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Robert Winner

TEDCRED 100+

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Housing sex offenders

The latest "cause craze" is that the states are not doing enough to find housing for sex offenders.

There are areas that sex offenders cannot live and they cannot live within 1000 feet of a school. As they must register and file a address this presents a problem for those who cannot find a place to live. Some claim a intersection as their home of record and live the homeless life. Some groups are demanding that the states develop a system for housing convicted sex offenders.

Is this the responsibility of a state?

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    Gail . 50+

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    Dec 9 2012: It would be far less expensive if male sex offenders were castrated and then temporarily jailed until their testosterone levels were gone, hence their sex drive. (Occasional blood tests could be required to prove that no self-medicating hormones are being taken). I don't know of a ready treatment for the few but real female sex offenders.
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      Dec 9 2012: It would be even cheaper to summarily execute them.

      Or we could, you know, put forth some modicum of effort to rehabilitate them.
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        Dec 10 2012: According to a study done at Harvard, the equivalent of castration (drugs to block the hormones) is, in conjunction with therapy, the only treatment known, but even then recidivism rates range from 35-50%. No one knows how high it is if the perpetrator refuses therapy or treatment.

        Bottom line, there is no "rehabilitation" known to us at this time. My suggestion merely accomplishes the the same effect as current treatment. Pedophiles are now chemically castrated - meaning that they take pills to block the hormones. Castration leaves no option to forget to take a pill.

        Castration does not deny the ability to have sex. It reduces the impulse (obsession) so that pedophilia is more manageable and it gives the perpetrator time to consider other ways to deal with impulses.

        It is not adequately successful, because, like a serial killer, once you have crossed the line from fantasizing to acting out, there seems to be no way to retrace those steps at present. There IS more than a modicum of effort put to helping those who choose to be helped. There are too many who do not choose to be helped.

        Not being a pedophile or a man, I can't say whether a person convicted of pedophilia or incest with a minor would choose castration over long-term imprisonment. Seeing as pedophilia increases with age, doesn't jailing them until they are older seem contradictory?
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          Dec 11 2012: Jail won't work, as the overall recidivism rate is nearly 70% at three years after initial release, according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics; compare that to other developed countries, and it becomes apparent that we are less than perfect. Unfortunately, you are correct about the lack of effective rehabilitation, yet those same statistics suggest that current rehab efforts are insufficient. Even ignoring any moral implications of forcibly castrating offenders, it cannot change their psychology, and as such a major component of the problem ends up being ignored. That paper admits that "Outcomes are better when treatment combines psychotherapy and medication." (i.e. "chemical castration"), which is more or less my point; that there need to be greater efforts toward rehabilitation, since we seem to be so deficient at it.
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      Dec 10 2012: The vast majority of violent sex offenders aren't motivated by sex drive. They are motivated by an urge to dominate physically.

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