The Sex Offender Treatment Board is part of the Tennessee Department of Correction which manages the Board’s legislatively mandated work including the Sex Offender Fund.
In 1995, the Tennessee General Assembly created the Sex Offender Treatment Board in the Department of Correction. The General Assembly declared, reference TCA 39-13-702 (a), that the “…comprehensive evaluation, identification, treatment and continued monitoring of sex offenders who are subject to the supervision of the criminal justice system are necessary in order to work toward the elimination of recidivism of such offenders.”
To that end, the General Assembly charged the Board with these activities:
- developing and prescribing a standardized procedure for the evaluation and identification of sex offenders
- developing and implementing methods of intervention
- development of guidelines and standards for a system of programs for the treatment of sex offenders placed on probation, incarcerated in the Department of Correction, placed on parole, or placed in community corrections.
Additionally, the Board was charged with researching and analyzing the program effectiveness, developing and prescribing an offender tracking system and developing a system for monitoring offender behavior.
Historically, the Board’s work emphasized the development of a statewide system of professionals specializing in sex offender treatment. This foundational work was essential due to the deficit of treatment professionals with specialized knowledge and training of the adult and juvenile sex offender populations. Therefore, in 1995, the Board contracted with the Special Problems Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Tennessee – Memphis. The Sex Offender Treatment manual was an outcome of the collaboration. For eleven (11) years, the Board has provided specialized training in sex offender treatment techniques through an annual training conference. Recently, the Board has emphasized formalizing standards, guidelines, as well as administrative policy and procedure.
The Board is comprised of a group of individuals dedicated to the mission of reducing the likelihood of sexually-based offenders. The vision is to enhance public safety by laying the groundwork for a comprehensive approach to juvenile and adult sex offender management in Tennessee.