Terlaje: We’re sitting ducks for repeat offenders

Sen. Therese Terlaje

Guam – A day after the Guam Parole Board round table discussion, Senator Therese Terlaje raised concerns over the current system for addressing criminal sexual conduct offenders and their reentry into society.

“That’s our concern. It’s like we’re sitting ducks for repeat offense and we’ve seen with the other statistics released by the court in their annual report that quite a few offenses, especially felonies, they come out and (they’re repeat), they are repeat offenders,” Terlaje said.

Terlaje added, “So we have a list of people, but we really don’t have a monitoring system for them. If they are not on parole then they are not being monitored at all except coming in once a year, in most cases, to report their address and their information.”

According to the senator, various government agencies want to address the significant lag in the current system.

On Newstalk K57 with Andrea Pellacani, Terlaje said they also would like to address the elephant in the room – which is the Paul Mafnas Jr. case.

She said the underlying purpose of the round table is to prevent another Mafnas case from happening.

Protect the community

She said the goal of the round table was to determine if there is adequate assessment, treatment or rehabilitation for repeat CSC offenders, and if any such tools are currently being used or should be incorporated into sentencing and parole.

According to the senator, a collaboration between the Department of Corrections and Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, will hopefully address the sparse treatment programs offered in the community.

One of them is the sex offender treatment program at DOC.

She hopes that through the partnership, rehabilitation and treatment services would be expanded and improved to protect the community – most especially the victims and the most vulnerable.

“For 20 years, (there were) no real assessment tools – especially tools geared toward criminal sexual conduct behavior and not only that, no therapy, no rehabilitation for those type of offenders either,” Terlaje said.

Terlaje also wants to address, what she said is the “current reality that criminal sexual conduct offenders will continue to be released at the expiration of sentence without accurate risk assessment, without any treatment and without further monitoring required.”