Conference Program




Elgin Community College – Building E 

                                                                        Find a map here:  Building E
Find the program below – Titles IN italics have the powerpoint attached

Preconference Session

Dr. Sue Righthand is a psychologist in independent practice. She has a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She has extensive experience working with youth and adults who have offended sexually, as well as individuals who have experienced or initiated child maltreatment and other forms of violence. Dr. Righthand is affiliated with the University of Maine where she is an Adjunct Associate Research Professor. Dr. Righthand’s recent collaborations include the development of the Youth Needs and Progress Scale and two books: Effective Intervention with Adolescents Who Have Offended Sexually: Translating Research into Practice and the Safer Society Handbook of Assessment and Treatment of Adolescents who have Sexually Offended. She co-authored the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol II and related research, and was a member of ATSA’s Adolescent Practice Guidelines Committee. Dr. Righthand is a consultant to the National Center for Sexual Behavior in Youth (NCSBY) and provides training, program evaluations, and consultations within the United States and in other countries.

Keynote Speakers

Thursday Keynote Speaker: Sharon Kelley, Psy.D.


Dr. Kelley is employed as a forensic psychologist with the Sand Ridge Evaluation Unit in Madison, Wisconsin. She is also a member of a private practice, FAsTR, LLC. She is currently the chapter president of the Wisconsin Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (WiATSA) as well as the Editor of the ATSA Forum Newsletter. She is a licensed psychologist in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Both with her practical work and research projects, she is interested in empirically based risk assessments, best evaluation practices, and understanding evaluator decision-making. Her recent research projects include the validation of risk assessment tools for those with major mental illness, legal admissibility issues in sexual reoffense risk assessment, estimating long-term and undetected sexual offenses, and the effect of protective factors and treatment change on sexual offense recidivism.

Friday Keynote Speaker: Amanda Pryor, MSW, LCSW, CSAYC  

Amanda Pryor, MSW, LCSW, CSAYC is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over eighteen years of experience. She is a graduate of Indiana University School of Social Work.  Her specialty is working with children and adolescent’s with sexually problematic or harmful behaviors.  She is the Director and is credentialed with Advocacy and Training Alliance.  Currently, as the director of Advocacy and Training Alliance she provides credentialing services and trainings for professionals in field of sexual behaviors. Amanda is also the Child and Adolescent Representative on the Association for the Treatment and Prevention of Sexual Abuse Board and an ATSA Fellow.   

Workshop Descriptions – Thurs. March 16, 2022

8:45-9:00am  Welcome –  ILATSA President Chris Blakely

9:00-12:15pm Keynote – Sharon Kelley, Psy.D.

Title: Strengthening Therapeutic and Supervisory Relationships: Protective Factors in Treatment and Release Planni ng<–click titles in italics to access the slides!

Room: Building E, E121 Dining Room

This presentation will provide a summary of the Structured Assessment of Protective Factors against Sexual Offending (SAPROF-SO) and the associated research. An in-depth description of the clinical applications of the SAPROF-SO will be provided with particular attention to the development of strength-based treatment/supervisory plans, evaluating treatment progress, and determining readiness for increased privileges and/or release from a secure setting. Case examples will be provided.

12:15-1:15pm Lunch Break Provided with conference registration


1:15-2:45pm  – AFTERNOON BREAKOUTS – 

Session A – An Evaluator’s Guide to Accounting for Undetected Sexual Offending and Long-term Sexual Re-offense Risk

Presenter – Sharon Kelley, Psy.D.

Room: Building E, E121 Dining Room

Summary: This workshop will provide information related to three common problems in risk assessment: (1) How does one account for sexual re-offense risk beyond 10 years when using the combination of a static and dynamic risk tool? (2) What if an individual’s life expectancy is more than 10 years but less than 20 years? (3) To what degree does sexual recidivism rates from static and dynamic measures under-estimate risk due to undetected offending? Participants will be provided with hands-on instruction on how to use and interpret the lifetime risk/time free calculator (; Thornton et al., 2021). Participants will also be provided with practical guidance for each of these problems which evaluators and clinicians can immediately start using in their risk assessments. Participants are encouraged (not required) to bring along their laptops for better hands-on learning. The time free calculator can be downloaded from


Session B – Initiating dialog and reducing bias towards individuals who perpetrated sexual offenses

Presenter – Jessie Huebner, PhD, LCSW

Room: Building E, E106 Breakout Room

Individuals who have sexually offended have been found to be met with bias and mistreatment, even from individuals in the helping profession. Initial biases and judgements about individuals in this client populations can impact the interactions and treatment provided to clients by professionals in different roles (e.g. clinicians, residential staff, parole officers, judges, community providers). This presentation will offer information about the need to offer a space to increase knowledge and insight as well as evidenced-based practices suggested to increase understanding and empathy and reduce bias towards individuals in this population. The presenter will describe an experiential lesson designed by the primary presenter to initiate discussions and attempt to reduce bias towards individuals who have sexually offended as well as qualitative and quantitative results from initial impact and efficacy studies of implementation of the designed activity with both counselor trainees and licensed clinicians. This presentation will allow for participants to personal engage in the individual if-then portion of the experiential activity.


