Few challenges that families face today can be as heart breaking as sexual abuse within a family. Because of the sexualization of our culture and the ease of access to pornography among other factors, more and more families are having to deal with sexual offending behavior in their children.
For young people who have engaged in sexual offending behavior, STAR Guides provides assessment and treatment services to specifically address these issues. In many cases, the offender becomes involved in the legal system and may be required to leave the family home resulting in the need for placement in a foster home or youth correctional facility. In many areas around the country, juvenile sex offense programs are run by the county and state government while private sector treatment options are limited. STAR Guides provides a private sector wilderness therapeutic placement that delivers a high impact and life changing experience for youth offenders. Our therapists have received specialized training in the area of sexual offending behavior through NOJOS and ATSA trainings and have many years experience in assessing and treating sexual offending behaviors.
In addition to intensive psychotherapy services while in the wilderness, participants also participate in an academic program and earn school credits in the areas of Physical Education, Health/Nutrition and Creative Writing/English during their stay that can be transferred to their current school transcript.
For youth who have sexually offended, there is not a better environment for giving a “Wake Up” call that behavior change is needed than the wilderness. Learning to live in a primitive fashion in the remote high desert of Utah without any of the modern amenities for which they have become accustomed is the most demanding and growth promoting experience that a young offender could ever receive. It is an effective alternative to placement in detention or in a foster home because placement in a wilderness setting creates an immediate disruption of problematic patterns of behavior and to become competent in this setting, requires a great deal of emotional and physical effort on the part of the offender. In the process, the young offender learns to become responsible for himself and for his offending actions. The placement separates the offender from the victim(s) and allows for uninterrupted time for a comprehensive assessment to be conducted for determining risk for re-offending and treatment needs.
Typically, youth remain in the wilderness program for 60 to 90 days to complete the psychosexual risk evaluation and the treatment requirements required by their court orders and probation terms. STAR Guides works closely with probation departments and juvenile courts during this time to assure that the appropriate assessment and treatment occurs in compliance with court orders.
Research suggests juveniles offenders who receive treatment are far less likely to become adult offenders.