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View Diary: A news story about sexual offenders and what boys should learn in sex education class (100 comments)

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  •  True, it's all part of the (9+ / 0-)

    'sex is bad and shameful' mantra, so that a sexual crime is 'far worse' than a nonsexual crime, and winds up painting with a broad brush.  We don't require murderers or arsonists to register for life and always keep police updated as to their whereabouts, but we do 'sex offenders'.  You can 'serve your debt to society' and be done with it, as long as your crime wasn't sexual.

    Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Sat Jul 25, 2009 at 09:54:13 PM PDT

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    •  Laws punishing sex offenders (3+ / 0-)

      are great political tools, also as there's never any blowback.  As illogical as these punitive measures are, no one is going to suggest that we shouldn't force them to live under bridges, for instance, while the politician gets full credit for being "tough on crime."  

      Yet how logical is it to restrict sex offenders from living near schools?  Some are forced to live away from family because they a less than a block out of compliance.  And the problem with sexual abuse of students is in the school systems themselves.

      (-7.75, -7.69) No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up - Lily Tomlin

      by john07801 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 12:25:58 AM PDT

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      •  As a European, I was shocked by tent cities (3+ / 0-)

        Can anyone seriously believe this is a practical way to address these issues?

        So basically, here is what we will do. We will group everyone from a an 18 year old caught bonking his 15 yrs 11 mths girlfriend to a serial kidnapper of 8 year olds in one category - called sex offenders. Then we will say that these people can serve their sentence, and afterwards will be continuously punished, excluded (exiled) so that they can't get housing, jobs ( and therefore health care and access to psychiatric support) which results in them living together in a third world barrio, where they can mutually reinforce their sense of what is moral or not, and collectively nurse their sense of injustice.

        This sounds medievel to me.

        •  Forgot to add - 21st century leper colony nt (3+ / 0-)
        •  Part of it is a country attempting to avoid (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          john07801, Cassandra Waites

          conflict with some of our other legal principles and failing to do so in a sensible way.

          Countries like New Zealand have 'preventative detention' - there, a truly hardcore offender can be held indefinitely to prevent reoffense.  Prior to Bush's 'War on Terror', the concept of indefinite detention as a punishment or means of preventing 'reoffense' was anathema to Americans.  

          So we had to let them go, but some people were so greatly offended by the category of their crimes that they reverted to the 'scarlet letter' treatment.  Brand them for life, and ostracize them from society, rather than make attempts to reintegrate them as we do with every other person that commits a crime.

          The same squeamishness that leads to our dysfunctional ability to teach sexual education in any true depth unfortunately led many people who could see that this was a severe setback in civil rights for all people to remain awkwardly silent while the hateful 'Defenders of Justice' like Nancy Grace went on the warpath and pushed legislators to bring back the aforementioned 17th century practices in a new form.

          Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

          by Ezekial 23 20 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 05:08:58 AM PDT

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          •  There have been more thoughtful attempts (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cassandra Waites, Ezekial 23 20

            although it seems that the "throw away the key" mantra always wins out.

            My ex-wife had a relative who had committed multiple sexual offenses against children before he was 20.  (Obviously, he had been a victim, himself.)  His sentence (in Massachusetts) was "1 day to life" in a treatment facility.  In other words, "you'll be released as soon as you can prove it's safe to do so."

            At least a sentence like that offers incentive and protection for society but, as far as I know, most indeterminate sentencing schemes have also gone the way of "rehabilitation."

            Recently, there was a study trying to figure out when and why California's overall recidivism rate had jumped from about 30% to about 70%.  (Sex offenders are 5% or less, btw.)  It was determined that the change happened during the Reagan (as governor) era when a new conservative approach concluded that education and rehabilitation funding was being wasted on criminals and more "hard time" was in order.  I remember the debates about prisoners "lifting weights" and "watching cable TV."  Another Reagan legacy.

            (-7.75, -7.69) No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up - Lily Tomlin

            by john07801 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 06:49:39 AM PDT

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        •  I have a friend who worked (0+ / 0-)

          for a defense attorney who takes many sex crime cases.  When the first registration laws came into play (1994), his office was besieged by requests from European media wanting to do interviews with him and his clients.  

          Their question (paraphrased) was: How does America, the great protector of freedom and privacy suddenly reverse itself and compromise its bedrock principles?

          (-7.75, -7.69) No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up - Lily Tomlin

          by john07801 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 06:58:20 AM PDT

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