UDC Celebrates Inaugural Graduation of Sex Offense Treatment Program: Honoring Efforts Toward Rehabilitation

The dozen or so men sat together in the visiting area at the Utah State Correctional Center, waiting for the ceremony to begin.

They carried with them, however, the accomplishments of hundreds more who didn’t get the chance to be recognized.

USCF recently held its inaugural graduation for those who have completed the Sex Offense Treatment Program, commonly known as SOTP.

“We have over 200 individuals who have graduated since February 2022,” said Dr. Candice Waltrip, Supervising Psychologist with the UDC’s Programming Division and Director of SOTP. “This is the first chance we have had to celebrate since being in the new prison.”

Approximately 35 percent of the incarcerated individuals in Utah’s prison system are serving time for a sexual offense. The Department’s treatment program is primarily housed at the Salt Lake City facility. Such treatment is ordered by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole as a condition for parole consideration.

Treatment takes approximately 17 months, depending on the individual’s identified behavioral stability, progress in treatment and overall risk level. Progress is measured not simply  by the completion of assignments or time spent in therapy. How hard an individual works, how motivated they are, and their willingness to incorporate changes freely to show commitment toward rehabilitation without exhibiting defensiveness are also considered.

Which makes the recent commencement exercise at USCF so important.

“It allows them to experience the real accomplishment of completing the program,” said Capt. Matt Huber, who oversaw the graduation services. “It’s an acknowledgement of the hard work they have put forth.”