History of the New York State Alliance of Sex Offender Service Providers (NYSASOSP)

Identified service providers working with juvenile sex offenders in New York State were invited to a networking meeting on October 26, 1988 at St. Anne Institute in Albany at which time The New York State Alliance of Sex Offender Service Providers (NYSASOSP) was established. The meeting was sponsored by Marilyn Etcheverry, Director of Preventive Services for St. Anneís Institute, and Gary Hook, Adolescent Sex Offender Program Specialist for the New York State Division of Youth. The 26 attendees included Richard Hamill, PhD (current President of the Alliance) from St. Anne Institute Regional Sex Offender Program, Catherine Diana, LCSW (current Board member) from the LaSalle School, Terry Tamer, Department of Correctional Services, (former Board member) representatives from Orange County and Rockland County Probation Departments, representatives from the NYS Department of Correctional Services, the NYS Division for Youth, the NYS Department of Social Services, the NYS Police, the NYS Office of Mental Health, Berkshire Farm Center, People Against Sexual Abuse and the Brooklyn Sex Crimes Prosecuting Center. Consensus was reached on the critical need for training and a committee composed of Marilyn Etcheverry, Gary Hook, Terry Tamer and Kathy Zasloff was formed to develop a proposal for a training grant through the Childrenís Justice and Assistance Act.

Subsequently, a grant proposal was submitted and approved for $30,000 in which the Alliance agreed to provide a four-day training on the assessment and treatment of sex offenders in three geographic areas of the state, to develop a state-wide directory of service providers and to sponsor a national conference on juvenile sexual offending. In 1989 regional trainings were provided by state and national experts in the field of assessment and treatment of sex offenders and a state-wide service directory was developed and distributed. The Alliance in 1990 also sponsored the Fifth National Training Conference of the National Task Force on Juvenile Sex Offending, a function of the National Adolescent Perpetrator Network. The conference drew more than 600 participants from across the United States including Alaska and Hawaii and from Canada, England and the Netherlands.

Since then, the Alliance has sponsored and co-sponsored with NYS ATSA numerous regional trainings across the state by nationally and internationally recognized experts in the field of sex offender assessment, treatment, and supervision to enhance service providersí skills. In May 1996, the Alliance sponsored the first statewide annual conference for service providers working with child, juvenile and adult sexual abusers. It has continued this tradition and in May, 2008, the Alliance co-hosted with NYS ATSA its 13th annual statewide conference in Saratoga Springs.

The NYSASOSP identified its mission as: to reduce the level of victimization; to promote the increase, uniformity, and quality of assessment and treatment services for juvenile and adult sex offenders; to promote the development of a fully integrated continuum of services to sexual offenders; to promote legislation on issues and funding for programs impacting sex offenders and survivors; to promote offender accountability through restitution, mediation, treatment, supervision and incarceration; and to promote community safety through confinement of sex offenders not amenable to community-based services. Alliance members actively participated in the development of the Governorís Task Force on Rape, Sexual Assault and Child Sexual Abuse report submitted to Governor Mario Cuomo in April, 1990.

The Certificate of Incorporation for the New York State Alliance of Sex Offender Service Providers was filed on October 1, 1997.The Alliance supported the establishment of the New York State Chapter of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers and along with the NYS Chapter of ATSA supported the Capital District Center for Sex Offender Management planning grant through the Center for Sex Offender Management. In accord with its mission to support community safety, the Alliance in collaboration with the NYS ATSA has issued a number of position papers and has actively worked with the New York State legislature to educate legislators on the issues of sexual offender assessment, treatment and supervision. The Alliance and the NYS ATSA continue to develop position papers on issues that affect children with sexual behavior problems, juvenile sexual abusers and sex offenders and victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault and to engage in additional activities that promote its mission. The New York State Alliance of Sex Offender Service Providers celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2008.