/* Project Restoration

How will you monitor the sex offenders living on your campus? - Will your facility know the exact whereabouts of your clients?

SORP is about accountability. While staying at one of our campuses, a client will be informed of, and be responsible for, living up to strict accountability standards. We monitor our clients using a variety of methods including, but not limited to: providing each client with a GPS capable cell phone by which their location can be monitored; requiring a rigorous sign in/out process at the building or campus office for all clients that leave the campus for any reason; a requirement to file a daily schedule at the campus office prior to leaving the grounds, active cooperation with law enforcement agencies that are charged with monitoring the whereabouts of former sex offenders; and other methods as necessary. Those on probation or parole are still required to follow all of their assigned restrictions, and, as we are a completely transparent project, we will work with law enforcement and the parole office to allow them access to our clients whenever required.

How can I trust a sex offender won′t re-offend when living at your facility?

We at SORP are providing every help possible for those who wish to never reoffend again. We will work with law enforcement and the professional community to ensure the best possible outcome for both our clients and the community. The truth is, however, that there are no guarantees. Our program is built around a number of safeguards and strategies that can reduce the chances of a client relapsing. By immersing our clients in recovery related activities, and by providing support so they learn pro-social ways of gaining and maintaining housing and employment, we help our clients learn how to take care of themselves and the community where they live, instilling values that embrace our commitment to "no more victims".

How will you be accountable? How can we see that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing?

Again, there are no guarantees. What SORP will guarantee is that we will be instrumental in greatly reducing the risk of sexual reoffending by our clients. On top of working with our clients, we plan to work with the local city councils, inviting them to assign a representative that will receive regular updates on SORP’s activities, and who can ask questions of our site manager whenever necessary. We will also be completely transparent with local law enforcement and aid them in any investigation when asked. We will also work diligently to keep our web page up to date, so that each member of the community can know what is happening with us at any time.

Where will your funding come from?

After establishing our non-profit status, the majority of our funding will come from fees for services rendered, and from fundraising, including grants, private donations and funds procured through crowd funding agencies.

How will you be housing all these sex offenders?

SORP will house our clients in manageable numbers. Our first "campus" of transitional housing will be an apartment complex purchased for that purpose. While they are going through their assessment and preparation for the community, they will be re-learning to live on their own and be responsible for themselves in their apartments. Eventually, we hope to have buildings and/or campuses in each of the parole regions of California to aid in sex offender reintegration state-wide.

We can only guarantee our best effort in doing so. In order to do this, SORP desires to include trusted members of the community on our Board of Directors and staff. This is to ensure that who we are and what we do is transparent to the community at large. Additionally, we will be providing a constant stream of information about us through this site, outlining every step we take. Ultimately though, the only real test or proof that SORP is doing what we are supposed to be doing will be the successful RECOVERY, REHABILITATION, and RESTORATION of our clients back into the community. Anything less would be failure to us.

Where will your buildings or campuses be located?

SORP would like to have our properties in locations that are close enough to urban areas to make accessing businesses and services in the local community a reasonable endeavor, as well as give our clients a true chance to start reintegrating with the rest of society. We will carefully pick our building sites based on availability, zoning, and residency restrictions. That said, we understand that many people in the community are so concerned about sex offenders that they would accept a convicted murderer into their midst before accepting a former sex offender. So, for the peace of mind of the community and for the safety of our clients, we will be looking for properties that can provide all our needs in one place (such as entire apartment complexes) or properties on the edge of the community. We also believe that staying connected to the community is vital for our success and the success of our clients, and will enhance the ability of all concerned to monitor SORP, our clients, and our service providers. SORP plans to place its first site in the Barstow area due to the availability of appropriate property options. The eventual goal is to open reentry facilities in all five of the California parole regions to best increase the safety of communities and reduce the risk of recidivism throughout the state.

Is there going to be security at your facility? Will there be video security?

Yes, there will be security. It will be necessary to protect the integrity of our campus and the rights of our clients, as well as being an integral part of our accountability program. To meet this goal, we at SORP, plan to eventually have both security personnel and security cameras at our various properties. What that actually entails will greatly depend on the success of our fundraising efforts. We believe that what we are seeking to do with our programs will make communities significantly safer. This will be especially true if we achieve the kind of funding levels that will support the purchase, use, and maintenance of equipment and provision of services that will provide both accountability and security for our clients, and peace of mind for those in the community.

