Sex offender risk managed

A FORMER Department of Corrective Services (DCS) senior psychologist has said risk management, not rehabilitation, is paramount to the release of sex offenders into the community.

Clinical psychologist Tina Marley worked as the DCS principal psychologist from 2009 until earlier this year and has facilitated sex offender programs, supervised practitioners delivering programs, written assessments for court and releasing authorities and had oversight of the Dangerous Sex Offender Psychology team.

Ms Marley said she had worked with offenders since 1986 and all interventions were designed to prioritise community safety.

“Transition to the community after a long period in custody can be very difficult for offenders,” she said.

“Things that assist in the transition to the community are stable and appropriate accommodation, community support, services matched to needs, and meaningful activities where a person can develop positive feelings of self-worth.”

Ms Marley said an offender would not have been released if they were assessed to pose an unacceptable risk to the community.

“It is my understanding that community safety is paramount in the Dangerous Sex Offender Act (DSOA), she said. “From my experience these conditions were monitored closely.

“Prior to the release of an offender under the DSOA the courts and the Department of Corrective Services would have ensured that a plan is developed that addressed the dynamic risk factors that are associated with risk of re-offending.

“This work commenced long before an offender was released.”

Ms Marley said various sex offender programs were available in custody and the community.

“From my experience, the goal was to engage the offender in a partnership where they (the offender) actively managed their risk by avoiding high-risk situations or implementing strategies they have learned and rehearsed,” she said.

“There were regular inter-departmental meetings to monitor the offenders subject to the DSOA.

“There was also a maintenance program in the community for some higher-risk offenders, where assessed to be appropriate.

“That program assisted a sex offender to maintain the strategies they have learned in treatment.”

Sex offender Dennis John Lyddieth was released to live in Tuart Hill on November 9.

Mr Lyddieth is subject to many conditions such as GPS tracking, psychological consultation and a strict curfew.

A warning about using outdated offender photos: www.communitynews.com.au/news/Photo-warning-outdated/7679160