Sex offender program helping decrease repeat offender rate

The rate of repeat sex offenders in Southwest Louisiana may be lower than in other parts of the country. This is, in part, due to an aggressive, supervised program for offenders on probation and parole. But as KPLC's Laila Morcos tells us, communities still need to be vigilant.

Probation and Parole District Manager Charles Finkley says a sex offender can't be profiled, but they do have one thing in common. "They are very manipulative."

He says that's one reason convicted sex offenders are closely watched during their parole or probation. "We have zero tolerance for violations of supervision by sex offenders. We take action."

Part of that zero tolerance is an aggressive, supervised program that starts while offenders are still in prison.  He says, "They have to be supervised. Someone has to be checking their residence, checking their jobs, checking their activities."  That's because the rate of repeat offenders is so great.

"We want to know that they are complying. We want to know if there are red flag issues coming up because maybe we can prevent something from actually happening."  Which oftentimes does. Finkley says, "We've talked to counselors that they treat it, but you can't change it."

But with this state program, the repeat rate has gone down compared to other parts of the country.  But one repeat offensive is too much.

"There are more sex offenders in Southwest Louisiana that we don't know about who don't have a record yet."  That's why Finkley says, despite this state program, parents are still the key to stopping offenders.

The state offender program consists of private and group counseling, victim empathy, relapse prevention and more. If someone is in violation of the program, chances are, they'll find themselves back in prison.