Can anyone apply or is there a procedure to follow?

Any sex offender preparing to be released from an institution or FISO already in the community will be able to apply to avail themselves of a SORP program, but we will have strict criteria that will determine who we will accept. There are necessary application, screening, and assessment processes that they will have to go through. The details of this will be posted when we begin accepting applications. SORP is for those who have already demonstrated that they want to change their lives, but need our help to make it happen. We will initially help those who have no or minimal community resources and/or support and who have demonstrated a commitment to never again offend sexually and to give back to the community.

How can we trust sex offenders to monitor other sex offenders? Who is monitoring you?

At SORP we don't expect you to trust us sight unseen. We intend to earn your trust as we work side-by-side with the people that you do trust. They will be on our Board of Directors. They will be providing treatment to our clients. They will be providing services at our buildings and campuses. Yet the FISO of SORP will be the core. Each of the FISO founders of SORP has spent many years, both during and after his incarceration for his crimes, coming to understand and deal with the issues that led to his offending, through treatment and the help of those who cared about them. That knowledge was then applied to an understanding as to what it would take to deal with those and other issues in society. We know what needs to be monitored, and how to do so, and so SORP was born. Still, monitoring is necessary. When it comes to sexual offending, private, local, state and federal statistics tell us that the vast majority of sex offenses are committed by persons known to the victims. There are many types of people, including doctors, judges, teachers, police officers, coaches, correctional officers, family members, etc. who have sexually offended. Therefore, we should all be vigilant about watching everybody. That said, SORP would be thrilled to earn your trust someday. What we need – what we are asking for now – is your honest, unbiased, and dedicated collaboration. You watch us, we'll watch you. In the end, we will realize safer, healthier communities together. While incarcerated, we were closely observed by staff and peers 24 hours per day. Each of the FISO founders is a registered sex offender, and so in the community we will be subject to all the restrictions and scrutiny that such a condition entails. So we know that we have to do things cleaner and with more transparency than anyone else. We expect and encourage community members and agencies to watch us. In time, we hope that you’re watching us will develop into trusting us after you see us in action.

What makes you think you′ve changed?

Each of SORP’s FISO founders has their own answer(s) to this question. Years of incarceration and treatment have taught us to recognize the harm that we’ve done. We look back in horror on our actions – and that horror has spurred us onward to successful self-improvement. Generally, we all have come to feel a deep and abiding commitment to never creating another victim, to do what it takes for each of us to live that commitment in our daily lives, and to help others to do so. The fact that we are creating a system by which released sex offenders can be monitored and treated and helped in every way to be a success is proof of our dedication to a changed life. Our three R’s: Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Restoration are what we have found in our own lives and now want to share with others.

Do you think this will make up for the wrong that you′ve done?

Nothing can make up for the wrong we have done; we cannot change the horror and catastrophic changes we brought to innocent lives, but through SORP we hope to make amends in some small way to those we have hurt and the community by making it safer for everyone. What we hope this will do is begin to restore things to their proper order. Now we will be safeguarding the communities we once offended against.

What are your qualifications? Are you certified to run a place like this?

We are recovering sex offenders who have faced the truth about our actions and thinking. We have been recovering mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically for many years. We do not currently have official certifications, but unfortunately, few people with official licenses or certifications have deemed it worthwhile to use those resources to undertake meeting the needs that SORP is addressing. That said, before our first property is operational, we will have our incorporated status and business license as well as any other requirements of law. We will have licensed professionals for all treatment aspects of our program, either hired by SORP or under contract. We have an important job to do, and we are going to do it right!

Do you have any professionals as part of the program on your campuses?

Currently SORP has attorney consultants, psychologist consultants, and licensed social worker consultants. As our fundraising permits, in order to run our various programs, we will, by necessity, be hiring or contracting licensed social workers and other legal and mental health professionals. Our goal is to have, within five years, a complete program with professionals and peers providing all the needs of our clients.

