View Poll Results: Is it possible for sex offenders be rehabilitated?

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  • Yes

    2 20.00%
  • No, they will always be a danger to society.

    8 80.00%
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  1. #11
    oceanflower Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jezebel
    Well, you could say that every offender in the community who is not reoffending or does not ever reoffend is reformed. Just because you haven't heard of any, doesn't mean they don't exist or can't exist. Do you think that if programs and treatment were better then it would be possible?
    I'm guessing that if any studies had been done that supported the theory that sex offenders can be successfully treated with the result that they don't re-offend, it would be heavily published, don't you think so? This type of study, of course, would require the voluntary cooperation of sex-offenders who'd been released into society. Would they be willing to wear ankle monitors over a period of say..two years...to track their whereabouts? How about having tracking devices on their cars? Their computers monitored? Have any psex-offenders volunteerred to do do? Even suggested such a study?

  2. #12
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    No, a study like that would not be heavily publicized. Many politicians use "sex offenders" as a way to garner easy votes and public support. Sex offenders are demonized and no one wants to risk their career supporting them. There have been studies done, many of them. Most studies focus on behavioral therapy combined with skills training and minor talk-therapy. Also, simply because there haven’t been studies done, does not mean positive results would not exist had studies been done. It is more of a red flag to the “demonizing offenders” camp that there aren’t many studies done. Nevertheless, I’ll try to dig up some studies at work today.

    Ankle monitors are already being forced on sex offenders in some areas; we'll see how that goes. However, there is also the factor of public opinion affecting recidivism rates. You may not think it has anything to do with it, but it has a lot to do with it. "Sex offenses" are simply acts society deems "deviant". In effect, what society is doing by punishing a sex offender is telling them to conform to societal norms. Then however, the public sees a sex offender and begins picketing his home, sending him death threats, and telling him he'll always and forever be a monster that can never be rehabilitated. Basically, society is on one hand telling the offender "You must conform to our norms" and then on the other hand screaming, "You'll never be a part of society, you'll always be deviant no matter what you do". Why on earth should the offender conform? There is no motivation to even try, let alone succeed. This is not dissimilar to a teenager who has been rejected by their peers. The teen generally finds some deviant subgroup and rejects the general social group- including their behaviors, values, and norms. The more the teen is labeled "weird", "different", "deviant", or "other" the more they will embrace their deviant subculture and reject the dominant group.

    Given that, an ankle bracelet is likely to do more harm than good. It is, in effect, branding the offender as a “monster” and “other”. What better way to ensure that they continue to reject society’s norms and values? What better way to ensure that they will reoffend? People are so hell-bent on punishing sex offenders that they ignore routes that would actually be effective. In all reality, you’d think the public wants the offender to molest their children just so they can cry “See! The evil sex offender molested again!” If that’s not what they want, or what you want, then they should think on the fact that that is exactly what their actions are resulting in.
    "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should"- Jurassic Park

  3. #13
    oceanflower Guest
    Blaming society for sex-offenders re-offending doesn't make sense to me. It's not an acceptable excuse for other types of criminals, why shold it be for these? If any criminal is not strong enough to abide by the laws that everyone else has to abide by, he or she must pay the consequences.

  4. #14
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    Having been on the receiving end of one all I can say is the lot should be castrated full stop.
    A loving heart is the truest wisdom. Charles Dickens

  5. #15
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    Other offenders do reoffend at very high rates. You also must consider that other offenders are not demonized the way sex offenders are. Sex offenders are the only offenders who must register where they live, what car they drive, and where they work.

    You're making an argument based on an incredible fallacy. You also didn't answer my previous question or respond to my previous point. Simply saying "I haven't seen the evidence" does not mean it is there or would be there if all factors were accounted for. I asked, if treatment and programs were better do you think they could be rehabilitated? I did not ask for you to repeat that you haven't seen the results, therefore they must not be possible.

