Who We Are:
The Washington Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (WATSA) is a state chapter of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA). Incorporated in 1984, ATSA is a non-profit, interdisciplinary organization. ATSA was founded to foster research, facilitate information exchange, further professional education and provide for the advancement of professional standards and practices in the field of sex offense management.
ATSA is an international organization focused specifically on the prevention of sexual abuse through effective management of persons who commit sex offenses. As a state chapter of ATSA, we similarly strive to:
WATSA AT WORK
WATSA Members are currently working with the Sex Offender Policy Board on the current issues:
1. Conduct a review of current juvenile sex offender treatment programs in Washington including the availability, affordability, accessibility and efficacy of treatment resources available across the state and in institutional settings and an analysis of geographic disparity and recommendations for improvement to the current treatment infrastructure and availability of resources;
2. Conduct a review of the current juvenile sex offender policies in Washington State including:
a. Registration requirements for 16 and 17 year olds as well as minors being prosecuted in adult court and a comparison with other states;
b. Best practices and make recommendations for how describe these sexualized behaviors, how to name offenses relating to youth sex offenses; and how to differentiate between problem sexual behavior in children under 12 and youth who have engaged in harmful or illegal sexual behavior youth and are 12 or older;
c. Statutory requirements for declining youth who commit certain sex offenses into adult court. In addition, if an individual is prosecuted in adult court for an offense that occurred as a youth, how should that offense be classified.
3. To the extent that data is available, conduct an analysis of racial disproportionality of youth adjudicated or convicted of sex offenses or related offenses as well as an analysis of short- and long-term effects resulting from registration requirements and charging patterns across the state.
4. Review research regarding best practices for juveniles who commit sex offenses including evidenced based assessments and treatment, coordinated community response through MDTS that include victim service providers, with the goal of increasing community safety reducing recidivism and prevent sexual abuse
5. Make recommendations regarding juvenile sex offender policies and practices including improvements to treatment resources, registration policies for minors adjudicated or convicted of sex offenses, revisions to statute for names of offenses, statutory requirements for declining youth who commit certain sex offenses into adult court, and other relevant policies.