What restrictions will your clients have in their movements or activities?

It must be understood that the SORP buildings and campuses are not jails or places of confinement. They are sites where a safe and healthy transition into society may occur. That said, we have concluded that some restrictions on movement are wise during client's first 30 days a tour campus. During that time period, assessments will be made of each client. These assessments will provide information to the SORP staff that will help us determine, on an individual basis, what, if any, restrictions need to be put in place, beyond the monitoring efforts described in FAQ #13 (above). Also, during their assessment and for some time thereafter, our clients will be accompanied by one of our Peer Support Personnel whenever they leave our campus to help them take care of any needs in the community, and to provide accountability. Any restrictions put on them by probation or parole will be taken into account as well.

Is law enforcement aware of your plans and do they support them? What is their role in your program?

Law enforcement will be aware of all aspects of our plans and eventually we hope to be a resource parole officers can use for some of those on their caseload. As we continue to move forward we will be continuing to strengthen our ties with law enforcement as part of our effort to have our clients become proactive, beneficial members of society. All law enforcement and community support agencies are encouraged to help us make this reentry program the most successful in California.

Do we (the community) have a say in what you do or how your program works?

We at SORP will always welcome any suggestions or comments from the community. We are going to be part of the community, so all input from the community will be given careful consideration. We will encourage community members to share their ideas and concerns with us at Town Hall meetings, via our website, or by communication with our Board of Directors. However, there is a lot of misinformation out there about sexual offending and the treatment thereof, so the direction of SORP will be determined solely by our Board of Directors (advised by our professional consultants) and the laws of the land.

What is your program′s cost to the community? Will there be a drain on resources like health care or utilities?

At SORP we are trying to design our upcoming properties greenly and economically, to limit any costs to the community. We are not funded by any tax dollars, but rather by donations, and fees collected for services rendered. Public health care services would be provided to qualified individuals in the community regardless of whether they were housed at a SORP campus or not, so no additional drain on resources is anticipated. When necessary, our clients will only use the resources all citizens are privy to. Our hope is that, in time as we show our success, the community will come to consider us an asset instead.

Will the community be informed of your program? How?

SORP will have fully capable corporate officers, board members and employees dedicated to providing the Support, Opportunities, Accountability, and Resources necessary for the successful reintegration of our clients. Plans to keep the community informed include this website and a public relations campaign where we will be attending city and town functions where our project will be introduced, discussed, and made open to the public awareness. In May of 2012 we were part of a conference sponsored by the CCOSO, gaining some recognition from that event, and in June of the same year we were part of a COSA conference in Fresno. Additionally, SORP, through our Vice-President of Public Relations has embarked on a vigorous effort to contact local, state and federal agencies, elected officials, and organizations informing them of our existence and goals and seeking their active participation in our development. We have a lot going on; keep up with our news page on this site for updates on our activities!

What economic impact will your program have on the community? Are you creating jobs or expanding opportunities for the local area?

The most obvious and instantaneous economic impact on the community will be from SORP’s purchases of products and services needed for our campuses and our clients. These will include such basics as stationery supplies, food, clothing, linens, furniture and many other items. As we grow, we plan to start up small secondary businesses so that we can provide employment to our clients. This will include, but not be limited to, a business that builds our additional campuses (or renovates building purchases), and a business that does small building maintenance and repair work. We also plan to conduct workshops at the campuses on entrepreneurship, spirituality, and recovery oriented processes.

These methods are intended to add to the local employment rolls, increase the number of taxpayers in the local area, and increase property values. Initially, we will be using, whenever possible, local contractors for work needed on our campuses, and we will always welcome local professionals – or even volunteers who want to help us and our clients be a success. Eventually, as our new businesses are established, we will be creating job opportunities in the community, not just for our clients, but for all who need it. All available data show that any new enterprise started in a locality brings about increased business for merchants in a community and promotes a thriving economic structure. In short, as SORP grows, the opportunities for the community will grow with it.

Will your clients receive sex offender treatment while in your program and if so, how long will the treatment last?

