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Paradigm Shift in Penology: Rehabilitation of Sex Offenders - Essay Example

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Society has been continually beset by a great number of criminal offenses that it needs to manage, if not eradicate entirely. This immense burden encompasses numerous kinds and gravities of legal violations…
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Paradigm Shift in Penology: Rehabilitation of Sex Offenders
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Download file to see previous pages Society has been continually beset by a great number of criminal offenses that it needs to manage, if not eradicate entirely. This immense burden encompasses numerous kinds and gravities of legal violations. One very serious aspect and a growing concern for most government and judicial authorities, health practitioners, non-government agencies and the public in general is the rise of sex crimes. Next to substance abusers, sex criminals are the rapidly-increasing part of prison populations. Sex offenders, irrefutably, who are considered a looming threat to communities, entailed to be dealt with properly to maintain law and order, ensure peace and security in society. Whether these criminals should just be locked up in jail or should only receive rehabilitative treatment became a confounding issue among legal professionals and criminologists, and penologists in particular. The stand of this author is inclined towards the modern approach, research-based and humanitarian grounds of penology which is the rehabilitation of sex offenders. Reinterpreting Punishment In a world where barbaric ways and draconian approaches are shunned, constitutional provisions of most countries and states prohibit any form of ‘cruel and unusual’ punishments. Although this does not outlaw capital punishment or death penalty, the emphasis on humane and ethical considerations cannot be downplayed (Natarajan, 2010). Cognizant of the legal foundation that the main objective of punishment is not only to prevent criminals from committing similar offences in order to protect society but also to reform them, a great deal of penologists witnessed and even advocated for the emergence of the reformative and rehabilitative approach in the management of criminals. Bases from Psychology The Psychoanalytic Theory of Sigmund Freud upholds the view that criminality is practically dependent upon the workings of the person’s id, ego and superego (Mitchell & Black, 1995). When there is an imbalance among these three components and the failure of the superego dominates the whole of the person, then his or her criminal tendencies will be high (Maguire, et al., 2007). Thus, it was alleged that psychoanalysis, which has a strong bearing on the process of behavior modification, can be a potent remedial protocol in handling criminals. Meanwhile, B. F Skinner in his Oerant Conditioning, Alfred Bandura in his Social Learning Theory and Lawrence Kohlberg in his Theory of Moral Development, among other psychologists, proposed that criminal behaviors of people can be managed if there is an exhaustive examination of the personality traits, experiential backgrounds, environmental contributors and chronological facets of the concerned individual (Akers & Jennings, 2009). The information that can be obtained from these sources shall greatly help in the elucidation of the criminals’ motivations to breach the law (Hagan, 2010). Hope for Sex Offenders The above-mentioned theoretical and practical underpinnings put forward a ray of light and a strand of hope to the criminal, most especially to the sexual offender. The universally accepted principles of fair and humane treatment and behavior modification of criminals would perfectly suit the plight of the sex offender in his struggle to become a renewed and better member of society (Warr, 1989). The wide array of sex offenders, from those who send lewd text messages to those who molest a son or a daughter, points to the varied seriousness or gravity of the ‘commission of unlawfulness.’ The different serious types of sex offense such as prostitution, corruption of minor, child molestation, statutory rape, sexual imposition, child pornography and pandering obscenity may lead to various types of punishment and unique approaches to rehabilitation. These grave offenses of so-called sexual predators merit for longer imprisonment and more severe treatment (Diamond, 2009). While those convicted with less serious sex crimes such as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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