Redemption for Predators?
"The sex offenders that are in our program are not a threat to their neighborhood," says Pastor Jose, who ministers at Holy Ground Christian Fellowship.
"We don't work with high-risk sex offenders," says his wife, Pastor Betsy. "We would never take a predator. Sex offenders need a support system."
"When the neighbors found out that there was a home housing sex offenders, they were outraged. We have asked some neighbors to help us keep an eye on them," reports Pastor Jose. "The response that we have gotten is, ‘It's not my job. It's your job. I don't want to keep an eye on sex offenders.' We've been working with these men for two years. We have heard that the only way that a sex offender changes is with a bullet in his head."
Dr. Phil welcomes the pastors to the show. "You guys believe that sex offenders can be rehabilitated?" he asks. "In fact, you say there's a 100 percent success rate in your program. Betsy, tell me about that."[AD]
"We say that because they have not re-offended. We have been working with them for over two years," she replies.
"Two years isn't a long period of time," Dr. Phil points out. "You talk about these [men] being low-risk offenders. Why do you characterize them in that way?"
"Because some of them, it's either they were changing their clothes in their car or the truck, and someone saw them and right away called the police and reported them. A lot of different reasons," she replies.
"You guys rent these houses to these 11 people, correct?" Dr. Phil asks. "Did you screen them before you allowed them to move in to make sure they were what you considered low risk?"
"Absolutely," Pastor Jose replies.
"Are you qualified to do this risk assessment?" Dr. Phil probes.
"Spiritually, yes I am," the minister answers. He expounds, "I cannot say as far as the law or society; they don't see it that way. We believe that, as believers, everybody deserves a chance."
Dr. Phil introduces Dr. Craig Lareau, chair of the department of psychiatry at Patton State Hospital, a facility for sexually violent predators. "There is a broad range of risk among the entire sex offender population, right?" he asks.[AD]
"Absolutely, yes," Dr. Lareau replies.
"How do you make that determination?"
"You look to the nature of what they've done, and you use tools that have been developed to assess them for what we call static risk and dynamic risk," Dr. Lareau answers. "Static risk is there are certain things which just increase your violence risk nature. Dynamic risk are those things which we can change."
Dr. Phil examines sex offender recidivism statistics.