Wednesday, March 23, 2005

On The Mark -- Child Predators

When I first heard the story about the 9-year-old abducted (now murdered) girl (Jessica) in Florida, my first reaction was, "You should have been home, dad." Even today, I don't blame him but, still, he should have been home.

What's become more obvious, though, is that the situation with child predators who have been released from prison is out of control. The problem in Florida is only a microcosm of what's happening across the country. While I casually paid attention to news reports of neighborhoods that were up in arms when a convicted child predator had moved in after being released from prison, it never really affected me, probably because I don't have kids (yet).

But this offender in Florida had been arrested 23 times and released several times for good behavior or because the jails were too full. Good behavior! How can that be possible from someone who had been arrested 23 times? Even more serious, though, is how parole officers and others lost track of him, most likely due to budget issues.

I wish Congress would convene in emergency sessions, that the President would fly in from his ranch on a Sunday, to create and sign legislation to get this problem under control. How many kids need to be sexually molested and killed?

Jessica was only one of thousands of kids who have disappeared. Let's figure out a way to reduce the odds of these acts of violence against our children -- start with known predators.


Chandira said...

Robert counsels sex addicts and offenders. They get sent to him by the courts. He sees a variety of people, some I consider to be real freaks, who have no excuse, and some people who just need a different perspective.
One thing is clear to me though, they ALL have sufferend abuse in their own past, some pretty horrific, I could share a few tales, but the answer lies in healing that trauma in them. They are victims themselves, of parents, relatives, prisons, religion, legal systems, etc. How to break that circle? That's what we should be looking at.
Robert's work with them is to break that cycle of shame, which they ALL feel, and to treat these people like human beings, and gradually, though kindness, the can face what they're up to. It takes a lot of time, trust, serious ground rules and conditions, and compassion. But it works.
In 15 years, he's only had a few reoffenders.
Common sense, yes, 23 times, that person needs serious help. He should not be allowed into situations where he could reoffend. Robert does his best to make sure that happens for his clients, and that they are treated in a straight and appropriate manner, by everybody.

Anonymous said...

The Father spent the night with his girlfriend at her house. His daughter was supposedly safe in her own house with her grandparents. What if he was on an overnight business trip instead? It doesn't matter, he left her in the loving care of her grandparents. The only person to blame is the sicko who planned and watched her and snuck her out of her own bed so he could satisfy his disgusting lust.

On The Mark said...

Chandira -- I hope that Robert continues to have success. It sounds like he's good at his job. My main issue is keeping better track of them once they're released.

Anonymous -- I agree that the father isn't to blame. However, when I first saw the story I couldn't help but wonder how nights a week he was spending at his girlfriend's house. I was just revealing what my gut reaction was when I first heard the story. Clearly, the creep is the predator.

Anonymous said...

Many people felt as you did, but we should be able to leave our children with people we trust in a safe place and not think twice about it. This happened a few years ago with another little girl, snatched right out of her bed while her parents slept down the hall. I also believe once a child molester always a child molester, and we need a better system of keeping track of them when they are released from prison. They will do it again.

The Misanthrope said...

I am just posing a question that has nothing to do with my beliefs.

If a molester is convicted and serves his time is he not a free man? If yes, why does he have to continue to do time after prison by having his whereabouts revealed? Isn't that an invasion of his privacy, since he has paid his debt to society? So, are we really sentencing him to life?

On The Mark said...

Misanthrope -- You ask good questions. But I think there are certain crimes that, if you commit them, you should be subject to lifetime scrutiny or observation. Child sex crimes should certainly be one of them. If not, then they should get life in prison. Let's face it, if you molest a child, you've taken their life away from them, it will never be the same, so there should be equal punishment.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100% On the Mark.

B2 said...

Count me in -- lock them up and throw away the key. Predators such as these that are proven to be recidivist should not be allowed out just because they've done some time -- that doesn't give them the right to have another go at their evil. Lifetime punishment for such a heinpous crime doesn't seem like overkill at all -- and I'd be fine if they stayed in a small prison cell with only bread and water for the rest of their lives, instead of being released back onto the streets.

Chandira said...

Anonymous, not all people reoffend! Not if they are recieving quality treatment. That means care, compassion, and strict rules of cinduct, based on trust-building.
A lot do, but I know an offender, who was BADLY abused as a child himslef by his father and uncle, and he is somebody I would trust. I've heard his confession about what he did. He gets it. He knows how fucked up and wrong it was.
You just don't leave people like him alone with your kids, obviously, but you do give them the right to a decent human lifestyle.
I don't know how you judge the majority, but he is a special case,and shoudl e allowed that right. He gets all sorts of rights denied him anyway, he has to declare his status to all sorts of people, and can't find housing or employment, without serious help.
He is at heart, a nice guy.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry the offender you speak about had such a hard life when he was younger, but does that give him the right to do unto another child what was done to him? I he is such a "nice guy" why did he do something that was so wrong, something that he knew from personal experience would ultimately destroy another child's life? You say you trust him, but at the same time you say he shouldn't be left alone with kids. He is going to come into contact with kids in hundreds of situations for the rest of his life. Who is going to be watching him? I'm sure most of them hate what they have done, they should, and I don't feel sorry for them.