I read a really interesting article on juvenile sex offenders today. Our judicial system for these kids is currently set up to punish them multiple times for the same crime and pressure them to reoffend. For instance, one eleven year old boy (Johnnie) touched his four year old’s sisters vagina and asked her to perform oral sex on him. His mother was understandably upset by this and called the police. The boy was convicted of a sex crime and sent to a residential therapy program where he remodeled himself.
However, unlike other juvenile offenses, his record will not be sealed. His name, a photograph, his address and details of his crime are posted on a sex offender registry website for the rest of his life. Johnnie was considered rehabilitated and released after 2 years in the program and went back to school. At first, everything was great and he was making friends and was able to try to get his life back on track as a normal kid. One day he came into school and kids were pointing and laughing at him and he found out that one girls mother had found him on a sex offender website. Now he has no friends and is continually harassed and threatened at school. Does this benefit society? This kid now will have many more problems to deal with the rest of his life- how will he make friends? how will he go to school? how will he get a job? I know what you’re thinking.. same thing I am- “He deserves it as a sex offender”. But do you think being marginalized by society will make him more or less likely to reoffend? The sex offender registry system also reeks of double jeopardy (being punished twice for the same crime), but that is a separate issue.
This is a difficult topic and I’m not sure that I know the best way… though I’ve always thought that all adult sex offenders should be castrated as a part of their sentence. Anybody else have opinions on the subject?