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

 

Plain Packs Plan: Gordon Campbell On Tobacco Politicking (And The TPP Death Watch)

Has Act leader David Seymour got the easiest job in the world, or what? Roll out of bed, turn on the radio and hmm…there do seem to be a lot of problems out there in the world. Must think of something. And so it came to pass that this morning, David Seymour took up his sword and shield to fight for a world that’s about to be denied the rich and vibrant beauty of tobacco advertising. More>>

ALSO:

.


RECENT TPP MEETING:

Professor Ian Shirley: The Budget That Failed Auckland

The 2016 budget offered Auckland nothing in the way of vision or hope and it continued the National Government’s threats against the Auckland Council. Threatening the Council with over-riding its democratic processes if it fails to release land for housing is a bullying tactic aimed at diverting attention away from the fundamental problems with housing in the region. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post Cab Presser: Budgets, Trusts And Pacific Diplomacy

Today Prime Minister John Key summarised last week’s budget and provided further detail about his upcoming trip to Fiji. He said that there has been “plenty going on” in the last couple of weeks and emphasised the need for Auckland council to facilitate more housing supply. More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke: A Failure Of Measurement: Inside The Budget Lock-Up

Shortly after the embargo lifted at 2pm news organisations started filing reports claiming that health, and to a lesser extent housing and education, were the ‘big winners’ out of the Budget. It failed to take into account the fact that in most cases the apparent increases were in fact cuts. Because of the twin effects of inflation and population. More>>

ALSO:

DOCtored Figures: Minister Clarifies DOC Budget

“Commentators have overlooked the fact $20.7m of that perceived shortfall is new funding for Battle for our Birds 2016, provided for in last week’s Budget...” DOC also has approval in principle to carry over a further $20m to 16/17 due to unexpected delays in a number of projects. More>>

ALSO:

For The Birds: Gordon Campbell On The Budget

Budgies, so their Wikipedia page says, are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, and ability to mimic human speech. Which is a reasonably good description of Finance Minister Bill English eighth Budget. . More>>

Max Rashbrooke On The 2016 Budget

The best label for this year’s announcement by Bill English might be the ‘Bare Minimum Budget’. It does the bare minimum to defuse potential political damage in a range of areas – homelessness and health are prime among them – but almost nothing to address the country’s most deep-rooted, systemic social problems. Indeed the Budget hints that these problems may get worse. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news