This irritates me to no end.
Digg – State wants special car plates for sex offenders
Let us have a little thought experiment here. We’re going to assume that Law and Order, Crime and Punishment is about protection. We have laws to protect our citizens from each other, and outsiders. Laws like, don’t kill each other.
Now assuming thats true, you can view prison time in one of two ways. Either, you believe in rehabilitation and think that after some time in jail he’ll come out a new man/woman/toaster, or you don’t, and believe that prison is good for keeping dangerous people away from the rest of us.
If you believe in rehabilitation, then you believe that when they come out, they are rehabilitated. They’re better. Not going to do it again. In which case, there is no reason for sex offender roll’s, fluro green license plates, or marks of Cain tattooed on their foreheads.
You only need those things if you believe theres a chance they’ll reoffend. And if you believe that they might reoffend, then you believe they might not really be rehabilitated. In other words, it’s all a load of crap, they may or may not be as dangerous as they were when they went in, but hey, lets roll the dice and see who gets hurt next time.
If you dont believe in rehabilitation, then you need to realise that they are just as dangerous when they come out, as when they went in. In other words, DONT LET THEM OUT.
If we’re going to spend the rest of their lives making them miserable for what they did, then why not leave them in jail and not pretend like they have some hope of a normal life.
The same goes for people who believe crime and punishment is like a transaction. You committed crime x, you owe y years in jail. If this is the case, they’ve paid their due and deserve to be left alone.
I’m not standing up for sex offenders. The idea of violence against women is abhorrent to me, and even more so the idea of people taking advantage of children. I don’t think these people should ever be let out. But if we are going to let them out we need to be consistent.
All these excess measures really mean that we don’t trust them not to reoffend. To rape again, abuse again or molest again. If we honestly think they will, then we should keep them away from people they might hurt, not try and “shame” them out of it.
Hell, they’re probably already ashamed of themselves. Those that aren’t probably aren’t going to care that you think they should be. They’ll just get angry, bitter, and violent.
This is even more important in a world where the government is charging fifteen year olds with molestation for fooling around with their same-age partners. A charge like that sticks for life, and no-one ever asks to find out what the circumstances were.