Overview of Sex Offender Supervision

Overview of Sex Offender Supervision 

Once convicted, most adult sex offenders serve all or most of their sentence on community supervision. Compared to other types of cases, sex offenders are often high functioning and relatively skilled at manipulative and coercive practices. Additionally, post-conviction civil commitment, sexual offender registries, community notification, and residency, employment and education restrictions can present obstacles for sex offenders on community supervision. As a result, officers need to be aware of these issues and well-versed in effective strategies to supervise this specialized population. This course will provide community supervision professionals who are managing sex offenders as part of a generalized caseload an introduction to sex offender management and community supervision and an overview of some of the techniques and tools you can use to effectively manage and supervise adult sex offenders in the community.


Hours: 2.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (2 Match)

American Probation and Parole Association


This activity is approved for 2.50 contact hours.

California Board of State and Community Corrections


This activity is approved for 2.50 STC credit hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PS-0-OSOS
Hours: 2.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 11/1/2024
Learning Objectives:
Describe the heterogenous nature of sex offenders.
Identify 6 decisions that need to be made when supervising sex offenders.
Describe more than 20 types of information that should be collected from assessment tools and investigative procedures to guide the decision-making process.
List 11 special conditions of supervision that should be considered for sex offenders and common tools community supervision officers use to monitor accountability.
Describe 4 common barriers for sex offenders during reentry and strategies to ease the transition.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: Making Data-Informed Decisions

Sex Offenders—A Heterogeneous Group

Managing Variability in Sex Offender Population

What Decisions Need to be Made?



Section 3: Information Gathering and Assessment

Challenges Assessing Sex Offenders

Information from Actuarial Assessment Tools

Information from Specialized Assessment Tools

It Starts at the Presentence Phase

Information to Collect at the Presentence Phase

Re-assessment and Ongoing Case Management

When to Re-Assess



Section 4: Supervision Strategies

Supervision Challenges

Initial Case Planning

Meet Renee

Specialized Conditions of Supervision

Sex Offender Supervision and Employment

Knowledge Check

Open Communication

Communication and Deception

Offender Boundaries and Violations

Continuum of Response

Tools for Monitoring Accountability

Sex Offender Registration as a Tool for Supervision and Enforcement

Sex Offender-Specific Treatment

Treatment as a Supervision Tool



Section 6: Re-entry


Barriers for Sex Offenders During Re-entry

Easing the Transition During Re-entry

Victim Safety

Establish Rapport

Transition for Treatment



Section 7: Conclusion


Course Contributors



Staff Writer: Kimberly Cobb, MS

Mrs. Cobb is a Lead SME Writer/Trainer at Relias. Her primary writing responsibilities are in the Health and Human Services vertical, in the content areas of public safety and behavioral health. Mrs. Cobb is also the onboarding trainer for new Relias staff joining the Content Department. Mrs. Cobb has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. She has over 24 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice. Her work includes direct service, research, and training and technical assistance. She was the statewide evaluator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for adult, juvenile, and family drug courts; a Research Associate for the American Probation & Parole Association providing training and technical assistance to Native American Nations/Alaska Native Villages on systemic criminal and juvenile justice initiatives; and a Research Administrator for the University of Kentucky.

Disclosure: Kimberly Cobb, MS has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: Kirsten Lewis, M.Ed.
Kirsten R. Lewis, M.Ed., is a probation officer with the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department (MCAPD); adjunct forensic psychology instructor at Glendale Community College; and president of KSL Research, Training & Consultation, LLC. Kirsten's adult probation experience includes assignments in standard field, domestic violence, high-risk, and most currently a sex offender caseload. In addition, Kirsten has been a pre-sentence investigation officer, acting supervisor, and staff development trainer. With a background in research and over 26 years of experience in community corrections, Kirsten spearheaded a ground-breaking research study examining secondary traumatic stress in probation officers as a result of working with criminal offenders. Her research was published in the American Journal of Criminal Justice and received the 2013 Sam Houston State University Award for outstanding contributions to scholarship in Community Corrections. In addition, Kirsten created a national award-winning employee stress management program at MCAPD that better prepares employees for the challenges of probation work, enhances protective coping strategies, minimizes the cumulative stress associated with longevity, and promotes a work culture that safeguards the welfare of officers. Kirsten conducts a variety of trainings on the topic of traumatic stress, peer support, and employee wellness with human service agencies around the country and has presented her work at conferences throughout the United States and abroad.  Disclosure: Kirsten Lewis, M.Ed. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Correctional Officers; in the following settings: Adult Corrections.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form (https://www.relias.com/help) or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.