Session C – Importance of Psychoeducation and Caregiver Involvement in YPSB treatment

Presenter: Karen Tobias, LCSW, LSOE, LSOTP; Lynn Willard, LCSW, LSOE, LSOTP

Room: Building E, E108 Breakout Room

Importance of Psychoeducation and Caregiver Involvement in YPSB treatment – While most treatment programs focus on the individual youth who committed the problematic sexual behavior, it is important that service providers also address the collateral impact on the relatives and caregivers of the youth in order to ensure a more systems oriented approach to treatment. This presentation will demonstrate how including caregivers in YPSB treatment significantly increases the youth’s potential for success and reduces multiple risk factors. Appropriate interventions to use with caregivers will be presented, and barriers to caregiver involvement will be discussed.


Session D –  STATIC / STABLE CONTINUATION  (Separate Registration Required) 

Room: Building E, E100.01 Breakout Room

Presenter: Dawn Pflugradt, Ph.D.

2:45-3:00pm Break with snack 

3:00-4:30pm –  AFTERNOON BREAKOUTS –


Session E – Helpful Scoring Tips, Reminders, and Common Mistakes for VRS-SO Users

Presenter – Sharon Kelley, Psy.D.

Room: Building E, E121 Dining Room

The Violence Risk Scale – Sexual Offense version (VRS-SO) is a well-accepted dynamic risk tool. The advantage of the tool is its ability to assess treatment change after accounting for static and pretreatment dynamic risk. The pretreatment dynamic score and the change score were each found to be incrementally predictive to the Static-99R (Olver et al., 2018). The current presentation is geared for those who have previously been trained to score the VRS-SO and attorneys who may be interested in further understanding how the VRS-SO should vs. should not be used. We will review the coding manual with a focus on scoring and general use issues that are commonly misunderstood. We will also review the VRS-SO User’s Workbook and VRS-SO calculator. Selected research will be highlighted as needed.

Session F – A Trauma Informed Approach to Better Understanding the Victim-to-Victimizer Adult Who was a Victim of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Presenter – Sol Ennis-Klyczek

Room: Building E, E106 Breakout Room

This workshop is designed to be a collaborative discussion amongst professionals that examines the reports of sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress responses, and maladaptive coping mechanisms experienced by adult persons who suffered childhood sexual abuse. We will explore common issues that survivors have attributed to 1) forming a mindset that increasingly fractured their self-perception, 2) shaping their sexual preferences, and 3) influencing their continued victimization and their victimization of others. The goal of this discussion is to share experiential knowledge from the field and research-based theoretical understandings with the objective of helping survivors achieve trauma-informed psychological stability.


Session G –  Improving Care for Illinois’s DCFS SBP Youth

Presenter: Najma M. Adam, Ph.D., LCSW, LSOE, LSOTP, Jamie Kozma, LSOE, LSOTP

Room: Building E, E108 Breakout Room

Improving care for Illinois’s DCFS’s SBP youth: Collaborative partnership between DCFS and providers to create SBP Statewide Standards Presenters will introduce DCFS SBP Statewide Standards and discuss the process of identifying the need for such Standards. They will share how a collaborative model between DCFS and diverse Statewide SBP Providers led to creating quality Standards for youth in care in Illinois. Participants who are considering macro projects will also benefit from strategies presented on working with varied stakeholders to accomplish organizational goals.


Session H –  STATIC / STABLE CONTINUATION  (Separate Registration) 

Room: Building E, E100.01 Breakout Room

Presenter: Dawn Pflugradt, Ph.D.


4:45-5:45pm Networking Event – No CEUS are provided for this session

During this session, all members are invited to a local restaurant to get to know other ILATSA members and conference attendees in a casual environment.  We look forward to seeing you there!

This year – Meet us at Nick’s Pizza!!! 990 S Randall Rd. Elgin, IL 60123.  Complimentary beverage provided – Attendees purchase their own food.

Workshop Description – Fri. March 17, 2022

9:00-12:15pm Keynote – Amanda Pryor, MSW, LCSW, CSAYC, ATSAF

Cliff Notes with Juvenile with Sexually Harmful Behaviors

ATSA – Adolescent Practice Guidelines

Room: Building E, E121 Dining Room

Ever wonder what it takes to work with juveniles who have harmful sexual behaviors.  Or do you work with Juveniles and wonder how you can improve your skills? Come hear the cliff note on how to assess, understand treatment best practices, family treatment, safety planning, and clarification.  This presentation will highlight components for all providers in the juvenile field to better understand best practices.   


