Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Public Sex Offenders Register Will Not Protect Children

Sensible Sentencing Debate Told “Public Sex Offenders Register Will Not Protect Our Children”

17th July 2014

“Criminal justice professionals invited to speak at the Sensible Sentencing Trust debate to launch a campaign for the establishment of a Public Sex Offenders Register, told the audience that such a register will do more harm than good” said Kim Workman, spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment. “We were grateful for the opportunity to speak, but our message was clear and unequivocal – don’t go there”.

The debate is reported in Rethinking’s latest blog “Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse – or Insisting on the ‘Right to ‘Know’? The Great Public Sex Offender Register Debate” The debate had a strong Public Register advocate in Derryn Hinch, the well- known Australian broadcaster.

But others were strongly against the idea. DrGwenda Willis, a clinical psychologist and specialist in the prevention of sexual offending said that advocates for the idea had focused on the ‘right to know’ who the offenders are, rather than on strategies to protect children. “The overwhelming majority of studies find no differences in rates of reoffending where public registers have been introduced. They can actually increase the risk of future harm through blocking ex-offenders’ access to stable housing and employment. Research shows that ex-offenders without somewhere to live, without people to be accountable to, and without employment opportunities are at a heightened risk of reoffending.”

Ian Tyler, a retired UK detective chief inspector,who helped found the UK’s Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre, and is an expert in the investigation of childsex rings, agreed. In a recent Listener article he said “An open register, I believe, would lead to mayhem somewhere down the line … I think it would lead to some cases of vigilantism, without a shadow of a doubt.”

Kim Workman took the view that the focus and resources should be directed toward primary prevention strategies, similar to the “It’s Not OK” campaign. “There are three things we know about sex offenders that distinguish them from other offenders. First, 90% of sex offenders will not be on the register, because they have not been reported – a statistic identical to people who commit domestic violence. Second, unlike violent offenders, about 80% of sex offenders in prison have no previous sex offender convictions. So they will not have been on the register at the time they were arrested. Third, and unlike most other offenders, sex offenders respond extremely well to treatment programmes; of those treated offenders, only about 7% are likely to reoffend, particularly if their offending is against people they know. In other words about 75% of those on the register are very unlikely to reoffend. The register has a further disadvantage – families who have a sex offender in their midst, will be even less likely to report them to the Police, for fear of having the offender and the family, being exposed to public shame and ridicule.

Rethinking has proposed a different approach to reducing child sex abuse. “The goals for the BPS Reducing Crime and Reoffending strategy are up for review at the end of the year. Rather than have a goal which directs the Justice Sector to reduce reported child abuse, they should be directed to:
1. Increase by 20%, the number of child sex offenders, who are reported as offending for the 1st time, by 2020.
2. Increase by 20% the number of previously unknown sex offenders, who seek funded support and treatment for their offending, by 2020.

Myths and Facts About Sex Offenders: http://www.rethinking.org.nz/assets/GeneralPDF/myth_fact.pdf

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On War Crimes And The Afghan Insurgency

Truly, with friends like former defence Minster Wayne Mapp, the SAS does not need enemies. At the very least, the Hit and Run book has raised the possibility that the New Zealand SAS committed war crimes in the attack they led in Afghnistan upon the villages of Naik and Khak Khuday Dad...

Mapp’s attempted defence of the SAS on RNZ this morning unintentionally indicated that collective punishment was baked into the planning exercise for the raid, and also into how the raid proceeded on the ground. More>>

 

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

Productivity Commission: New Models Of Tertiary Education Are Coming

The report is a broad-ranging inquiry into how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to emerging trends in technology and the internationalisation of education, and changes in the structure of the population, and the skills needed in the economy and society... More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Water Everywhere

Monday's Post-Cabinet press conference focused on water, with the Prime Minister fielding questions about the possibility pricing water taken for export. Mr English said the government was directing their water allocation technical advisory group to include export water in considerations. More>>

ALSO:

Kim Workman: Reality Check Needed For Public Service Reoffending Target

Reducing the prison population results in a reduction in re-offending. Shortening sentences reduces reoffending... More>>

ALSO:

PSA: Minister Should Stop Dodging On Salisbury School

"The decision around the future of Salisbury School has been overdue for months, and the ambiguity is leaving parents, staff and students in limbo. It’s time the Minister stopped hiding, muddying the waters and being dishonest about her Ministry’s intentions," says Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretary. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news