Halfway house to accept child molesters

Saturday, June 27, 1998

An Over-the-Rhine halfway house is changing its policy and will accept sexual offenders who have assaulted children.

The policy change is in line with the Volunteers of America's current business practices.

Despite a policy that said it would not take such offenders, it has taken a few into its New Life treatment program at 115 W. McMicken Ave.

"Our view is that treatment is better than release into the public," said Chuck Bastin, a spokesman for the agency.

The program takes referrals from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections and works with the offenders in an 18-month residential treatment program and six-month after-care program. The offenders receive psychiatric services.

Mr. Bastin said those who work with the offenders think they can be rehabilitated.

"Eighty percent suffer from severe mental illness and will respond to treatment," he said.

The policy change at the 25-bed facility comes after media reports that questioned why the Volunteers of America organization was breaking its own policy.

The VOA has a $2.6 million annual contract with the state to serve sex offenders and other parolees with problems such as drug abuse.

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