The California Coalition on Sex Offending has posted the details for this year's conference, taking place from May 12-14 in San Diego. Along with the usual topics one hears about at sex offender conferences, I noticed a couple of workshops on subjects that get too little attention.
Racial patterns in sex offending
Stroll through a hospital of civilly detained sex offenders and the racial patterns will jump out at you. But few in the field talk about them. Benjamin Bowser, chair of the sociology department at the California State University in Hayward, is an exception. Bowser's research on African American male sexuality is critical to a culturally nuanced understanding of sex offending. Here, in a workshop entitled "How race impacts on sex offender research, assessment and treatment," he and co-presenters Jay Adams, Ph.D. and Baltazar Villareal Jr., a therapist at Coalinga State Hospital, will discuss this topic and "offer suggestions to make treatment more meaningful and effective for minority clients." Significantly, the presenters propose that for African American and Latino men, much sex offending is NOT driven by sexually deviant paraphilias.
Vicarious traumatization and burnout
Working with child molesters can cause psychological harm. That is the conclusion of Robert Emerick, Ph.D., based on a survey of about a thousand professionals. The greater one's exposure to child molesters, the more stress a professional experiences, Emerick has concluded from professionals' scores on the "Silent Injury Questionnaire." (The anonymous questionnaire is online HERE.) At the workshop, Emerick will discuss ways to reduce the risk of these "silent injuries."
Sex Offender Management Board report
CCOSO leaders Tom Tobin and Gerry Blasingame are presenting a report on the progress of, and challenges facing, California's Sex Offender Management Board, created by the legislature in 2006 to systematize oversight of the state's sex offenders. This is an extremely timely topic, especially in the wake of the brouhaha over the Chelsea King case in San Diego.
The conference, cosponsored Alliant International University's Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, will be held at the Marriott Mission Valley Hotel in San Diego; the deadline for early registration is Tax Day (April 15). Continuing Education credits are available for psychologists, attorneys, social workers, nurses, MFT's, and other licensed professionals. The complete conference brochure and registration info are online HERE.