Friday, March 12, 2010

What we should do with sexual offenders

The recent trajedy in San Diego, where the girl was killed while jogging, has resulted in lots of people talking about how we should treat sex offenders. Here's my try at that.

Like every group of people, sex offenders vary. Some are 18-year-olds who slept with their 17-year-old girlfriend and got turned in by the mom. Most are crimes of opportunity, some guy in a situation where he was drunk and thinking with his dick, and he gives a 14-year-old a couple of beers and bangs her, or gropes somebody in a parking lot.

These have a low recidivism rate compared with other kinds of crimes. Depending on the type of violation, I've read recidivism rates of 3.5% to 13%. They didn't like their year in jail, and they're not going back. These relatively low-reoffender-rate people amount to about 95% of offenders. They should be treated like any other person getting out of jail.

Then there are the 5% who are really dangerous. It's not a continuum, where people get badder and badder. It's a cut off. Most people are just not dangerous, but a few really are. And we can tell which is which among sex offenders. There's a useful profile. Look at the age of the victim, how many victims there were, whether the offender stalked the victim, whether fetishes or pain or weapons were involved.

For this 5%, if they are let out of jail, they should be monitored very carefully, meaning ankle-bracelet, weekly visits to the parole officer, twice-weekly random searches of their quarters for pornography, girls panties, or whatever.

Apparently at least one psychiatrist said the guy in San Diego fell into this 5%.

What we need to do is stop wasting our money on the 95%, which only makes them unhappy and people who know about them from Megan's List fearful, and spend it instead on serious monitoring of the dangerous ones.

No comments:

Post a Comment