Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Educate the General Public... So the media doesn't.

The myths about sex offender recidivism rates are astounding. The public has vilified them so much that they say "if they do it once they will do it again". It was unlikely before, with the sex offender recidivism rates of about 3%, now with the increased pressure, the inability to get a job, to integrate back into the community again, and the public's complete hatred for them are only triggers for them to commit additional crime, whether it be for survival or due to stress.

I have attached the PDF of an interesting paper on the recidivism rates and how vilifying the sex offender only creates an environment that facilitates more crime.

You can find this article and many others at this site:

Here is the Introduction:
Sex offenders are the most vilifies group in society. People hate and despise them and think they should be locked up for life. Other criminals consider them to abominable to associate with. They are seen as dangerous sexual predators for whom treatment won't work and who are at a high risk to reoffend. These beliefs are widespread, unsupported by facts, and have resulted in harsh laws specifically targeting sex offenders. These laws are easily passed since it is politically dangerous to take any stance other than that of being tough on sex offenders.
This is the world we live in, where people will believe everything they hear regardless if it has any basis on fact.

The conclusion:
Sex offenders are hated and reviled. Vilification of sex offenders has resulted in the passage of laws and sanctions that have broad public support, are politically advantageous to support, and give the illusion of increasing society's safety from sexual violence. But there is no evidence they fulfill this promise. The registries, notification requirements, and housing restrictions make it far harder for sex offenders to turn around their lives and succeed in society. In such cases they may become more, rather than less likely to reoffend.
This paper is a good read, has lots of information in it and a reference list to help find new material to study.

Check it out.

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