Containment Model

Containment Team Approach

A collaborative approach to sex offender management, known as the Containment Model, is mandatory in California beginning July 1, 2012. (See Penal Code §§ 290.09, 1203.067, 3008, and 9003; This sex offender management program has three required components: supervising (e.g., probation or parole) officer; sex offender treatment provider; and polygraph examiner, using a victim-centered approach. These three people are the core of the Containment Team, although other team members should participate at times (e.g., the registering law enforcement agency).

Communication and collaboration among the supervising officer, treatment provider, and polygraph examiner are mandatory. The treatment provider must communicate with the supervising officer at least once a month about the offender’s progress in the program and dynamic risk assessment issues. The treatment provider must share the dynamic and violence risk scores and information about the scoring with the supervising officer, within 30 days of scoring the tool. (Penal Code § 290.09.) Probation officers and parole agents with sex offender caseloads are required to provide certified sex offender treatment providers with all relevant records pertaining to registered sex offenders in certified treatment programs. (Pen. Code, §§ 290.07, 290.09.) This information is provided solely to enable accurate scoring of risk assessment instruments pursuant to Penal Code section 290.09. Such records are confidential criminal history information which cannot legally be re-disseminated. (Pen. Code, §§ 11075, 11076.)



A treatment contract with the offender should describe the responsibility of the offender to avoid risky, aggressive or re-offending behavior and high risk situations. The treatment contract should require the offender to self-report any such behaviors to the provider and supervising officer as soon as possible.

The law requires at least a year in a sex offender-specific certified treatment program. See Penal Code section 1203.067. The program may extend beyond a year and that decision is left to the discretion of the Containment team, meaning the probation officer and treatment provider, as explained in this statute. Frequency and modality (e.g., group vs. individual, weekly sessions or more or less often) is again left to the Containment team under 1203.067. Fidelity is assured by requiring all programs to be certified by the CA Sex Offender Management Board per the standards posted at See also Penal Code section 290.09. Programs must have trained personnel who can do dynamic and violence risk assessments, and must use polygraph to fully inform the treatment program and supervising officer about risk.

Appropriate waivers of confidentiality must be obtained. (See CASOMB Treatment Program Certification Requirements). Both provider and supervising officer should document these contacts.


Polygraph Certification Standards

The Penal Code requires CASOMB to establish standards for Polygraph Examiners. CASOMB has adopted the 2009 American Polygraph Association standards to be followed by Polygraph Examiners who provide Post Conviction Sex Offender Testing (PCSOT) in California under Penal Code Section 290.09.

Polygraph – Legal and Practical Considerations

Model Informed Consent Forms for Sex Offender Polygraph Examinations

Use of the following model informed consent forms is encouraged, but certified programs are free to modify or devise their own informed consent release forms.