Dr. Chrysanthi Leon Asks Re-entry Workers: “Why Would You Do This?”

People who are convicted of sexual offenses typically experience great difficulties in finding employment or a place to live after incarceration, even while participating in legally mandated re-entry programs and therapy. The professionals who provide these services or work in these re-entry programs may experience secondary stigma as a result of being associated with people whom society has rejected. A researcher at the University of Delaware, Dr. Chrysanthi Leon, wondered: Why have the people who provide these services chosen to do this difficult work, which has been associated with high levels of stress, stigma, and burnout?

At the NARSOL 2022 National Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, Dr. Leon will share what she has learned from conducting over 40 interviews with re-entry workers about what motivates and sustains them as they do re-entry work with registrants. She will also share the findings from a previous study involving the family members of registrants that many NARSOL members may have participated in.

It is commonly believed that many re-entry professionals consider their work with registrants to be a calling in a religious or ethical sense. But does the data support that presumption? Dr. Leon will explore the various ways re-entry workers explain their calling to others and the role that their religious or socio-political worldview plays in their work. Dr. Leon’s Friday morning presentation is entitled, “Why Would You Do This?”

Chrysanthi S. Leon, JD, PhD, is Deputy Dean of the Honors College; Associate Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice, Women & Gender Studies, and Legal Studies; and founding member of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Gender-based Violence at the University of Delaware. She received her graduate degrees from UC Berkeley. Leon is an interdisciplinary scholar in penology and law and society, whose research and teaching address sex crime and punishment, sex work, and the prison system; she teaches in a local women’s prison. Her book, Sex Fiends, Perverts and Pedophiles: Understanding Sex Crime Policy in America, is available from NYU Press. Leon is co-editor, with Katie Hail-Jares and Corey Shdaimah, of Challenging Perspectives on Street-Based Sex Work (Temple University Press). Dr. Leon has joined Briefs of Amici Curiae in several significant court cases involving the registry, including Gundy v. United States and Millard et al., v. Rankin.

Sign up today to attend the NARSOL 2022 National Conference in Raleigh, NC, June 16-19, 2022, or visit the conference website to learn more about this great event and the other informative and motivational speakers who will be presenting.

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6 Thoughts to “Dr. Chrysanthi Leon Asks Re-entry Workers: “Why Would You Do This?””

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  1. Annoymous

    I recently wrote about this topic in a other topic post but feel it is appropriate to mention here as-well again “Fresh Start Act of 2021” H.R 5651, excluding sex offenses as the only criminal offenses that can not be expungements. While we are as a nation slowly moving towards rehabilitation and programs to support the communities. Sex offenders are the only classification that continues to be only excluded from having the ability to be deemed fully rehabilitation and obtain expungements. In Tennessee currently our laws prevent all offender’s who committed a sexual offense the inability to obtain a expungement under TCA 40-35-313 (B)(C) even if they have a pretrial or judicial diversion. Those who have committed a sexual offense against a minor or violet offense are require to register for life on SOR unless challenge the 2014 amendment to those who became victim of SOR prior to 2014 and then it must be challenge to the court that it applies to that defendant for ex post facto.

    1. Tim in WI

      Registration violation requires state to put forth paper evidence in the form of a judgement or notice thereof, pertaining to a conviction to sex case statute (s). The evidence therefore if used in trial on an occasion can only be used once. If state’s attempt to convict a second subsequent time the use in the first registry violation case may no be available in the second registry violation case. All bets are off for the defense if the case where State have signed standard waiver of civil right. Fact is in a scenario whereas the one time offender demanded bench trial but was convicted, may very well claim his innocence in the sex case should the subsequent registry violation arise sometime down the road. In that scenario the defendant is not only free to reclaim factual innocence to the underlying sex crime he can damn well demand via discovery state produce the modus by which defendant was ” lawfully committed” to DOC or SOR. That man can also put the gov agent on the stand. Any jury will recognize the wrong in convicting a man of prison escape ( or FTR)when there’s zero documentation proving the man was obligated to ( register) be locked up in the first place. It has been a moderately successful strategy for me.

  2. Tim in WI

    Reentry seems an awkward untenable term considering all pre registry act offenders were re-entered into DOC or DPS electronic systems with key stokes outside of normal processes and in the dark as to them. I do not think reentry was an issue identified in the preamble of the Act at all. Who needs productive people when you have robots who never take time off.

  3. vincent

    don’t ask why they do what they do! And please stop with labels that keep this thing alive i am 30 years about on the registry and do not associate myself with those hurtful book titles that got you a PHD! Everyday i wake up and see very intelligent and hi IQ supposedly moral pillars of the community leaders of the supposed free world lie , murder ,steal and poison society for their own benefit and thank the god that is within every man that i am not that corrupt or that far gone! I am sure you wont print this of course even though we are called those ville things as written above that i wont repeat but it seems the censoring can be just as bad or the freedom of expression needs to be molded to suite the needs of the oh well sorry just had one half of serious cervical stenosis spine surgery and i am antsy

  4. James Tanksley

    After 70 months incarceration, I began mandatory group ‘treatment’ with all types of offenders and one curriculum. Compliance is solely based on ‘passing’ polygraphs every 6 months. The vast majority of experts, including the justice system and American Psychology Association, do not support the use of the polygraph due to it’s coercive nature and unreliable results. How do the sex-offender treatment providers, often social workers and psychologists that Dr Leon has surveyed justify their use and total reliance on the polygraph for their group participants?

  5. James

    To clarify how Indiana does sex-offender treatment, they use a ‘containment’ based format with the offender being ‘contained’ by the therapist, probation officer, and most importantly the polygraph. To complete treatment one must ‘pass’ 4 consecutive polygraphs and/or complete probation. ‘fail’ one and you start over. If you DO finish before probation ends, any violation (technical) will put you back in group treatment to start the cycle all over.