Increased sexual offences is an issue that increasingly raises concerns across many spheres of the society form law enforcement to parents, schools, the government, scholars and many others. This paper looks into this issue in an attempt to answer questions pertaining to the law on sex offenders, their rehabilitation, recidivism rates, repeat offenders, reasons why they commit the offences, who is at risk of assault among others. The paper analyzes these issues and others in the form of an annotated bibliography which drives material from a wide range of sources.
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Abel, G.G., Mittelman, M.S., and Becker, J.V. (1985). Sex Offenders: Results of Assessment and Recommendations for Treatment. Clinical Criminology: The Assessment and Treatment of Criminal Behavior. Toronto: M&M Graphics, pp. 207-220.
The authors find that prior to sex offence, rapist commonly experience anger; while 88% of them experienced general anger, 77% of the experienced anger towards women. They also found that although most offenders may have psychiatric disorders, majority of them were not insane. About 30% of all offenders would be diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder.
Bard, L.A., et al. (1987). Behavioral Sciences and the Law: A Descriptive Study of Rapist and Child Molesters. Developmental Clinical and Criminal Characteristics, Vol. 5, p. 203-220.
This study is aimed at profiling sexual offenders in order to offer a better understanding as to why they do it and what can be done to prevent the offences. The findings indicate the offenders come from nearly equally all races, social classes and educational levels (Bard et al, 1987). They are often from large families with disturbed lifestyles and a psychiatric and criminal history. Most of them report having been abused mentally, physically or sexually abused as children.
Bradshaw, B. ( 2010). Sex Offenders in Your Neighborhood- Would You Prefer Residential Restrictions of GPS Monitoring? Web.
The author identifies GPS monitoring as the best method for monitoring sex offenders. He expresses the opinion that the community monitoring that is in states such as Florida is largely ineffective since it involves a 10.00 PM to 6.AM curfew. Considering that school going children are around in the hours that the offender are free to move around, the author puts serious doubt on the effectiveness of this monitoring system. He asserts that the adoption of the GPS monitoring system is the best option to police and community at large on the whereabouts of sex offenders.
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Bureau of Justice Statistics. U.S. Department of Justice. 2003. Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994.
This report finds that sex offenders released from state prisons are four times more likely to be rearrested than non-offenders for a sex crime. 5.3% of offenders released from prison were arrested within the first three years following their release. 43% of them were rearrested within the following three years for other types of crimes. On overage, the study pins the sexual recidivism rate at 13.7%.
Calkins, C.M. and John Jay College of Criminal Justice (2006). Preventive Detention of Law Offenders: A Comparative Law Perspective. Web.
The authors dwell on the measures put up by the law to curb incidences of offenders recommitting offences once released. Such efforts have resulted to strict policies and drastic measure to curb repeat offences. The study identifies some of the measures, e.g. longer sentences than usual for offenders who are seen to pose a greater risk. This drastic measure is questionable in some spheres as it raises questions on the methodology applied to determine the risk level. Other measures include long term supervision orders and electronic monitoring programs.
Caudle, C. (2008). A challenge to severe Oregon sex offense sentences worth watching. Sentencing Law and Policy. Web.
The author looks at the severity of some court rulings on sexual offences. attempting to find out whether this laws are sever enough or harsh, she examines the case of a lady who was sentenced to six year for making sexual contact with an eleven year old. She touched her clothed breasts to the head of the boy while stroking his hair. She argues that the law should have a clear definition of ‘sexual contact’ to avoid passing out harsh judgments to convicts.
Clark, J.M. (2009). How to stop sex crimes. Web.
The author identifies knowledge/information as the key to solving the problem of sex offences. He underscores the fact that sex predators cannot be easily identified since they appear like ordinary people. Making reference to Victor Vieth, the author recommends that investigations on sex crimes should be changed to ensure that social workers, child advocates and attorneys are involved more.
Dodd, R. (2008). Sexual Offenders on Parole: The Case of The Non-Offending sex Addict. Web.
This article dwells on the punishment levels for various types of sex offenders. It identifies several types of offenders. Among these are those who demonstrate an understanding of how their action affects their victims. He raises the question of whether such offenders can be released into the public without further supervisions. He cautions that such a character might be very dangerous due to the fact that they can easily manipulate law enforcers by hiding their addiction problem in order to get back into the society.
Eaves, D. (2008). Assessment and Management of Sexual Offenders. Basic Forensic Psychiatry: A Manual for Those Working in the Juvenile and Adult Criminal Justice Systems.
Dr. Eaves finds that a big majority of all sexual offenders are male. Although females do commit sexual offences, the majority of perpetrators are male. Dr. Eaves gives the genetic make up of men as the reason for this trend. Men are naturally more aggressive than females. He however cautions that female offenders might be getting away with their actions since they are generally more acceptable than their male counterparts.
Evenden, L. An Evaluation of Sex Offender Treatment for Offenders Sentenced to Custody. Internet Journal of Criminology. Web.
Evenden’s study finds that the Sex offender Treatment Program (SOTP) was not effective enough especially in dealing with high risk offenders. Further, the community provisions meant to deal with this problem are also inadequate and hence a big overhaul of the system dealing with sexual offenders needs to be carried out.
Furby, L., Weinrott, M. R., & Blackshaw, L. (1999). Sex offender recidivism: A review. Psychological Bulletin, 105 , 3-30.
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The authors reviewed previous studies on rehabilitation of sex offenders and the recidivism rate and concluded that there was no evidence that the treatment results into sex offence recidivism. They concluded that maybe the rehabilitation procedures being developed at the time of the study would result into improvement recidivism rates.
Hall, G. C. N. (1995). Sexual offender recidivism revisited: A meta-analysis of recent treatment studies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63 (5), 802-809.
