Sex offenders tend to blend in to society virtually unnoticed until they offend or reoffend (Polizzi, MacKenzie, & Hickman, 1999). Currently, there is a large group of mental health professionals representing a variety of disciplines, including psychology, psychiatry clinical social work, counseling, and medicine, that continue to believe in the potential efficacy of treating sex offenders. Over the past decade, the sex offender treatment field has grown rapidly and the treatment of juvenile sex offenders is on the rise (Parks & Bard, 2006). The rationale for treating juvenile offenders is based on research which indicates that inappropriate sexual behavior patterns develop early and a failure to intervene and change behavior early often means that the offender will continue to escalate his/her inappropriate behavior, which could present an even greater danger to society (Ayland & West, 2006). Vivian-Bryne, (2004) suggests that professionals who treat adult sex offenders report that offenders who are incarcerated will eventually return to the community and therefore, therapeutic measures should be taken to reduce the likelihood that they will reoffend even if those measures have not conclusively been identified as effective. Sexual offenders may find therapy valuable because it can allow them to retrace their upbringing to help them identify and understand the roots of their
The number of registered sex offenders have increasingly grew over the years. Every day you see a man or women added to the registry for crimes against women and mostly children. The sex offender registries biggest and main focus is to keep the people in the community in each city and state informed and protected. ”Sex offenders and sex crimes provoke a great deal of anxiety in our society.” Baker, J, Brannon, Y, N., Fortney. , Levenson, J.S. (“Public Perceptions about Sex Offenders and Community Protection”). The sex offender registry is based solely on protecting the public from being a victim
Sexual offenders are the most vilified type of offenders within public opinion and the criminal justice system. The American precedent cases of Jacob Wetterling, Pam Lyncher, Megan Kanka, and other notorious crimes perpetrated by sexual offenders with a prior history of conviction have demanded a response from the criminal justice system to increase public safety. In 1994, the Jacob Wetterling Crimes against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Program was passed (Scholle, 2000), the first piece of legislation to advocate for the development of state-maintained registries of convicted sexual offenders. The legislation has been amended numerous times since then; in its present state, the law requires all states to maintain a registry, the mandatory registration of convicted sex offenders after release, community notification laws in place, and public access to the registry (Burchfield and Mingus, 2012; Lees and Tewksbury, 2006; Petrunik, Murphy, and Fedoroff, 2008; Scholle, 2000; Tewksbury and Lees, 2006; Wagner, 2011).
Sex offenders have been a serious problem for our legal system at all levels, not to mention those who have been their victims. There are 43,000 inmates in prison for sexual offenses while each year in this country over 510,000 children are sexually assaulted(Oakes 99). The latter statistic, in its context, does not convey the severity of the situation. Each year 510,000 children have their childhood's destroyed, possibly on more than one occasion, and are faced with dealing with the assault for the rest of their lives. Sadly, many of those assaults are perpetrated by people who have already been through the correctional system only to victimize again. Sex offenders, as a class of criminals, are nine times more likely to repeat their
Since the early 1990s, there has not been a classification of criminals who have been subjected to more extensive legislation than sex offenders. A common belief that sex offenders posed a greater threat to reoffend compared to other types of criminals had surfaced, encouraging immediate action to protect the public from such individuals. In a short amount of time, society had implemented sex offender registration laws and sex offender notification laws in which sexual offenders would have to abide by. These innovational registration laws required sex offenders to regularly provide any identifying details, criminal history, and contact information to law enforcement authorities that would be made available to the public through the use of secluded registries exclusively for those who commit acts of sexual violence.
Over two decades ago, law enforcement started compiling information on convicted sex offenders, in an online database with the exclusive aim of reducing recidivism. Initially, it was for law enforcement, but throughout the years this information became available to the public (McPherson 2016). Before the early 1990’s, a tracking system was unheard of for keeping tabs on sex offenders. Since then, legislatures have enacted laws, with the most recognized act; Sex Offender Registration and Notification (SORN), which is Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (AWA) of 2006 (“109th Congress Public Law 109-248,” 2006). The Act was amended when a young child by the name of Megan Kanka was raped and murdered by her neighbor. This
Summary: Sex offenders that were convicted, but not incarcerated are released back into the community. They have many hurdles to jump in order to prove the authority and even their neighbors that they have changed and will not reoffend. There are numerous limitations and controls for such offenders, and a few of them are GPS tethers, residence and employment restrictions, and regular mandatory registrations. Many of these policies were implemented after horrific events where children were abducted or lured, raped, and murdered. The article “Social Policies Designed to Prevent Sexual Violence” discusses how the latter policies need a revision with scientific evidence-based approach and that policies that use risk assessment strategies to identify high risk offenders should be created instead.
