Myth-Driven State Policy: An International Perspective of Recidivism and Incurability of Pedophile Offenders
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INTRODUCTION|In many countries, state policy regarding pedophile offenders has become driven by media coverage of particularly heinous, yet rare, sex offender cases. This tends to evoke an emotional and disproportional response, which does not necessarily provide greater protection to society. In a twenty-four-hour news cycle, citizens are deluged with reports of the most disturbing nature. These high-profile cases suggest that traditional legal approaches do not work and that children are under constant threat. This results in ever more impassioned calls for reform, usually in the shape of harsher punishment and greater postincarceration restraint of offenders. In some jurisdictions this has resulted, inter alia, in such initiatives as tougher sentencing, open-access sex offender registers, mandatory chemical castration, and indefinite (post-incarceration) mental commitment. In jurisdictions where these responses have not yet been implemented, there is robust debate calling for tougher measures and policy makers are currently scrutinizing these initiatives. There is a clear trend toward more punitive and less rehabilitative responses. Some of these practices have dubious human rights implications. Human rights considerations aside; an anterior question is whether these initiatives are of benefit to society at all or whether they are merely exacerbating the problem.
47 Creighton L. Rev. 247(2013-2014)
Creighton University School of Law