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Not all Sex Offenders are Homicidal Maniacs

April 19, 2005 (PRWEB)

Despite recent news reports that make it seem like a common occurrence, according to a recent report by the US Department of Justice, only a tiny minority [just 0.5%] of all sex offenders re-offend and commit murder.

The recent sensational cases, such as the murders of Jessica Lunsford, Jetseta Gage and Sara Lunde have served to further confuse the public and fan the flames of hysteria without educating the public as to the differences in sex crime categories or offenders who commit them, or the real recidivism rates of sexual offenders.

Most people would be very shocked to find out that the overall recidivism rate, i.e., committing a new separate sex crime is in the 5-10% range, well below any other category of crime. Fortunately, the incidence of registered sex offenders re-offending violently is very, very rare, as the figures from the US Justice Department point out.

A policy implication from Predictors of sexual recidivism: An updated meta-analysis. Hanson, R.K., & Morton-Bourgon, K. (2004) Ottawa: Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada:

"Not all sexual offenders should be treated the same. Given the identifiable differences in sexual offenders' recidivism risk, policies applied equally to all sexual offenders will waste resources on low risk offenders while not directing enough attention to high-risk offenders."

This and a large number of other research studies and documents support the position of SOhopeful International: Focusing on the majority of offenders who are non-violent, usually one-time offenders takes away attention, resources and public funds from the small core of offenders who are violent and high-risk. It is those non-violent, low-risk offenders who fulfill their registration requirement those in the small highest-risk group do not.

If the agencies and programs that register, monitor, and track sex offenders were modified to focus their attention on those few with criminal histories, violent offenses and a number of clear factors that indicate the offender is high-risk, it would greatly reduce these instances of offenders who "slip through the cracks" to commit heinous crimes such as murder of a child.

There are many well-intentioned proposals currently being proffered that would enact blanket restrictions on all sex offenders, regardless of risk level, progress in treatment or in society, and regardless of the amount of time since their offense. This is a disservice to the public and will lessen public safety. These proposals feel good and sound good, but experience has shown that broadening definitions and restrictions depletes precious resources of law enforcement and probation offices, which are exactly how these few high-risk offenders are able to commit egregious crimes.

SoHopeful.org is firmly for protecting the public and especially children. We support measures that realign the system to focus the efforts on the dangerous few, as the system was intended to do when it was designed and initially implemented.

Please visit www.sohopeful.org/forum/ to view the large number of documents in our Library showing the many experts and agencies whose research objectively supports the position that is outlined above.

Stop by www.sohopeful.org  today to find out the differences between types of sexual offenders and the definitions of "predator" "pedophile" and "re-offense" and safety tips to help keep yourself and your children safe.

SOHOPEFUL INTERNATIONAL, INC. Carolyn 212-714-7061

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