Audit Finds Improvements in N.H.'s Sex Offender Program for Inmates — But More Work Remains

Nov 18, 2016

A state audit finds that the Department of Corrections has successfully cut the time it takes inmates to complete sex offender treatment but there's still more work to do.

For those who’ve committed a sex crime, the state requires inmates to complete a six- to 18-month treatment program before they can seek parole. That population is currently at 654 but at times can be as high as 800 people.

Three years ago, only 16 percent of enrollees completed the program before their potential release date. Friday’s audit shows that number has risen to 88 percent.

Helen Hanks, assistant commission of the Department of Corrections, says the department has been working to improve the efficiency of the program but stresses there is only so much it can control.

“The data also affirmed for us what we have been testifying and sharing is that often times it’s the own individuals’ behavior in our institutions that interferes with enrolling them in a timely manner or even assessing them in a timely manner,” Hanks told lawmakers Friday.

The audit also found that the sex offender treatment program is following recommended practices but suggests the department come up with ways of measuring the program's effectiveness. 

The last time the DOC tracked the recidivism rate of N.H. sex offenders was six years ago. Hanks says they'll immediately start monitoring this again. 

2016 Audit of Sex Offender Treatment