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How Can Someone Get An Effective Treatment Based Sentence?

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

When someone is looking for a treatment-based sentence instead of a punishment-based sentence, first off, my hat is off to them. They get it. A lot of people do not, however many people do. So what I do as a strategy, let us say, for example, I will give you an actual case. A thirty-four-year-old member of the United States military is deployed overseas. He sees combat multiple times. He is a highly effective member of the military and after the war, he has kept on as a civilian contractor. What did he do? I have no earthly idea, but it must have been pretty heavy because it was one of those he cannot tell me or he would have to kill me kind of things. Finally, he came back to the United States and had no history of criminality at all, yet the next thing you know he is chatting to an undercover police officer posed as a thirteen-year-old girl online.

Shortly thereafter, he is sending inappropriate pictures of himself to this purported thirteen-year-old girl, and finally attempts to meet her. He is arrested, it was very public, and he was charged with both child pornography, and traveling to meet a minor for unlawful sexual purposes. These are heavy-duty crimes that by themselves the way he was charged, any one of the counts, either one and there could have been many counts, would have been sufficient to go over the 44-point threshold and place him in the mandatory prison category. His family was horrified. He was terribly embarrassed. His mom summed up what I have heard many parents say for a long time.

I do not understand it, he came from a good home, he was a good kid in high school, and he did well in college. He has never been in trouble in his entire life. He attended religious services growing up. From what I can tell he is faithful. He feels tremendous guilt and does not even understand why he had those urges. What happened to my son? Well, I do not know what happened to her son, but I know that when we had his brain imaged, he did not have a healthy normal brain image. Now, do we know what his brain images looked like before he went off to war? No. That information is not available. But I do know this since 2005 I have sent more people for forensic brain imaging than any criminal defense lawyer.

Sometimes it feels like a far cry in the wilderness, but it has been very educational. For over eleven years that I have had this done for people, we have not had a single person come back with healthy, normal brain images, and neither did this man. He needed specialized treatment. The legal system has a specialized treatment: One size fits all sex offender registrations, and one size fits all sex offenders counseling. Oh, just like everything else in the criminal justice system when it comes to treating mental health or addictive disorders, it is completely worthless. Does it do some good? A little. I am sure it does as much good as the twelve step programs. They are just not enough, and not even close to what is needed.

This man needed specialized treatment, so we had a contested sentence hearing. I have done this several times, and the prosecutor laid out their justification for prison, and I pointed out that this would be wasting taxpayer dollars, acknowledged that I had the burden of showing that he met a departure ground and that we did establish that he had a brain disorder. This was not very hard to do, it was right there on the images. The state could have called their own expert witnesses all day long. If they had any skill in radiology imagining reading, which is the only way they would be experts, they would have had to say yes, that this is an abnormal brain scan. We established that he needed specialized treatment because he had an abnormal brain scan. The judge had questions.

Could this be caused by drugs or alcohol, because there is a drug or alcohol exclusion in that particular departure ground? By looking at the images and the other information that was gathered, these evaluations take up to three days, and they are very intense evaluations. The doctor was able to state no, these areas on the deep brain scans, and at this point, the doctor is pointing at images on the image of the person’s brain, said these things cannot be caused by that. These are some other things that can cause it. People do not realize this. When our soldiers, sailors, and airmen are deployed, if they suffer trauma during combat it causes physical changes to the brain that you can literally see on brain imaging.

It is one of the most amazing things in the world because they do have scans of volunteers who were later deployed and then somebody came up with the idea of hey, let us take a look at these, and they found out that after the deployment they had unusual and abnormal brain scans. In this case, we met the requirements to choose specialized treatment not related to drugs or alcohol. The next thing we had to show was exactly what the specialized treatment was, and when we get a three ring binder from Amen Clinics, which is who I use exclusively now, they can give me what I need for court, and that is mandatory. Lots of doctors do imaging of the brain now, but I have to have certain things that meet legal requirements, and so I have to have a provider that can offer that particular service.

We gathered this information and detailed exactly what the specialized treatment was, and we recommended a non-incarcerative sentence. We also had a dangerous assessment done, which is another form of testing, and on a scale of 1 to 10 he scored a 1, which means very unlikely he will be in trouble again. The judge decided, and he was immutable to treatment, that is one of the things that has to be shown, and when we first took on the case and we did this I had him keep records. If you go to a doctor, and if the doctor prescribes meds, show that you are getting your prescriptions filled. If the doctor shows anything keep records of it and show compliance, and he did. We were able to meet all of the legal burdens, and the judge sentenced him to a non-incarcerative sentence with specific and special conditions of effective treatment.

Frankly, in my opinion, whenever you run across somebody who is actually guilty because there are people who are guilty, you might as well just spit it out there, because it is the truth. I think there should be brain imaging diagnostics in every case, because I have yet, in eleven years, to see a healthy and normal set of brain images from somebody who is guilty of a crime. Causality and correlation are two very different things. Just because there is the correlation, every person I have sent has produced an abnormal brain scan, does not necessarily mean causation. Bad brain images cause crime.

That correlation is one hundred percent over eleven years, and I recognize that my database of people is not the general public. My databases of people that I send for brain imaging evaluations are people who are actually guilty of crimes. Yet, I am finding this stunning correlation of one hundred percent, and we use that to help people get in a treatment program that is truly effective, and creates a sentence that is fair, balanced, and focused on making sure that that person has the highest degree of likelihood that their treatment is effective, and they can resume or continue being a taxpaying citizen rather than a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

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