Treatment is not a one-size fits-all proposition. SORP will be conducting various assessments with our clients. Those assessments will help our consultants and treatment professionals inform us what treatment, if any, each client is recommended to undertake. Referrals to appropriate professionals may then be made. The assessments will also provide information useful to the professionals to determine an individual's progress in treatment, where applicable. In short, treatment will be determined between the professionals and our clients. Our role will be to facilitate the treatment process when it is deemed necessary. Referrals for treatment other than sex offender treatment will also be available to our clients during their stay with us, helping them with problems such as anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, and substance abuse. SORP has plans for on-line teleconferencing sessions for clients wanting to continue their journey under professional care and counsel, and we will be providing workshops to teach other life-skills as well. At SORP we hope to provide everything a client needs to successfully integrate into society.

Is there a benefit to having treatment? Will it actually make a person safer?

Studies have shown that moderate amounts of treatment may help those who truly have a desire for change. Each of our clients at SORP has faced different challenges, however, and our assessments will determine whether treatment is necessary or would be helpful. It is the commitment to change coupled with the right type of support that will make SORP’s clients a safer addition to society. Unfortunately, there are many reasons that individuals attend/participate in treatment, just as there are many kinds of treatment, even for sex offenders – most of them experimental.

Some get into sex offender treatment because they feel a need to change and they feel that they need help to do so. With effort on their part, they may be helped by whatever treatment they are offered. The key though, is still their own honest desire to change – to never create another victim again. Many other individuals, however, may have become involved in sex offender treatment because their state-appointed attorney told them that attending treatment was their only hope for being released from confinement – whether the individual believed in the treatment that was being provided or even needed it. Attorneys offer that advice because it is what many uninformed/misinformed people in the community (often jury members) have told them that they want to see – regardless of whether the treatment has any real efficacy or not. For both of these categories of offenders, from the point they begin treatment, they really have no choice. If they do not remain in treatment they are often classified as a "treatment failure", regardless of progress or lack thereof or regardless of arbitrary treatment modality changes – no matter what the circumstances. Treatment failures, statistically, makeup the category with the highest risk for re-offense – higher than for those in treatment, so once someone starts a sex offender treatment program, they have to stay in treatment or lose any small hope for release. That said, each of the clients accepted by SORP will be unique individuals who are now out of the institutions and into society. Some may benefit from sex offender treatment – some may not. Some may have shown their commitment for change through participation in sex offender treatment while incarcerated – some may have shown that commitment through other actions. Either way, whatever their need, we will support them in any way possible to help them safely reintegrate into society.

How long will your clients stay at your facility after their release from an institution?

Our client′s stay with us will depend on the results of their initial assessment, but we anticipate that our clients will, on average, stay in our program for a year. Growth in recovery, progress in treatment, and re-establishing oneself in community after a long term incarceration are very individualized processes. Some of our clients will not need to remain with us for the full year. Others may require being with us a little beyond the year. In some cases the stay may be longer based on the requirements of probation or parole, or a need for the individual to receive vocational training. That we will be supporting an aging clientele also precludes a rigid and strict abandonment of someone too fragile to survive on their own.

A ten-year goal has been developed to open a more permanent residence to meet these kinds of needs. Each client will be treated individually, and their stay will be only as long as they need.

Will children be allowed on your premises?

The easiest answer to this question would be for SORP to have a "no minors, no exceptions" policy and practice. That would alleviate community apprehensions, and also make monitoring easier. The reality though is that there will be a wide range of offenses in our client’s history. Some of our clients will be individuals that are not "pedophiles". Their victims will have been adults. Their assessed risks will not include children. Yet they may be the father of children who need their father in their lives. Others may have family members who are minors, but who do not meet their victim profile. SORP is about RECOVERY, REHABILITATION, and RESTORATION. The families of our clients – yes, even those families whose members were not a victim of our clients – have paid very heavy prices because of our client’s offenses. They have spent many years separated from their parent/grandparent/sibling/other relative. It will require collaborative work from our professional providers with our clients and their family members to assist those families to recover and be restored. So, the most effective policy for SORP with regard to children is that children will not be permitted on the grounds, in the buildings, or in the dwellings of our campuses, unless under the direct supervision of licensed treatment providers, after being cleared for such by management. Again, each of our clients will be treated according to their needs – finding the best solution for them, and their families.