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OHLA at 10 Years: Sex Offender Treatment
Quickly and effectively establishing professional standards
Sex offender treatment
When the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force and Oregon Sex Offender Supervision Network were proposing legislation to establish the Sex Offender Treatment Board, the Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) became the top choice to oversee the new state board.
 
OHLA was selected as the regulatory authority because the agency offers an existing infrastructure and professional staff to effectively develop, communicate and monitor standards related to sex offender treatment as intended by the original legislation, House Bill 3233, which was signed into law on July 27, 2007, by Governor Ted Kulongoski.
 
The seven members of the Sex Offender Treatment Board have devoted numerous days since then providing profession-specific consultation and knowledge in developing initial qualification and practice standards for sex offender therapists.
 
Their time, effort and expertise coupled with OHLA’s effective facilitation and oversight has resulted in the establishment of a new regulatory program in a relatively short period of time.
 
OHLA is already certifying initial applicants who meet qualification standards to treat sex offenders, whose "...evaluation and treatment represents significant differences in practice from general mental health interventions," according to the profession's Standards of Practice.
 
The Oregon State Legislature recognized sex offender therapists as occupying “…a vital role in protecting the public...." but that curtailing recidivism and protecting victims "is undermined by a lack of regulated standards of practice and professional responsibility."
 
While certification is currently voluntary, some government agencies, most notably Multnomah County, are requiring sex offender therapists to be certified as part of court-ordered treatment for offenders.

Central Issues in Sex Offender Treatment
Dr. William Davis
Dr. William Davis, Sex Offender Treatment Board 2009 Chair
  • Promoting Benefits of Certification:  With certification currently voluntary, OHLA and the Sex Offender Treatment Board are promoting the benefits of certification, including increased public safety and professional standards.

  • Facilitating the Certification Process:  OHLA has streamlined applications, created answers to frequently asked questions, provided staff training and lowered fees to facilitate the application and certification process.

  • Developing Model Treatment Plans:  OHLA and the Sex Offender Treatment Board are continuing to develop model treatment plans for adolescent, adult and developmentally disabled sex offenders.

Regulatory Timeline
House Bill 3233 signing
Former Attorney General Hardy Meyers at HB 3233 signing
1999
Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force formed after victim advocates hold the first-ever Oregon Sexual Assault Summit.
 
2007
The Oregon State Legislature establishes the Sex Offender Treatment Board within the Oregon Health Licensing Agency.
 
2008
OHLA certifies initial applicants for sex offender treatment after establishing qualification and practice standards in consultation with the Sex Offender Treatment Board.
 
2009
Grandfathering provision ends on March 14, 2009, to obtain certification without active mental health licensure for applicants with required education, experience and training.