Probation Officer’s Risk Assessment Level for a Convict (John Ripley)
Mr. Ripley is a low-level risk offender because of not have any prior criminal convictions. He is most likely to change for the better since he is a well-respected member of the community. His age is also a factor in assigning him a low-risk level. According to Long et al. (2013), people 35 years and above, without any prior convictions, are less likely to re-offend. Mr. Ripley seems like someone who would not risk re-offending for fear of ending up behind bars. He understands that getting him in prison would leave his mother in jeopardy without a caretaker. Also, according to Ly et al. (2018), internet child pornography offenders, such as Mr. Ripley, are less likely, compared to contact offenders, to transition to becoming hands-on offenders because them having more empathic traits.
First, Mr. Ripley would not be allowed to use any internet device, such as desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, etc., without any approval from me. He must not have such devices in his place of residence, work, or in his possession. I would allow him a once-in-a-week opportunity to use the internet under my supervision to check on his e-mails when he comes to my office for his periodical check-in. Also, inevitable circumstances such as filing taxes would permit him computer usage. Internet deprivation is intended to restrict an offender’s access to child pornography (Ly et al., 2018). It is good that he does not need the internet for work since his job does not require such.
Secondly, I would restrict Mr. Ripley’s contact with children without any sort of supervision. It is good that he has no children meaning that there will be no children at the residence he shares with his mother. Restricting contact with children is crucial because Long et al. (2013) propose that the possession of child pornography material can become a behavioral pathway that can eventually lead to one becoming a contact offender. Opportunity factors like volunteering or working with minors, or having children in the home can lead to sexual recidivism because proximity to potential victims is crucial in sexual offending (Seto & Eke, 2015).
Thirdly, I would ensure that Mr. Ripley undergoes mandatory psycho-sexual evaluation and, if need be, treatment. Although most assessments and treatments are designed for contact offenders, Ly et al. (2018) state that many internet child pornography offenders have the same psychological problems as those of contact offenders. Without attending to these psychological problems, an offender becomes more likely to re-offend or transition to contact offending. Internet child pornography offenders such as Mr. Ripley can also benefit from the exact assessment and treatment rendered to contact offenders. Treatment addresses the psychological needs and risk factors of offenders, such as intimacy deficits, lack of empathy, deviant sexual interests, self-regulation problems, criminality, and various co-morbid conditions like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or post-traumatic stress disorder (Levenson, 2018).
Lastly, I would ensure that Mr. Ripley gets his name added to the national sexual offender registry. This would help, in a way, to prevent him from re-offending, knowing well what comes ahead once caught. Having offenders’ names on the sex offenders’ registry would also help society know who is at risk of committing further sex-related crimes, hence having a keen eye on that person, especially around children (Levenson, 2018).
Levenson, J. S. (2018). Sex offender management policies and evidence-based recommendations for registry reform. Current Psychiatry Reports, 20(3), 21. https://doi- org.ezproxy2.apus.edu/10.1007/s11920-018-0884-0
Long, M. L., Alison, L. A., & McManus, M. A. (2013). Child pornography and the likelihood of contact abuse: A comparison between contact child sexual offenders and noncontact offenders. Sexual Abuse, 25(4), 370–395. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063212464398
Ly, T., Dwyer, R. G., & Fedoroff, J. P. (2018). Characteristics and treatment of internet child pornography offenders. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 36(2), 216–234. https://doi- org.ezproxy1.apus.edu/10.1002/bsl.2340
Seto, M. C., & Eke, A. W. (2015). Predicting recidivism among adult male child pornography offenders: Development of the child pornography offender risk tool (CPORT). Law and Human Behavior, 39(4), 416-429. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000128
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You are a Probation Officer who has just been assigned the case below. Consider all the information below before responding.
Name: John Ripley
Marital status: Divorced, no children
Education: GED diploma
Employment: Employed as a Plumber with his uncle, who owns a small plumbing business
Residence: Ripley will be living with his elderly mother, who resides in an apartment building.
Prior Convictions: None
Current Conviction: After a credible tip, investigators confiscated Ripley’s desk computer and found over 12 images of child pornography depicting nude pictures of children younger than 10 years old in an electronic folder labeled “vacation.”
Given that he had no prior convictions, his age, employment status, and ties to the community, including caring for his elderly mother, the judge imposed a 5-year probation sentence.
Based on the information that has been provided, what level of risk would you classify Ripley, and then explain why?
Based on the risk level you have assigned to Ripley, what specific probation conditions would you set for him, and explain why? Consider every detail that has been provided, and remember that you must support your response with a minimum of three scholarly research studies.
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