Oklahoma Sex Offenders No Longer Getting Treatment Before Release
Dana Hertneky, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma City psychologist said he is concerned over how the Department of Corrections is helping sex offenders.
Budget cuts forced the state to do away with its sex offender treatment program.
Richard Kishur, Ph.D., is the one who developed the program and worked for the Department of Corrections.
His concern is that sex offenders aren't getting the treatment they need before they are released from prison and we don't know how dangerous they really are once they're on the street.
"We've got to have some data to know who's dangerous," said Kishur.
Kishur developed the state's sex offender program back in 1989. Since then it went from a treatment program to one that also assessed the risk of offenders.
"High risk people obviously need to be supervised closely. Low risk: we don't need to put the effort on if it's not a significant risk," he explained.
But now, there's no treatment and no risk assessment, which means everyone is treated the same.
"I think that's fine for most of people," he said. "But I know there are occasional people that come back into the community who are real dangerous and need to be seen three times a week or four times a week by a probation officer when that officer only has time to see them once very two weeks."
"We would certainly like to provide more treatment to more people," said Department of Corrections spokesperson Jerry Massey back in July 2009.
Massey wouldn't go on camera to address Kishur's concerns now that no one is being treated but said he believes the current system that consists of a treatment program, polygraph test, probation officers and police who all work together after an offender is released will work.
Massey also said the DOC was forced to make $70 million worth of cuts in two years and something had to go.
Kishur said he is lobbying the legislature to get the treatment program back.