In the overwhelming majority of cases of sexual offenses, the victim knows the perpetrator and is usually not a stranger. In a poll of sex crimes against children 88% of the respondents recognize that these acts generally involve perpetrators who are related to or otherwise know the victim (Bumby, Carter, Gilligan, & Talbot, 2010, p. 2). According to research conducted in New York over a nine year period, shows that sex offender laws target only a small percentage of known and registered sex offenders. These laws create a false sense of security, which the sex offender will be a
Over the years, there has been controversy on the topic of whether the names of sex offenders should or shouldn’t be made public. Sex offender laws may vary from state to state depending on the specific type of violation. When the sex offenders are released from prison, they are enlisted on an online database where their names, photographs, and addresses are displayed to the public. As a result of this national publication database, “sex-offender laws have grown self-defeatingly harsh” (Economist 655). When sex offenders are added to the registries, it is often felt unfair that the registries enforce harsh punishments for small offenses, sex- offender laws punishes the offender and his or her family, and does little to protect the innocent.
Research has shown that sex offenders are perceived by society as remorseless, heartless, dangerous, monsters (Blanchard, 1995; Marshall 1996) with the only considered punishment being to, “lock em up and throw away the key” (Scheela, 2001 p.749).
From the time we are able to talk until the day that we die, we are constantly being warned about the realities of this world. Sexual offenders are one of those realities that no one really wants to talk about, but being informed can help prevent this disturbing reality from coming true. Sexual Assault is the highly most reported crime in America today. The rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network statistics show that “every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted” (Statistics). If we cannot prevent these heinous acts, the least we can do is speak up for the voiceless and declare that sex offender registries stay in place.
During the last few years, government officials and criminal justice experts have explored the different policies concerning sex offenders in the United States. Sexual violence is a growing concern and in order to decrease the incidence of these crimes, legislators have passed regulatory guidance such as policies, sexual offense registration, and community notification. This literature will explore the definition of sex offenders in the United States and research the different treatments associated with sexual offenders of all ages as well as promulgate the current legislation with data from established federal resources.
Beyond the inconsistent management and regulation of sexual offenders, three other issues functioning collectively to further confound the CJS include: (a) the inability to determine and/or agree if sexual offenses result from either a mental disorder, poor decision-making, or a combination thereof; (b) society’s misunderstandings of both sexual offenders and their offenses; and (c) society’s often misplaced trust in authoritative sources who may provide incomplete, incorrect, or biased information. Consequently, two multifaceted questions arise from these three issues. First, “Are we treating or punishing, dealing with illness or crime” (Vivian-Byrne, 2004, p. 186)? Second, are policies and laws constructed from empirically-based evidence or are they fabricated due to sensationalized media productions that skew public perception (Center for Sex Offender Management, 2010; Levenson et al., 2007; Levenson & D'Amora, 2007; Zgoba, 2004)?
When the words “sex offender” is said, the vision of an older man and a younger kid pops into our heads. But 75% of the people on the sex offender list imagine a life not worth living, or choosing the wrong girlfriend/boyfriend. Not everyone on the list should be there, and not everyone on the list should be treated the same.
Research on female sex offenders is not as researched as male sex offenders. According to Daalder & Essers, 2003;Elliott, 1993; Finkelhor, Gelles, Hotaling, & Straus, 1983; Hunter, Becker, & Lexier, 2006; Marshall, Laws, & Barbaree, (1990), most of the research involves male sex offenders, however recently more females sex offenders are being looked at for research. Adult female sex offenders’ make up of about 24% of sexual offences committed (Cortoni & Hanson, 2005). Studies on female adolescent sex offenders are under-reported (Langstom, 2001) noted that adolescent sex offenders’ are underestimated. Lowell (2002) indicated this was due to lack of defining deviant sexual behaviors’ among young people. The problem is that past literature