Media stories about sex crimes often serve to enflame emotions and rarely tell the whole story about the treatment and rehabilitation of sex.
Table of contents
- Treating sexual offenders who categorically deny their offending
- Treatment of Sexual Offenders Who Are in Categorical Denial: A Pilot Project | SpringerLink
- The scale of the problem
Gerena also asked how many men had been released since Marcy opened. But OMH recommends who should stay or leave. He drove 55 miles to a concert and since his parole officer only allowed mile trips, he was brought back to prison and then civilly committed. Not surprisingly, the men are very angry. Pervasive Public Anxiety.
Treating sexual offenders who categorically deny their offending
All the mental health professionals and attorneys I interviewed, as well as the sex offenders, sympathized with the victims and their families. None downplayed the seriousness of the crimes. But they argued that tabloids and mainstream TV programs exacerbate public anxieties, which, in turn, affect the criminal justice system. Frightened, people lobby their elected representatives for harsh laws and get them.
Contrary to public beliefs, many lawyers and mental health professionals say released sex offenders do not often commit new sex crimes. According to a U. Other studies, from through , that follow re-offenses over a longer time period, place the rate at 13 to14 percent. And the rate for juvenile sex offenders is even less — at 3 to 4 percent. The only recidivism rate that is lower involves those who were convicted of murder. Strickler argues that sex offenders can and do change. The same is true for sex offenders.
Still, prosecutors, reluctant to appear soft on crime, tightly hold the line. Judges, too, play a key role, and most rubber-stamp recommitment orders. In , in Minnesota, Judge Frank said facilities should make better risk assessments, but later, a state appeals court reversed his ruling, and last fall, the U. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
According to the mental health professionals I interviewed, the treatment programs are deeply flawed. Addressing the elephant in the room, Dr. Another huge problem is the one-size-fits-all approach.
Some have college degrees, some are professionals, some dropped out of school and some are mentally impaired. Richard Williams tells how this plays out. Some treatment practices are also profoundly humiliating. Consider the penile plethysmography test used in Florida, Illinois, California, New Jersey, North Dakota and Minnesota it was first used in Czechoslovakia in the s to weed out gays in the military.
Almost anyone who sees these pictures will respond. Deeply troubled, Judge Marsha Berzon of the U. There is a line at which the government must stop. This test crosses it. States also use polygraphs lie detector tests , though the Supreme Court found them unreliable and not admissible in court.
John Blake says this is another Catch Still, they said I was lying, so I made some up. I was turned on and the kids were turned on. Strickler testified to Kansas legislators that the facilities should be closed and replaced by models that have succeeded. Other prisoners had learning problems. Canada and Britain began Circles of Support and Accountability groups 15 years ago. In these programs, volunteers, supervised by professionals, help sex offenders released from prison find jobs and housing, and rebuild relationships with families and friends.
A report said the program was effective and inexpensive, and only one ex-prisoner out of 37 committed a new offense. In five years, the network grew to at least 12 cities. During that time over 1, men responded, of whom got free therapy. First funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, the project is now financed by the government. Unlike in the United States, there are no regulations about where he may live. To evaluate the program, the government studied the numbers and found that only three percent committed another sex offense within three years of their release. Despite remarkably low recidivism rates for new sex crimes among sex offenders released from prison and not civilly committed, the programs in the 20 states and Washington, D.
Moreover, the lawyers and mental health professionals I interviewed insist that only two to five percent of those who are civilly committed actually need to be confined. Instead, these professionals say, if the vast majority of those re-incarcerated need more therapy, they should be able to get it as outpatients.
Further, critics claim the facilities, which are in semi-urban or rural areas, serve as cash cows for local economies. The full price tag is actually much higher. Costs are also onerous for the men who are out on conditional release. All the prisoners I interviewed said they wanted therapy, but more than half had stopped. So, too, did five to eight other therapists each year I was there. They stay about six months before they look for new jobs. The men I interviewed frankly admitted to their offenses, but they asked to be treated as others who commit crimes and not be re-incarcerated after they serve their prison sentences.
Today, about 5, men are held in civil commitment. The program is inhumane.
Treatment of Sexual Offenders Who Are in Categorical Denial: A Pilot Project | SpringerLink
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue, 1.
The scale of the problem
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