    I'm not saying it's ok to molest/rape and then claim "sorry guys, I was rejected by society" and then get off scott-free. What I'm saying is that there should be consequences and there should be treatment because it is a problem that should be fixed. The way we go about "fixing" sex offenders now doesn't solve anything, it exacerbates the problem and makes it more likely that they will reoffend. I don't want that. All I'm saying is the current system doesn't work and society's reaction is a part of it.

    What about that doesn't make sense to you? I'm not trying to be a smart-ass, I'm honestly asking so that I could try to explain it in a better way. It isn't an acceptable "excuse" for other criminals, but I'm not using it as an excuse here either. It is an acceptable, and accurate, explanation for why other criminals repeatedly commit crimes, however. Do you understand what I was saying about how it works with teenagers (societal rejection and deviance)? Maybe that would be a good place to start.
    "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should"- Jurassic Park

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelhair
    Having been on the receiving end of one all I can say is the lot should be castrated full stop.
    But castration wouldn't necessarily stop them from reoffending, especially if they were a female offender.
    "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should"- Jurassic Park

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jezebel
    But castration wouldn't necessarily stop them from reoffending, especially if they were a female offender.

    This is true, and for being a little biased there I apologise.

    In a truthful and distanced opinion and in all my honest beliefs no matter what kind of programme there is or how strong the deterent sex offenders will always try to re-offend. It is in their nature to do so. Whether this is caused by a chemical imblance or a sheer need to committ what is so very wrong there is very little out there ( even in the form of new idea's ) that can help.
    The thing is, for many it may well originate from a background that has included violating others in one way or another - in this case there is still no excuse. One knows right from wrong regardless of one's upbringing or surroundings. If it's in the form of a chemical imbalance too little in known about the cause or how to medically treat it. Even then it is required that the person is responsible for medicating themselves and we cannot trust them wholeheartedly to do so.
    If it derives from a sheer bloody mindedness and will to committ these attrocities, then it depends how deep rooted this is before you can say they can be helped. Even so, can we still trust they will never revert?
    Prson is no option. It solves nothing for these people.
    More money should be ploughed into the findings out of what makes these people do such things.
    I don't know what the answer is, and I won't pretend to know, but maybe one way is to set aside a small patroled village where these people can be detained until deemed safe for release by what ever means of treatment there is. Sure it would be fenced off from all public and run as a prison in the ways of not allowing any escapees, but it should still allow them to do the normal things like shopping etc., I dunno, maybe I'm just rambling, thinking aloud - the heat is getting to me a little.
    All I do know is the medical profession and the law are at a loss as to what to do with them. If they can't help then who can?
    A loving heart is the truest wisdom. Charles Dickens

  8. #18
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    Title: PERCEPTIONS OF SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION: COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES AND COMMUNITY EXPERIENCES.
    Authors: Tewksbury, Richard, Lees, Matthew
    Source: Sociological Spectrum; May2006, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p309-334, 26p
    Abstract: In the mid-1990s, the Jacob Wetterling Act and Megan's Law were passed, respectively, formalizing the practice of registering sex offenders in publicly accessible, state-wide databases. The laws were passed in an effort to prevent recidivism of sex offenders and to promote community awareness of convicted sex offenders living in communities. However, the creation of these registries have led to numerous unforeseen collateral consequences for offenders. In qualitative in-depth interviews with registered sex offenders in Jefferson County, Kentucky, respondents reported experiencing difficulties with employment and relationships, instances of harassment, stigmatization, and persistent feelings of vulnerability, all of which they believed were attributable to their status as registered sex offenders. The collateral consequences reported by sex offenders are consistent with those reported for felons in past research. However, the extent to which sex offenders experienced these consequences appears to be greater and more intense. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

