Levels of supervision for offenders supervised in the Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) are determined by the Iowa Classification Risk Score (Iowa Risk) and (Iowa Sex Offender Risk Assessment (ISORA). Each level requires specific contact standards in order to protect the public and ensure the delivery of services. According to the principals of Evidence Based Practices, assessments should indicate the risk, need and responsivity factors as well as professional discretion when determining contact standards. In general, contact standards are established to ensure the proper dosage of treatment, and if needed, surveillance. Contact standards should be outlined in the case management plan with rationale for the dosage and risk management. It is recognized that treatment of an offender cannot be facilitated without quality contact with the offender and surveillance.
The purpose of an office visit is to address the offender's case plan, court, Iowa Board of Parole (IBOP) and District ordered conditions. Skills learned by the offender through programming should be role-played in the office setting to demonstrate to the supervising officer that the offender is knows how to use the skills in his/her day-to-day life. It provides the supervising officer an opportunity to observe behavioral indicators internalized through pro-social cognitive changes. It also affords the supervising officer an opportunity to discuss any concerns or issues affecting the offender, enabling the supervising officer to assist and/or remove any barriers that inhibit successful completion of supervision. Conversations shall be directly related to addressing the offender's case plan, treatment progress, and meeting his/her Court, IBOP, or District ordered conditions (i.e., Treatment Conditions). Supervising officers shall give the offenders clear directions in meeting the requirements of their supervision.
The purpose of treatment is to address the offender's criminogenic needs and provide the offender with programming to ultimately decrease their risk to reoffend. Treatment groups will also provide SOTP staff with the opportunity to observe the offender in an environment outside of the office visit and home visit.
The purpose of a home visit/check is to gain a better understanding of the environment in which the offender lives and gain rapport with the people he/she lives and associates with.
The purpose of collateral contacts is to gather and verify information provided by the offender from another source in determining if the offender is in compliance with supervision. It also affords the opportunity for the supervising officer to gain perspective on the offender's attitude and behavior in meeting their objectives and needs in the case plan. Collateral information is used to verify the offender risks and needs and whether the skills learned through programming and/or treatment are being utilized in their day-to-day lives. It also provides an opportunity to build rapport within the community.
Contact standards shall be based on the risk, needs, and responsivity of the offender. The purpose for these contacts is to reduce risk by addressing the offender's needs. The offender shall be given a copy, in its entirety or summary, of the case plan. All contacts, including collateral contacts, shall be documented in ICON. The following contact standards are suggested for standard supervision, but should be dictated by the case management plan, if applicable.
Contact standards are set by the Iowa Risk, ISORA, or are overridden when appropriate. If Iowa Risk and ISORA scores fall in different supervision / risk ranges, the supervising agent should always differ to the highest risk category assessed. The supervising agent has authority to increase the frequency of contacts at their discretion. However, the supervising agent must get supervisory approval should they conduct less contacts then what is indicated based on level of supervision. Current sex offenders' level of supervision will be overridden to intensive for 6 months after sign up or until all assessments are completed. After 6 months, and completion of all required assessments, the level of supervision may be reduced based on Iowa Risk Reassessment and ISORA scores. An offender's level of supervision can also be overridden based on PO discretion, supervising and treatment issues, and supervisory approval. Please refer to the Determination of Supervision Status policy for more specific information on overriding sex offenders' supervision status. Frequencies of home visits may also change for offenders living in the region.
Gathering or verifying information about the offender by some source other than the offender. This contact includes but is not limited to: face-to-face, by telephone, e-mail or paper with a family member, significant other, or landlord. When an offender attends outside community resources, this information can be regarded as a collateral contact when verified. When counted as a collateral contact, the group facilitator must provide a written or verbal statement to the supervising officer that the offender was present in the group.
The supervising officer is encouraged to vary the type of collateral contact used during the course of supervision. He/she is encouraged to ensure collateral contacts are substantive in nature by focusing on individual issues addressed in the case plan or court-ordered conditions.
If a telephone contact is attempted and the supervising officer finds out the offender's current telephone number is disconnected, this contact can be regarded as a collateral contact.
Examples of collateral contacts can include, but are not limited to: pay stubs, AA/NA attendance sheets, home work, treatment verifications, job contacts, phone contacts with significant others or family members, school schedules/report cards, face to face contact with significant others, or payment receipts.
Home visits assist officers in understanding the environment in which the offender lives and the people the offender lives and associates with. Home visits allow officers to gain collateral information, to build rapport within the community, to check an offender's behavior while in their own environment, to be certain the offender is where they are supposed to be (accountability), to ensure the delivery of services and for the protection of the public.
Only Probation/Parole Officer 3's or officers specifically approved by their supervisors shall conduct home/field visits on their offenders when deemed necessary. Staff will and should be trained in safety issues prior to conducting home/field visits, as well as on the mission and goals of home/field visits.
A successful home visit is a face-to-face contact with the offender, or a person who has significant information about the offender. Examples of acceptable contacts are family members, landlord, roommate, or neighbor. The contact must include discussing, gathering, or verifying information about the offender that will assist in supervision. Home visits may be announced or unannounced. The Fugitive Unit can be requested to accompany staff on home visits when the supervising officer believes the home visit poses a possible threat to his/her safety.