I donít like to be negative and to think that people cannot change, but I think it is a rare case when someone decides to turn their life around, move in a different direction and actually takes the time and effort to make the change and stick with it.
Iíve always been an optimist, and I like to believe that people are basically good, and the rare few who enjoy hurting others will get what is coming to them, but every time I hear about someone hurting a child or murdering someone over a minuscule difference of opinion, it becomes harder and harder to see the good in the world.
In our justice system, it seems that the laws were written while banking on the fact that those convicted of a crime are going to leave incarceration a new person, ready and willing to change and be a better person. If you kill someone, you might end up in a cell for a while, but rape, child molestation and abuse, those are crimes that generally earn you far less time, and youíre free to try your hand again. Iím sure there are some cases when people see the error of their ways and decide to change, but in the case of sexual offenders, I think the change is more difficult than for other convicts and it is even harder to follow.
I know that statistics show the recidivism rate for sex offenders is only about 5.3 percent, but I wonder if that is because so few are re-offending, or if it is because they have learned how to do it without getting caught. We all learn from our mistakes, so maybe these individuals are just learning what mistakes they made the first time and how to be sneakier the second time.
The police arenít to blame, they can only enforce and carry out the laws that are already in existence, but why do the laws treat sex offenses, especially those perpetrated on children, like the common cold of felonies.
As a country, we need to teach the lesson that these things are not acceptable. Not with a slap on the wrist and a name on a list, but with a punishment fitting to the crime. (I wonít say what I think that punishment is, because it might make you question my objectivity.)
The victim of a sexual assault is not going to be able to get their normal life back in a couple of years. They are forever change. Why should the person responsible for that be given the luxury of returning to normalcy?