Juvenile Sex Offenders Part II - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Juvenile Sex Offenders Part II

Shame often stands in the way of treatment for juvenile sex offenders, and it mainly comes from their families. NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg explains how difficult it can be for these youngsters to recover after committing sex crimes.

There are more than 30 sex offenders as young as 10 in treatment programs in the area. Probation officers explain an overwhelming majority of them do not re-offend, when they complete their probation. But getting through treatment is a different issue.

"I've worked with half a dozen kids on that issue and I probably had one I felt good about, that the kiddo won't go back to his community and re-offend," says Tim Enevoldsen, a licensed professional counselor for the Youth Center of the High Plains.

"The number of very young offenders is up, I hope that that's where we're doing a good job to outcry that something isn't right," says Donald Gaines, the Assistant Chief of Juvenile Probation.

Enevoldsen counsels young sex offenders who are held at the Youth Center of the High Plains. He says once offenders admit to what they've done, it can open the flood gates.

"A lot of these people have a lot more victims then they first let on without fail all of them come out with more information during that first polygraph all of them," says Enevoldsen.

One of the biggest hurdles juveniles have to deal with in treatment is accepting responsibility for what they've done, because often they along with their parents don't think they've done anything wrong. 

"We've dealt with kids in here where their families were the biggest obstacle because they fought for them tooth and nail, when they should've been fighting for the victims and that's a hard thing to watch," says Enevoldsen. 

Enevoldsen says there are signs to watch out for that your child may become a sex offender.

"Despite being punished for a sexual interest if the kid keeps coming back to that issue, that's a really bad sign it has to be stopped because to ignore that means that it's okay to explore my deviancy and that's where the acting out happens," says Enevoldsen.

Juveniles convicted of sex crimes do not have to register as sex offenders. But if they re-offend or do not complete their probation and treatment programs, they can be sent to the Texas Youth Commission, and can be dealt with as adults from then on.

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