12:15-1:15pm Lunch – Provided with Conference Registration


Session I: Clarification and Safety Planning

Presenter:  Amanda Pryor, MSW, LCSW, CSAYC, ATSAF

Room: Building E, Room E121 Dining Room

Initial understanding that treatment for sexual behaviors is on a spectrum and each situation should be evaluated individually is a layer of best practice. Once the behavior is identified steps towards clarification can begin. Safety plans are not static and should always be reviewed, especially during clarification and reunification processes. The youth is changing, the environment changes, and therefore the safety plan that involves the youth and environment should change as well. Understanding that dynamic traits of a safety plan are consistent with best practices to safely clarify and reunify.  Taking best practices and working with families, a healthy plan for clarification and reunification can be adapted. With or without services, the adolescent may have contact with victims, therefore making clarification and reunification a priority for community safety.


Session J – Working with Denial

Room: Building E, Room E106

Presenter: Mark S. Carich, Ph.D.; Jessie Huebner, Ph.D, LCSW

Denial has been a controversial issue within the field of sexual offender treatment, most notably since the Hanson (1998) classical meta-analysis indicated denial was not associated with risk. Prior to that, treatment responsibility and admission of offenses were the hallmark of treatment as the therapist demanded a “true” confession. Controversies continued when Marshall and Marshall (2001, 2011) designed and empirically evaluated a program for categorical deniers that resulted in lower re-offense rates than clients who completed the responsibility-oriented program. Since clients in denial can be successfully treated, this presentation will offer a review of the literature and suggestions of approaches and techniques to engage the non-admitting client, effectively instilling change. Clinicians may implement the approaches discussed across the spectrum of clients that may be presenting with reluctance to change. The presentation will highlight the importance of client engagement and the client-clinician relationship and the impact of clinician bias and perspective on treatment success.


Session K – Insights to the Dynamics of Offenders and Offending Populations

Room: Building E, Room E108

Presenter: Michael Kleppin, LCPC, LSOTP, LSOE, CADC

Treatment is not a one-size-fits all endevour.  Clients are often recommended to sex offender treatment, but what does “treatment” actually mean?  What considerations do treatment providers consider when identifying the interventions for specific clients, and how does the treatment provider come to this decision?  In this engaging presentation, attendees will leave with a foundational understanding of treatment and the dynamics of offenders and offending behavior.   


Session L –  STATIC / STABLE  (Separate Registration) 

Room: Building E, Room E100.01

Presenter: Dawn Pflugradt, Ph.D.

2:45-3:00pm Break with snack



Session MAssessment Discussion for Juveniles who have Engaged in Sexually Harmful Behaviors

Presenter:  Amanda Pryor, MSW, LCSW, CSAYC, ATSAF

Room: Building E, Room E121 Dining Room 

Assessments are a time to ask questions, but what questions do you need to ask in order to best assess the juvenile?  What formats or templates are best?  What “tool” should you use to help with recommendations?  Come discuss best practices for assessments with juveniles who have engaged in sexually harmful behaviors. 


Session N – Integrating an Understanding of Culture into Sex Offender Treatment and Risk Assessment

Presenter: Michelle Evans, DSW, LCSW, LSOTP, LSOE, ATSAF

Room: Building E, Room E106

Within recent years, the field of sex offender treatment services and supervision have increased the awareness of culture, however, many individuals are still wondering how it impacts the therapeutic moment when in session or when making decisions about risk and supervision.  Too often culture is considered as an afterthought.  In this workshop, we will discuss culture as central to the formation of a therapeutic foundation for effective treatment and risk assessment with individuals who have sexually offended.  Additionally, we will identify specific concepts that you can use to identify and assess areas of your current treatment model to improve your understanding and application of culture to the Evidenced Based Practices that you are already using.  This workshop is designed for individuals that are working with participants of any culture, age or gender.


Session O – Shame Language: Words and Phrases Which Can Trigger a Shame Cycle and How To Change

Presenter: Christopher Blakely, Psy.D

Room: Building E, Room E108

Word choice is important when we communicate with others.  We do not realize how our day to day language can be interpreted by others as the intent, and the perception may not match with our true intended communication.  In this presentation, the presenter will discuss how our own internal dialogue can inadvertently trigger a shame cycle in others, and will discuss how we can notice and take steps to change this. 


Session P –  STATIC / STABLE  (Separate Registration) 

Presenter: Dawn Pflugradt, Ph.D.

Room: Building E, Room E100.01



For questions regarding the conference, please contact or 630-384-9887


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