Not a prevention strategy but a reactive action

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Dear Editor,

Re: Against the sex offenders registry 

Are you referring to the 5-10% of prison population that are the more persistent types of offenders? 

These types are typically found in the violent offender type and is very largely debated in the literature on whether or not these offenders are responsive to treatment, they do posses some personality characteristics that are difficult to treat but the jury is still yet to yield conclusive results to actually say they can’t be treated.

Nonetheless, sex offenders have the lowest base rates of reoffending most never reoffend after the initial offence the persistent ones that do are even lower than the violent offender persistent types. 

Sex offenders are very different to the violent offenders as the manifestations of their offending range widely and there such low rates of sex offender recidivists that it would be unethical to stigmatise a whole group even after serving their sentence. 

What would be the point in serving one if they are coming back to another prison? 

The fact is that S.O.R’s only create a false perception of safety not only that creates more isolation for the offender which in turns can lead to employment instability, home and emotional stressors which are risk factors for further offending. 

I agree we must never forget or de-emphasise the position of the victim but we also have a responsibility to do the best we can to prevent more victims. 

It’s defenseless to say that S.O.Rs are effective because research has shown us study after study after study that it’s not. 

The perception of safety is not enough to convince me that this is effective but instead it potentiates the ability of creating more risk of harm and/or more victims. 

We must get better at prevention. The S.O.R does not function as a prevention strategy but it is employed as a reactive action so there is a huge difference.

 

Linda

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