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Recidivism of Sex Offenders

Powerful Essays
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 crimes(Oakes 99). This presents a

problem for the public, as potential victims, and the legal system which is entrusted by the public for protection. It would be irresponsible for the legal system to ignore the criminal class of sex offenders, for they are subject to a recurring physiological urge that requires the use of effective restraints that would curb the habitual repetition of episodes producing the harmful consequences to the public(Schopf 95). In light of this realization, steps beyond treatment have been taken to reduce the recidivism rate of sex offenders. Notification laws, special supervising techniques by parole officers, and both surgical and chemical castration are techniques used in various forms in this country and abroad with success. However, notification laws and both forms of castrations

have not come about without criticism on constitutional grounds. Any criticism should take into account the extraordinary recidivism rates found only in the criminal class of the s...

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...Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 15. pp. 279-290

Martin, R. (1996). Pursuing Public Protection Through Mandatory Community Notification of Convicted Sex Offenders: The Trials and Tribulations of Megan's Law. The Boston Public Interest Law Journal, Vol. 6, Issue 29

Oakes, S. (1999). Megan's Law: Analysis on Whether it is Constitutional to Notify the Public of Sex Offenders Via the Internet. The John Marshal Journal of Computer and Information Law

Sampson, E. (1999). Supervising Sex Offenders: Alternatives to Incarceration, Bethpage, Vol. 5, pp.6-7

Schopf, S. (1995). "Megan's Law": Community Notification and the Constitution. Columbia Universtiy School Journal of Law and Social Problems, 29

Seto, M. & Barbaree, H. (1999). Psychopathy, Treatment Behavior, and Sex Offender Recidivism. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 14, pp.1235-1248
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