Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Civil Confinement Done

Newsday SpinCycle

Some food for thought do you reconcile a person's right for a new start vs a Small's child's right to be free of sexual abuse??? andy

The much touted civil confinement bill for sex offenders was passed today, and officially becomes part of the litany of great and fast gridlock-breaking accomplishments recited by supporters of Gov. Spitzer.
Stuck for a decade before he took office, it certainly qualifies for that list. But its passage coincided with the
finale of a three-part New York Times series which nicely refreshed much previous journalism that has focused on the futility, in the real world, of efforts to treat sex offenders.
So just as New York passes a bill mandating an assessment of whether offenders are likely to reoffend and the costly confinement and treatment of those who are, we are reminded that many smart people think it is impossible to assess who will reoffend, and impossible to affect the likelihood that they will reoffend through treatment. If they are right, the future will include complaints of injustice from those who are confined, and rage from the public when one who is released reoffends.
Which raises a question: Will history record that New York didn't do this for ten years because of a messed-up political culture in Albany that Spitzer reformed? Or that New York didn't do it for ten years because it was a bad idea that Spitzer did a fabulous job of turning into law?

There are many reasons why the civil confinement bill should not have become law. To name a few...

1) Cost
2) Offenders and predators may now choose murder to silence their victims and avoid civil confinement
3) There is not enough research nor are there enough 'good' programs in place to 'cure' a sex offender - if our current rehab offerings in prison are any indication, sex offenders will never receive necessary services
4) Housing many deviants in one locale will not alleivate deviant behavior, and in fact, may have the opposite effect
5) It only addresses the issue after the fact - does nothing to prevent sexual predators from being created which is the real issue

I was hoping Mr. Spitzer would see through this plan, and really gain an understanding of the problem. We already have penalties in place - let's enforce them and divert the money that civil confinement will cost to prevention programs. Alas! What is done is done! I sincerely hope Mr. Spitzer does not make another HUGE mistake like this. I wonder who he and his staff have been taling to??? He should talk to survivors.

In any case,it will be interesting in a few years to look back on this...I hope we laugh! But I fear tomorrow we will be crying...
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