Sex Offender Legislation
Sex Offender Legislation
Sex Offender Legislation is a law requiring every sex offender to register himself/herself to the local authorities at his/her residence. This allows the government and authorities at the state level to watch over the sex offenders and their activities in the community (Blokland & Lussier, 2015). The authorities also inform the community about the sex offenders in their residence to ensure the community keep track and are aware of the sex offenders to avoid the released sex offenders from recidivism once they have been released from the correction facilities (Blokland & Lussier, 2015). Sex offenders who have registered may be restricted to certain jurisdictions including certain social places and facilities. Here in the United States, the registry of sex offenders is available to the public which is not so in other countries where the registry of sex offenders is only available to government authorities (Blokland & Lussier, 2015).
How Sex Offender Legislation Might Influence Recidivism and/or Reintegration into the Community
Through availing information of sex offenders to the public, the community becomes aware of the sexual offender becoming cautious of the individual (Wright, 2015). This will result to the community judging the sex offenders by their past behavior and using it to predict future behavior, which may give wrong results and assumptions of the reformed sex offenders (Wright, 2015). This may lead to the sex offenders fall back to the expectations of the public. The public should instead support the reformed sex offenders to have a complete behavior change.
The sex offender legislation does not prevent sex offenders from recidivism. This legislation avails information about the sex offenders to the public but does not address the problem affecting the sex offender (Wright, 2015). A number of underlying factors prompt an individual to commit a crime and the use of public registries does not address the issue. This may result to the sex offenders inventing new ways to hide their identity or commit the crime at night when no one can be able to recognize them (Wright, 2015). Sex offenders are not all the same and have diverse backgrounds and personalities and this regulation may not have a positive impact to all of them (Wright, 2015).
The public registries of the sex offenders play only the role, which is informing the public about the sex offenders but does not address the sex offenders personally about their behaviors (Wright, 2015). The public cannot do anything to help the sex offenders rather than avoiding them. This cannot impact the sex offenders positively as many get hate and judgments from the public which worsens their behaviors. Sex offender registries do not reduce recidivism and sexual crimes cannot be reduced by public registries but instead, effective methods should be implemented which have been proven to work and focus more on the sex offenders instead of the public (Wright, 2015).
Alternatives to the Current Sex Offender Legislation for Managing Sex Offenders
Having a justice system that aims at reforming and not punishing offenders will help in managing sex offenders (Laws, 2016). The justice system of the United States responds to crime by approaches, which aim at punishing the crime offenders but does not focus on how to restore and support the crime offender to good behavior (Laws, 2016). Approaches that can be implemented include engaging with the crime offenders so that they can understand the consequences of their crimes and the punishments to those crimes (Laws, 2016). The system should also encourage reconciliation between the offender and the victim to reduce the guiltiness level of the offenders, and the offenders should be educated about the importance of observing the law and maintaining a constructive behavior during their time in the corrective facility (Laws, 2016).
The justice system and the government authorities should focus on the behavior of the offender and consider what led the individual to commit such an offence, as these underlying factors are what influence the offenders to commit such crimes (Laws, 2016). The federal and the state governments can implement community-based programs, which support treatment of sex offenders (Laws, 2016). The governments can implement treatment strategies that address the underlying factors linked to sexual offenses and behavior problems of the sex offenders. These programs will reduce the risk of sexual offenses to the public since the sex offenders are integrated back to the community after their correction period. Programs that register, monitor, and control the sex offenders can be implemented (Laws, 2016).
The sex offender legislation has played a major role in the sex offender management but has not been effective enough in the management of sex offenders. This is because the legislation does not focus on the sex offenders but just on providing the public with information about the sex offenders (Wright, 2015). When incarcerated sex offenders return to their communities, they should be supported to have a positive behavior as they have already been punished for the crime they committed. Using public registries will lead to more discrimination from the public, which can affect any positive behavior change they could have gained at the correction facilities (Wright, 2015). For the sex offender legislation to be effective, it can integrate other strategies to the system that focus to positively impact the sex offenders.
Blokland, A. A. J., & Lussier, P. (2015). Sex Offenders: A Criminal Career Approach. New Jersey: Wiley.
Laws, D. R. (2016). Social Control of Sex Offenders: A Cultural History. London : Palgrave Macmillan UK : Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan
Wright, R. G. (2015). Sex offender laws: Failed policies, new directions. New York: Springer Publishing Company.