Sex crimes is a serious problem in the United States. The legal system is lenient with sex criminals, punishing them with insufficiently brief prison sentences that are further abbreviated by the option of parole. Some sex offenders are released back into society after serving as little as one fourth of their prison-time. Recidivism is extremely high among sexual predators; 75% are convicted more than once for sexually abusing young people. Sex offenders commit sexual assault for a variety of reasons. Some rape children because of similar instances of abuse in their own childhoods. Some view rape as a way to gain power over another individual. Some of these criminals act purely on sexual desires. No matter what causes these heinous criminals to commit their crime, their crimes are inexcusable. Unfortunately, utilizing prison as a punishment for sex offenders creates only a temporary fix for the issue of sexual assault and other resolutions need to be investigated to prevent these predators from violating another person.
Sexual predators repeating their crimes is no surprise to the justice system or anyone else. Sex offenders are among the highest reoccurring offense population in the United States probation system. The number of prisoners sentenced for violent sexual assault other than rape increased an average of nearly 15%. That's faster than any other category of violent and non-violent crimes except drug trafficking. It's extremely alarming to me considering there is not a good enough deterrent for these predators to not act on their urges. They are not being put away for life and there is a slim to none chance of rehabilitation for them. There are some people who believe that chemical castration is the best, and really the only option to prevent repeat offenses.
Alternative options for the punishment of sex offenders are being explored in the status quo. Scientists have observed the link between testosterone and aggression and concluded that high levels of testosterone correspond with increased violent and aggressive behavior in men. "It is the reason that stallions are high strung and impossible to train, the reason male dogs become vicious and start to bite people. It's why boys take chances and chase girls, why they drive too fast and deliberately start fights. In violent criminals, these tendencies are exaggerated and carried to extremes".(Langevin, Wright & Handy, 1990) In an effort to stop male pedophiles, male child molesters have the option of being chemically castrated in some states. "Chemical castration is a term used to describe treatment with a drug called Depo-Provera that, when given to men, acts on the brain to inhibit hormones that stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone".(Langevin, Wright & Handy, 1990) Depo-Provera is a common birth control pill that containing a synthetic version of the female hormone progesterone. Advocates of chemical castration hope that injections of Depo-Provera will prevent men from molesting children.
However, some experts argue that Depo-Provera is ineffective and will not prevent molestation. Forced castration may have the adverse affect of angering a criminal, increasing his violent tendencies and lead to additional sexual abuse. Additionally, Depo-Provera is reversible. Therefore, unless injections are mandatory and monitored, pedophiles will not be "cured" by the drug therapy. The child molester will have renewed sexual fantasies and high levels of testosterone if the injections are discontinued. Joseph Frank Smith, a convicted child molester, became an advocate for chemical castration after undergoing the therapy in the 1980s. Smith stopped using the injections in 1989. In 1999, he was convicted for molesting a five-year old girl and immediately returned to prison. Depo-Provera also has caused side effects in some men "including depression, fatigue, diabetes and blood clots". Chemical castration may cause some detrimental effects in child...
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