The focus should shift from more and harsher punishment to the funding of good treatment programs. What do you do with a year-old who had sex with a year-old? The number of abductions by strangers has been falling for years. When you hear a politician calling for tougher sentences and not backing it up with dollars for treatment programs, then he is looking for votes, not solutions. At least 18 states have some restrictions on where parolees live. With treatment, the likelihood of re-offending is even lower. In his study The Culture of Child Molesting, the literary critic James Kincaid traced this terror back to the middle of the nineteenth century. Fear is a poor basis for public policy.
Since the start of community notification, there has been a growing number of serious beatings, not only of sex offenders but sometimes of their family members or people with whom they live. In his study The Culture of Child Molesting, the literary critic James Kincaid traced this terror back to the middle of the nineteenth century. Such judgments should remain in the courts, subject to very specific deliberations; they should not be rendered in the legislatures, where careful deliberation is impossible. In this case, the victims were no longer likely threats; one was simply a young man who at 17 had a year-old girlfriend. Mean spirited vengeful legislation is only an incitement to vigilante injustice masquerading as a responsible public safety measure. The fact is that nowadays even juvenile sex offenders are being branded for life. Furthermore, only a tiny percentage of sex offenders have any history of kidnapping or molesting children unknown to them. Does he get registered for a lifetime as a sex offender? These laws presume and promote lifelong guilt, ruling out all hope of change. Vengeful prescriptions that call only for more and more punishment will not produce a cure. Note that not all criminal offenses require registration with the state police, only those covered by the statutes. School personnel are paying more attention than ever before, and older kids are keeping more of a watchful eye. The two had identical attributes —softness, cuteness, docility, passivity— and this simultaneous cultural invention has presented us with a wicked psychosocial problem ever since. In recent years social scientists and criminologists have combed through an immense accumulation of data from hundreds of studies which have tracked tens of thousands of individual sex offenders for long periods of time, some even for decades. Since so few of the once-caught remain a threat, there are smarter approaches than alarming communities with registries and turning all levels of former offenders over to the general public for surveillance. Often, in the heat of actual violence, perpetrators do not even think about consequences. Robert Freeman-Longo, former director of the Safer Society, stated: If we want former offenders to regain their health and not be always on the run, we should not set them up to be stalked. In contrast, according to the U. The number of abductions by strangers has been falling for years. I want to know where that kid is. Criminologists point out that such laws, even when publicized, are not all that effective. The first fear is irrational and the second is less true of sex offenses than of virtually any other type of crime. While it is certainly in order to professionally monitor and discipline sex offenders for various prudent periods, we must also try to be fair about how offenders are handled. If we want to keep sex-offenders on track, turning them into prey on registries or spotlighting them with bulky tracking bracelets on both arm and leg is not the answer. We need to wake up about what we are brewing and start legislating intelligently so that offenders can really get rehabilitated and contribute constructively to society.
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