Chairman Costello, Chairman Timilty, and members of the Committee, I would like to offer testimony in support of my bill H. 2239, An Act Relative to the Creation of a Sex Offender Management Board.
I drafted this legislation to develop and prescribe an evidence-based, standardized procedure to identify, evaluate, treat and manage adult and juvenile sex offenders in Massachusetts. This bill will ensure the citizens of the Commonwealth that more is being done to protect them and their families from sexual abusers.
Currently, there is no mechanism in place to guarantee that individuals who work with adult or juvenile sex offenders have the information, expertise, or experience needed to effectively work with this population. This legislation would create a board that has the authority to establish policies and standards to address issues, concerns, and problems related to the state and community management of adult and juvenile sex offenders. The main objective of the board will be to achieve safer communities and reduce victimization. A number of other states, including California, Colorado, and New Mexico, have successfully implemented similar sex offender management boards.
This legislation would institute a well-informed management board that serves a variety of functions. First, the board would evaluate the success of approaches that have been previously used in the Commonwealth to manage adult and juvenile sex offenders. Second, the board would create and apply statewide standards for the effective assessment, treatment, and management of adult and juvenile sex offenders based on current research and evidence. Third, the board would continually update standards and review new proposals for management practices to allow for ongoing assessment of the impact and efficacy of the established policies and standards.
I believe by creating an effective management board for sex offenders H. 2239 would expand the protection and safety of the citizens of the Commonwealth. Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I strongly encourage the Committee to adopt a favorable report for H. 2239 as expeditiously as possible.