    Title: Specialized assessment and treatment of adolescent sex offenders.
    Authors: Fanniff, Amanda M, Becker, Judith
    Source: Aggression & Violent Behavior; May2006, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p265-282, 18p
    Abstract: Abstract: The accurate and appropriate assessment and treatment of juvenile sex offenders is necessary for public safety and for the juvenile's own development. A growing body of literature has reported on specialized assessment instruments and treatment strategies for use with juvenile sex offenders. The current article reviews the evidence regarding the reliability and validity of various assessment instruments and outcome research regarding treatments with this population. With regard to assessment, the authors conclude that the most promising area of specialized assessment is risk assessment. With regard to intervention, the authors argue that despite methodological limitations, research on the treatment of juvenile sex offenders suggests that treatments are successful in creating change. Specifically, cognitive behavioral treatment and mulitsystemic therapy have demonstrated decreased recidivism compared to a control group. Recommendations regarding future research for the area and implications with respect to uniqueness of this population are considered. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR; Copyright 2006 Elsevier]

    Title: Leuprolide acetate is a familiar drug that may modify sex-offender behaviour: the urologist's role
    Authors: Schober, Justine, Byrne, Peter, Kuhn, Phyllis
    Source: BJU International; Apr2006, Vol. 97 Issue 4, p684-686, 3p
    Abstract: The article discusses the popularity of leuprolide acetate (LA) in treating pedophilia patients. In a research report, men using the LA therapy has increased their ability to concentrate on various activities such as work, educational activities and life planning, without disruption by deviant sexual thoughts.

    Title: Olfactory Aversion and Directed Masturbation in the Modification of Deviant Preferences.
    Authors: Marshall, W
    Source: Clinical Case Studies; Feb2006, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p3-14, 12p, 2 graphs
    Document Type: Article
    Abstract: A description is provided of the use of olfactory aversion and directed masturbation with a chronic child molester. Evidence of changes assessed by phallometry demonstrated the effectiveness of these procedures in reducing deviant sexual interests and in enhancing the sexual attractiveness of consensual sex with an adult partner. Attitude change procedures were also employed to facilitate the client's ability to act on these changed sexual preferences. Follow-up data revealed the enduring nature of the changed preferences and there was no evidence of further sexual misconduct. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

    Title: Evaluation of New Jersey's sex offender treatment program at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center: preliminary results.
    Authors: Zgoba, Kristen, Sager, Wayne, Witt, Phillip
    Source: Journal of Psychiatry & Law; Summer2003, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p133-164, 32p, 9 charts
    Abstract: This study examined 10-year sexual and non-sexual offense recidivism for sex offenders released from New Jersey's general prison system and from the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC), New Jersey's correctional facility and treatment center for repetitive-compulsive sexual offenders. The study found that sexual offenders released from the ADTC had significantly lower rates of committing both non-sexual offenses and any offense, compared with the general prison population of sex offenders. For both groups, the 10-year sexual offense reconviction rates were relatively low, 8.6% for the ADTC offenders and 12.7% for the general prison sexual offenders, while reoffense rates for non-sexual offenses were 25.8% and 44.1% for ADTC and general prison sex offenders, respectively. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] I can get a full copy of this article if anyone is interested

    Title: Becoming a success story: how boys who have molested children talk about treatment.
    Authors: LAWSON, L
    Source: Journal of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing; Jun2003, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p259-268, 10p
    Abstract: This grounded theory study was designed to generate a mid-range theory of treatment from the perspective of boys who have molested children and undergone outpatient treatment. Data included information from seven boys’ charts, their written responses to open-ended questions, and audio-taped interviews. The interviews generated a series of statements reflecting the boys’ experiences in treatment, which were analysed by the constant comparative method. The basic social process of treatment was ‘becoming a success story’. The structural elements of becoming a success story included relapse prevention, compliance and decision-making. The boys integrated these structural elements by talking to people they trusted, listening to what people said, and using what people said to help them do what was right. Becoming a success story took place in a context of family and community support. In its current form, this theory of treatment success can be used in practice to monitor progress through treatment. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] I can get a full copy of this article if anyone is interested- this one was a pretty interesting article