The study finds that the recidivism rates for was 19% for treated offenders and 27% for untreated sex offenders. Also, the best treatment methods are found to be cognitive- behavioral and hormonal as opposed to purely behavioral methods.
Happel, R. M., & Auffrey, J. J. (1995). Sex offender assessment: Interrupting the dance of denial. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 13(2), 5-22.
The authors suggest that the rehabilitation of sex offenders is largely ineffective. In their study, they find that incarcerated sexual offenders are rarely honest about their sexual offending history; a fact that points to the ineffectiveness of rehabilitation. Majority of the offenders will blame their victims for being too seductive implying that they are not willing to change their deviant behavior.
Jackson, R.L. and Hess, D.T. (2007). Evaluation for civil commitment of sex offenders: a survey of experts. N.Y: Routledge. Web.
This study finds that 17 states had enacted and implemented the sex offender civil commencement legislation. The authors find that although these legislations give a broad criterion for evaluation of sex offences, evaluators practice a lot of flexibility in undertaking their jobs. They put forward the suggestion that documentation should be used as the core method of evaluation.
Kobak, S. (2010). Sex Offenders can’t find Jobs, homes After Serving Time. 2010. Web.
Citing the story of convicted sex offender, Kobak makes it clear that sex offenders are placed in a position where they cannot access jobs, homes and other necessities of life. Although they might try to be compliant with conditions of the probations, the nature of the punishment make it hard for them to keep up with the sentence requirements. The hostility directed to them will most likely push them into repeating the offence increasing the recidivism rate.
Marshall, W. L. & Pithers, W. D. (2004). A reconsideration of treatment outcome with sex offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 21 (4), 10-27.
Marshall and Pithers analyze previous studies into the rehabilitation systems of sex offenders. They find some deep flaws in the current rehabilitation programs since they are outdated and have potential biases in how the offender is treated.
McGrath, R. J. (2002). Sex offender treatment: Does it work? Perspectives, Winter, 24, 26.
McGrath dwells on three issues; is the rehabilitation of sexual offenders effective? Is it cost effective? Does it address the needs of the victims? By comparing the rate of repeat offences among offenders who are rehabilitated and those who are not, he finds that rehabilitation greatly reduces repeat offences indicating its effectiveness. Studying expenditures in the state of Vermont he finds that 1% decrease in repeat offences saves the state $35,000 dollars. This means that rehabilitation is cost effective.
Mitchell. J.W. (2005). Rape of the Innocent: Understanding and Preventing Child Sexual Abuse. KY: Taylor & Francis.
Focusing on how to prevent child abuse, the author provides research information on child development and how it may contribute to child abuse cases. She makes a strong link between poor parenthood and increased cases of child abuse. She also identifies pornography as a major factor that has fuelled increased cases of sexual offences. Minority children and children with special needs require special care as they are more prone to sexual abuse.
Myers J. B. (1997). A Mother’s Nightmare — Incest: A Practical Legal Guide for Parents and Professionals. CA: Thousand Oaks.
The author gives valuable information for parents with abused children and the legal professionals who assist them. It is important for them to learn the indicators of child abuse and how the legal system works in cases of child abuse. Legal professionals should be well versed with the working of the legal system so that they can effectively prove sex offence cases in court.
Peckenpaugh, J. (2006). Controlling Sex Offender Reentry: Jessica’s Law Measures in California. Web.
California endorsed the Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act in 2006. The author maintains that this law would significantly increase the level of punishment for sex crimes and ensure that sex offenders released back into the community would face lifetime residence restrictions. The legislation would ensure that the offenders are placed under a lifetime global positioning monitoring system. This, plus the fact their being banned from parks and near schools would ensure that sex offences are effectively curbed by the state laws.
Roan, S. (2010). Sex Addiction Divides Mental Heath Experts. Web.
Delving into the question of sexual addiction which is a contributing factor to sex offences, the author finds that there is no consensus among specialists on the exact cause of sex addiction. While some are inclined to blame pornography and sexual deviance, some find that some mental illnesses and disturbed child upbringing are to be blamed.
Sexual Abuse in Detention Elimination Act. (2005). The Penal Code, Relating to Correctional Institutions. Chapter 303, Statutes of 2005. Web.
This piece of legislation outline the efforts put in place to protect all inmates and wardens against sexual offences in correctional facilities in the state of California. The act requires that persons in these facilities are given adequate information about sexual abuse, classification and housing considerations and policies and procedures for protection.
Stermac, L., & Segal, Z. (1999). Sexual offenders: An examination of cognitive factors. Behavior Therapy, 20, 573-584.
In his study of the prevalence rates of sexual offense cases and the reporting and conviction of the offenders, Stermac finds that many women are assaulted by friends and acquaintances with whom they are close. In such cases, the victims rarely report the incidences to the police. They are more likely to report the cases if they are assaulted by strangers. Due to this factor, majority of sexual offences cases go unreported making it hard for law enforcement to effectively deal with the problem.
Struckman, C. J. and Johnson D. S. (2008). A Comparison of Sexual Coercion Experiences Reported by Men and Women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21(12) 1591-1615.
The authors seek to establish whether men are the majority of the offenders. The study finds that most sexual are men. Further, cases of sexual coercion involving men are generally more violent as compared to those involving women.
Tabachnic, J. (2000). Because There Is a Way to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse: Facts About Abuse and Those That Might Commit It. VT. Safer Society Press.
This book is aimed at giving important tips and facts abut sexual abusers. The author reveals that offenders are often individuals who are close to their victims and they may be highly trusted. Parents are therefore required to be very careful with their children and who they interact with since they could easily be associating with sex predators. She states that a huge percentage of women who are sexually abused had known the rapist and most likely they did trust them. It is therefore important for women to be made aware of early warning signs if they are protect themselves form sex offenders.