please join us for our monthly SOMB meeting In-Person or Virtually.
When: November 17, 2023
Where: Denver Police Protective Association Event Center
2105 Decatur St., Denver, Colorado 80211
Agenda Coming Soon!
Traveling Sex Offender Management Board Meetings
This form is a solicitation for traveling SOMB Meetings across the State of Colorado. This allows for other stakeholders to be a part of our meetings in person. Our meetings are the Third Friday of every month. If you are interested in having a SOMB Meeting in your city, please fill out the form below.
Please view our Training Updates below!
SOMB Provider HUB
The SOMB is excited to announce the new SOMB Provider HUB!! This is a website where Providers can find Lunch & Learn and standard training recordings. This Hub is for SOMB Providers ONLY. In this Hub, all of the previous and future SOMB Lunch & Learn recordings will be posted, as well as Standards Training recordings. You will need to Register for the Provider Hub ONCE and then you will be able to log in throughout the year to view trainings (it is set up similarly to the conference recordings). You will have to be Approved by SOMB Staff before you are able to log into the Provider Hub. If you have already signed up for the Hub, you DO NOT need to re-register. Please email email@example.com with any questions.
**Note: There is not a set time or date for these online trainings, they will be available at any time after you register throughout the year. This is where Providers can get their training hours.
Committee Updates - Treatment Solutions Subcommittee
The SOMB has completed the process of undergoing a Sunset Review by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) and the Colorado General Assembly. Per the Sunset Bill (SB23-164), the SOMB is required to form a subcommittee with representatives from the Board, Treatment Providers, the Department of Corrections (DOC), Parole, and the State Parole Board to develop solutions to address treatment resources for sexual offenders who are incarcerated, in the custody of the DOC and required to participate in treatment.
The Subcommittee has met three times since its inception. The subcommittee also hosted a Public Testimony Meeting on September 6th where members of the public, family members, and other stakeholders shared their thoughts, ideas, and concerns to the subcommittee. During these meetings, members discussed some options of needing further clarification within the Standards, discharges in the Standards matching the SOTMP criteria, creating a new aftercare phase for DOC and Parole, clinical interviews being done via telehealth and the possibility of using peers as mentors to support and advance in treatment. These are a few examples that have been discussed, the subcommittee continues to meet and will finalize the recommendations. The minutes and recordings from the previous meetings can be found in the Public Document Repository here: https://app.awesome-table.com/-LnP9EGNWYwkNxMn8ABd/view. The goal of the next meeting is to finalize recommendations for treatment solutions and complete the report to the Legislature.
The next subcommittee meeting is scheduled for:
Date: November 15th, 2023
Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: Douglas County Sheriff’s Office - Highlands Ranch Substation
9250 Zotos Dr, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
Online via Webex:
2554 390 1538
FhnszPMg462 (34679764 from phones and video systems)
Join by phone
+1-415-655-0001 US Toll
Access code: 255 439 01538
Research Corner by Dr. Rachael Collie, Staff Researcher ODVSOM, DCJ, CDPS
In this quarter, I highlight key findings from a recent data analysis project conducted using adult client data recorded in the SOMB Provider Data Management System. The analyses were to help inform the work of the SOMB Adults Standards Revision Committee as it discusses the Adult Standards and Guidelines Section 3.500: Managing Clients in Denial. The project involved analysis of the client denial levels at the beginning and end of treatment contact and analysis of provider comments about approaches used to manage client denial. The data included 1,481 cases and 365 provider comments entered into the SOMB Provider Data Management System between October 2019 and November 2022.
Figure 1 below shows the proportion of clients in each denial level at the beginning and end of treatment contact (where treatment refers to deniers interventions and/or offense-specific treatment). As can be seen, 62% of clients were assessed to exhibit low or no denial at the beginning of treatment contact while 38% exhibited moderate or high denial. By the end of contact, the proportion who exhibited low or no denial increased to 82% while the proportion who exhibited moderate or high denial reduced to 18%. Only a small proportion – 5% – remained in high denial at the end of treatment contact.
Table 1 below shows the degree of change in client denial from the beginning to the end of treatment contact. Green cells show denial reduced, white cells show no change, and orange cells show an increase. As can be seen, 275 clients (99%) had no denial at the beginning of treatment contact and no denial at the end of treatment contact. Of those in low denial at the beginning of treatment, 185 (29%) had no denial at the end and of those in moderate denial at the beginning of treatment, 68 (19%) had no denial at the end. Of those in high denial at the beginning of treatment, 22 (11%) had no denial at the end of treatment. Together this shows that 18% of clients that began treatment with some level of denial had progressed to no denial by the end of treatment contact.
Looking at those clients who began treatment contact in high denial, 26% had moderate denial at the end of treatment contact, 28 had low denial, and 11% had no denial. Together this showed 65% of clients who began treatment contact with high denial lowered their denial across the course of treatment contact (through deniers interventions and offense-specific treatment). A smaller proportion – 35% – continued to exhibit high denial across treatment contact. Looking at the orange cells, it's apparent a very small proportion – less than 1% – increased their level of denial over the course of treatment contact. This may have been due to the true level of denial becoming more evident over time or, in rare instances, a client regressing to greater denial.
Several important observations from the Colorado SOMB data include:
● A large majority of clients begin treatment taking at least some level of responsibility for their offending (i.e., they have low, moderate, or no denial). Under the Adult Standards and Guidelines these clients can enter offense-specific treatment.
● A significant proportion of clients reduce their level of denial and increase their level of responsibility taking across the course of treatment.
● A relatively small proportion of clients begin treatment contact in high denial. Under the Adult Standards and Guidelines these clients undertake deniers interventions to develop a minimal level of responsibility taking before progressing to offense-specific treatment.
● About two-thirds of clients who begin treatment contact with high denial transition to offense-specific treatment. A significant proportion of those clients are out of denial or accept most of the responsibility for their offending by the end of treatment contact.
● A relatively small proportion (5%) of clients remain in high denial at the end of treatment contact and do not progress to offense-specific treatment.
Taken together, the findings are consistent with treatment contact (both deniers interventions and offense-specific treatment) having a positive impact on reducing client denial and increasing responsibility taking. The findings also suggest the Adult Standards and Guidelines set clear expectations regarding the importance of the process of taking responsibility for offending to transition from deniers interventions into offense-specific treatment. Qualitative analyses of the optional comments entered by many Approved Providers indicated a wide range of approaches were used to work with client denial within the umbrella of the Standards and Guidelines, RNR model, and contemporary CBT practice. A highlight of these strategies includes:
● Use of deniers interventions as prescribed by the Standards and Guidelines
● Use of the group process
● Use of individual or adjunct treatment
● Use of a polygraph exam
● Addressing victim impact
● Developing a therapeutic relationship
● Decreasing stigma and shame
● Focusing on distorted thought patterns related to the offense
● Use of client support systems
● Addressing client trauma history
● Providing psychoeducation
For additional information about the project findings please look out for the upcoming SOMB policy brief #3 on the SOMB website https://dcj.colorado.gov/boards-commissions/sex-offender-management-board
The Colorado Legislature passed House Bill 16-1345, which required the SOMB to collect data from SOMB Approved Evaluators, Treatment Providers, and Polygraph Examiners who provide services to adults convicted and juveniles adjudicated for a sex offense since Jan. 1st, 2020. Please enter data into the SOMB Provider Data Management System (PDMS) (https://sombproviders.state.co.us/) before November 1, 2023 so that your entry will be reflected in the coming legislative report. Data collection system does not link specific data entry to Approved Providers per se, however, compliance with data entry is monitored through a process that identifies Approved Providers who have not entered any data at all.