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Recidivism of Sex offenders

Sex offenders have been a serious problem for our legal system at all levels, not to mention those who have been their victims. There are 43,000 inmates in prison for sexual offenses while eachyear in this country over 510,000 children are sexually assaulted(Oakes 99). The latter statistic, inits context, does not convey the severity of the situation. Each year 510,000 children have theirchildhood’s destroyed, possibly on more than one occasion, and are faced with dealing with theassault for the rest of their lives. Sadly, many of those assaults are perpetrated by people whohave already been through the correctional system only to victimize again. Sex offenders, as aclass of criminals, are nine times more likely to repeat their crimes(Oakes 99). This presents aproblem for the public, as potential victims, and the legal system which is entrusted by the publicfor protection. It would be irresponsible for the legal system to ignore the criminal class of sexoffenders, for they are subject to a recurring physiological urge that requires the use of effectiverestraints that would curb the habitual repetition of episodes producing the harmful consequencesto the public(Schopf 95). In light of this realization, steps beyond treatment have been taken toreduce the recidivism rate of sex offenders. Notification laws, special supervising techniques byparole officers, and both surgical and chemical castration are techniques used in various forms inthis country and abroad with success. However, notification laws and both forms of castrationshave not come about without criticism on constitutional grounds. Any criticism should take intoaccount the extraordinary recidivism rates found only in the criminal class of the sex offender. A study found in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence by Michael C. Seto and Howard E.Barbaree looked at 224 sex offenders. Of those men, 33 committed a new offense of some kindfor a general recidivism ra...

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