    Title: TREATMENT AND SEXUAL OFFENCE RECIDIVISM.
    Authors: Craig, Leam, Browne, Kevin D, Stringer, Ian
    Source: Trauma, Violence & Abuse; Jan2003, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p70-89, 21p
    Abstract: Cognitive-behavioral treatment has emerged as the principle type of sex offender treatment targeting deviant arousal, increasing appropriate sexual desires, modifying distorted thinking, and improving interpersonal coping skills. However, treatment effectiveness in reducing sexual offence recidivism continues to be questioned. This is despite the fact that since 1995, five meta-analytical studies have claimed positive treatment effects in reducing sexual offence recidivism. However, many treatment studies have been criticized for weaknesses in their methodologies. In addition, methodological differences between studies make it difficult to determine treatment efficacy. This review found that since 1995, 19 treatment studies have been published, and a third of the 18 studies demonstrating positive treatment effects used sound methodological techniques. Additional treatment studies are needed that utilize sound methodological principles to establish the most effective way of reducing sexual reoffending. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

    Title: Motivation and Sex Offender Treatment Efficacy: Leading a Horse to Water and Making It Drink?
    Authors: Terry, Karen J.
    Mitchell, Edward W.
    Source: International Journal of Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology; Dec2001, Vol. 45 Issue 6, p663, 10p
    Abstract: The authors conducted a study to analyze the outcome of a cognitive behavioral treatment program for incarcerated sex offenders. Specifically, the study aimed to determine whether motivation to participate in the program had an impact on the reduction of cognitive distortions (CDs). Seven CDs were analyzed in pretreatment and posttreatment assessments, and the treatment was considered effective for offenders who eliminated more than half of the CDs by the end of the program. The results showed comparable success rates for sex offenders with adult victims who were and were not motivated to change their offending behavior. Motivation did have an effect on offenders with child victims, although the reasons for this are unclear and should be explored with a larger sample of offenders. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should"- Jurassic Park

  9. #19
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    Unfortunately I cannot post links to the full articles in most cases; however, these abstracts do support what I have been saying. There is evidence that change can occur, despite the fact that it is not well known to the general public. There are issues with research, I do not deny that, but evidence has shown that it is possible. Further research is necessary to figure out what types of treatment will work for which types of offenders (motivations, age, target, etc). It is inaccurate to say that those who molest or rape are "untreatable", reseach has indeed proven otherwise. What may be more accurate is that we have not yet found a widely successful treatment system- and I strongly believe public response is a contributing factor.
    "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should"- Jurassic Park

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by musi
    however, i also think that sex offenders do not attack just any woman. maybe they somehow feel that this or that particular woman will not fight and easily give in. other than that, i believe in cause and effect, so if something happens to a human, he either was dead scared of it or at some unconcious level wanted it. i am sorry, if it sounds harsh, but that is my point of you.
    It doesn't just sound harsh - it sounds very worrying. I think you can only take the 'subconscious' thing so far. I know people that have been beaten senseless in the street - are you suggesting that on some level they desired this??

    I take your point that some people may appear more vulnerable than others, but this is not the same as 'cause and effect'.

    I don't believe that offenders can be rehabilitated - some people who have deviant urges may be able to control them, those that 'choose' not to will continue to ofend. The idea that they can be 'conditioned' out of their sexual behaviour often seems to be put forward by the same sort of people who would be (rightly) sceptical of the concept of homosexuals being 'reconditioned'.

    I am quite 'left of centre' with my views usually, but I believe that people who committ acts of sexual violence have pretty much put themselves outside of humanity. I was horrified by a recent case, where a man and his girlfriend raped a baby that was a few months old on several occassions and kept a scrap book of their acts. He will be free in a decade. To me he should never be allowed to exist alongside human beings.

    I know there is the 'thin end of the wedge' argument (there are cases of teenage boys being prosecuted for consensual sex with their long term 15 year old girlfriends - they are, obviously, not in the same category) and I am not a fan of draconian laws, but in cases (like the above)were the offence is so abhorrent and proven beyound any doubt, I believe that the person forfeits the right to ever live in human society; I believe 'abhorrent' applies to anyone who forces themselves on another human being, and is particularly relevant to those who abuse children, and sadistic sexual offenders.

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