As part of an intensive sex offender rehabilitation program in its third year at Maine Correctional Center in Windham, a group of convicted child molesters, rapists and pedophiles spend much of their day talking about victims, reports the Bangor Daily News. “How many of you denied your crime the first time it came out?” asked Barbara Schwartz, director of the program. About half the men raised a hand in answer to her question. “How many of you admitted right away?” The other half raised their hands.
Schwartz nodded. “How many of your families were in denial?” Nearly all raised their hands. “How many are still in denial?” About a third kept their hands in the air. Such questions are the bedrock of R.U.L.E., which stands for the four principles that guide the four-year program. As the men move through one year of orientation, two years of nearly round-the-clock therapy and a fourth year of transitional work, their education focuses on “responsibility” for the impact of their behavior toward victims and others, “understanding” how their actions led them to prison in the first place, “learning” new patterns of behavior, and having the “experience” of practicing new skills for handling stress and building self-esteem.