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Vermont Treatment Program for Sexual Abusers

The Vermont Treatment Program for Sexual Abusers teaches offenders how to accept, understand, modify and maintain permanent changes in behavior relating to illegal sexual behavior.

Vermont Treatment Program for Sexual Abusers (VTPSA)

The VTPSA is composed of three prison-based programs and a network of 13 community-based sex offender treatment programs. Programs vary in focus, length, and the number of hours of treatment delivered per week. The VTPSA places sex offenders in the programs using two primary evidence-based correctional strategies.

  1. Classify each sex offender according to his risk for future offending.
  2. Match the level of treatment intensity to the risk level of the offender.

More intensive treatment services are reserved for higher risk cases. This is because the impact of treatment services is greater among higher risk offenders than lower risk ones. The lowest risk cases are those that are assessed as being manageable in the community with close supervision and outpatient treatment. A description of the four VTPSA program follows:


High-Intensity Prison Program. (Level B)

This program is for offenders convicted of a listed offense who score in the moderate to high range on any one of four actuarial risk assessment instruments and may have prior sexual or violent offense convictions or high levels of criminality. The program has 48-beds and is located at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans. The program is 24 to 36 months long and offenders receive about eight hours of treatment per week.The program is staffed on-site by 4 full-time equivalent master’s level mental health professionals.


Moderate-Intensity Prison Program. (Level B)

This program is for offenders convicted of a listed offense who score in the moderate to moderate-high range on any one of four actuarial risk assessment instruments and do not have a prior history of sexual or violent offense convictions or high levels of criminality. The program has 27-beds and is located at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. Approximately 8 of these beds are dedicated to developmentally disabled sex offenders for whom there is a specialized program. The program is 12 to 18 months long and offenders receive about four hours of treatment per week. The program is staffed on-site by 2 full-time equivalent master’s level mental health professionals.


Low-Intensity Prison Program. (Level A)

This program is for offenders convicted of a listed offense who score in the low range on all of the four actuarial risk assessment instruments and do not have a prior history of sexual or violent offense convictions or high levels of criminality. The program has 20-beds and is located at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. The program is 6 months long and offenders receive about two hours of treatment per week. The program is staffed on-site by a part-time master’s level professional.


Female Offender Prison Program

This program is for women convicted of a listed offense who receive a minimum sentence to serve of 8 months or more. The program is located at the Southeast State Correctional Facility in Windsor. The program census ranges from 0 – 5 women at any given time. The program is staffed on-site by a master’s level professional on an as needed basis.


Aftercare Community Programs (Level A or B)

This program provides treatment to sex offenders sentenced to probation as well as to offenders returning to the community from prison on supervised release. This program is made up of a statewide network of 13 programs geographically dispersed throughout Vermont. The program delivers one 90 to 120 minute group session per week for approximately 24 months followed by monthly aftercare meetings for 12 months. The program is staffed by masters and doctoral level mental health professionals. A polygrapher is contracted part-time to conduct approximately 165 polygraph exams a year on sex offenders referred to him by DOC.