Thursday, April 12, 2012

One of the Worst Offenders

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               Sex offenders are people that everyone in our community fears. Their acts against others are vicious and they not only leave people with harm done to their body but also their emotions.  It is one of the most heinous crimes anyone can commit.  So what does our government do to protect us from these people?  They actually do quite a bit.  These offenders seem to have more restrictions put on them than most others.  But, that is a positive since they are definitely high risk offenders.

                When an offender is sentenced for a sex crime they receive truth in sentencing, which means that they must serve 85% of their sentence.  They are required to receive an evaluation before they are sentenced and must receive treatment once released.  Most offenders do better in group therapy than in one on one with a therapist.  This is probably because when you have a problem that severe it is helpful for them to be around others with the same problem.  They are also put on mandatory parole once they are released.  Parole/probation officers have to be very good at what they do when they are dealing with this type of an offender because they will seem to be the best client they work with, but they must remember that manipulation is their strong point.

 After they are released from prison they are must register in the community in which they live.  This is referred to as Megan’s Law.  Registration can last up to ten years and they must do it annually, unless otherwise directed.  For those who are deemed to be sexually violent, dangerous, or a predatory must register for the rest of their natural life.  Juvenile sex offenders also have to register but their locations are not released to the public.  Interestingly, if a sex offender comes to Illinois from another state for more than three days they must also register. Their residence has to be 500 ft. away from schools, playground, churches, etc.  The community does not want them anywhere near areas that children are most likely to be present and that is understandable.  Making these offenders register is definitely a good way to keep an eye on them, know where they are, and it definitely lets them know they are being watched.  To see where sex offenders have registered in your area click sex offender registry.

                There are many other restrictions put on sex offenders other than where they can live and the mandatory registration.  Some of the random ones are that they cannot dress up like the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus for any reason.  They are not allowed to put up Halloween decorations nor pass out candy to children.  In most situations they are not allowed to have access to the internet or be on social networking cites such as Facebook.  This one is hard to control due to the fact that many of them can just go to the library and get on a computer, which is another reason why officers have to be on their toes with them.  There are other restrictions that are put on these offenders also.

                So do you all think that there are too many restrictions put on them?  Granted, we have all heard the story about the 18 year old boy that slept with the 17 year old girl and is now labeled as a sex offender.  In my opinion, I believe there should be different “labels” given to these people because their actions are much different than the others and I do not think that these strict of regulations need to apply to them.  At the same time, for the most part, I believe our legislation covers many of the bases that are needed to keep an eye on sex offenders and hopefully keep them from partaking in this behavior ever again.   

Professor Roxanne Castleman


  1. I do believe that there are some harsh penalties for kids who are 18 and sleep with their 17 year old girlfriend, or who get arrested by urinating outside in a park or too close to a school zone. These people should not be sex offenders, but yet a lot of those regulations that are in place affect them in the same way. In no way should someone have to register as a sex offender for urinating in a park. Yes they should get in trouble for that but being a part of the sex offender database goes too far. But for sexual predators, I believe that the regulations in place are perfect. Parents should know if there is a sexual predator in their backyard or on the same street.

  2. I think that the regulations that are placed on sex offenders are absolutely fair and correct. Except I believe that 18 year olds should not be punished for having sex with their 17 or 16 year old girlfriend or boyfriend. Different labels need to be enacted on different offenders so we know exactly who is dangerous and who isn't.

  3. I think there are a lot of restrictions made on sex offenders. I think it’s a catch all, which seems like a good idea, but it isn’t fair to some people who are deemed a sex offender. It is a label they will have to live with for the rest of their lives and I think the law needs to be changed. It is hard to draw the line on where, but it should be considered. And I never knew that if a sex offender comes to Illinois for more then three days they have to tell the police. That’s pretty interesting.

  4. I think we have a lot of restrictions on sex offenders. and i agree with all the restrictions that we place on them. mostly because this is a crime that has a very high rate of recidivism and cannot be fixed from this disease. i do think that a certain amount of discretion should be used in the courts in cases of an 18 year old sleeping with a 16 year old. very well written article brought up somethings i was unaware of.

  5. I think that sex offenses need to be examined closely, because I dont think that an 18 year old should be prosecuted for having sex with their partner of one year younger. Discretion is key in this sensitive area and should be valued above everything else.

  6. I am currently taking a sex offenders class, 337. It has offered so much insight into these types of offenders. I have heard horrible stories of sex offenders abusing their own children, men luring young girls and raping them. The most important thing I have learned is to educate myself and the people around. Being naive about a situation like this can only cause another child to be victimized. I don't think I have learned to accept what these people do but I am not so quick to label them as monsters. The thing that you mentioned in this blog that I liked was the fact that the sex offender next door could be the seventeen year old who slept with his sixteen year old girlfriend. In class I have heard about juvenile sex offenders who may have sent a nude pic to another person's phone so they were charged with child pornography. However I realize that these are not the cases you are most likely talking about. Sex offenders have so many restrictions put on them so they do not offend. Rehabilitation is also important when trying to treat these offenders. None of this can happen if the sex offender does not acknowledge the magnitude of what he or she has done. At times the victims in these crimes are overlooked because people are so busy concentrating on the offender.