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Unit 5 Judy Braswell Matthew O’Deane Pedophiles and Lack of Harsher Punishment CJ502-01N: Research Methodology April 3, 2012 Pedophiles and Lack of Harsher Punishment Introduction The media, majority of child abuse professionals, and the general public often refer to all those individuals who sexually abuse children as ‘pedophiles.’ However, there is no uniform definition of the word pedophile…
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, for most people, the term pedophilia is not a legal term but a diagnostic one. Prosecutors and law enforcement in cases involving computers frequently use the word pedophilia (Borgeson and Kuehnle, 2010). Hall and Hall (2007) state that pedophilia is a clinical diagnosis generally made by a psychologist or psychiatrist. It is neither a legal nor criminal term like forcible sexual offense, and legal term id generally used in criminal statistics. There are laws that govern acts committed by pedophiles. One such law is the Megan’s law. However, it is difficult to estimate how the Megan’s law affects pedophiles. The definition of the term pedophilia does not allow the determination of whether the pedophilic individual is a sexual offender (a child molester) or not. It is important to note that not all pedophilic individuals are child molesters. An individual with any paraphilia condition can be legally involved in it through masturbation and fantasizing (Borgeson and Kuehnle, 2010). Punishments given to those who commit pedophilia usually vary. There are states where the punishment is harsher compared to other states. In regard to punishment, there is an ongoing debate on whether the punishment for those committing sexual assault crimes should be made harsher or not. However, majority of the people are of the opinion that harsher or tougher laws will reduce the occurrence of these crimes (CQ Press, 2006). Thus, punishments for those who have committed pedophilic crimes should be made harsher. Harsher punishment will reduce the rate of pedophilic crimes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the form of punishment given to sexual offenders such as pedophilic individuals and propose the punishments to be harsher or tougher. As stated before, experts are of the opinion that harsher punishment will reduce the incidences of sexual crimes. In some states, there are tests done to ascertain if the individual has really reformed before release from prison. In Texas, sixteen months before the release of an offender, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice can have the individual evaluated to know whether he is an SVP (sexually violent predator). If the individual is found to be an SVP, then he is eligible for treatment as an outpatient sex offender upon his release (Garib, 2011). The study is of great significance because the majority of the sex offenders are treated with blanket punishment, thus, they cause collateral consequences which develop more risk to the entire public (Hiller, 2011). Failure to treat pedophilic individuals and their release back to the society defeat the whole purpose of child protection. Despite the fact that experts are advocating for harsher punishments, there is a need for an individual to be treated before he is released to the society. This makes sure that the individual is fully reformed after he has served his sentence in prison and the risk of children being harmed is reduced. Literature Review A pedophile and a child molester have been often confused by child abuse professionals, the media, and the general public. They regard pedophiles as all individuals who sexually victimize children. However, there is no uniform definition of the word pedophile. It is important to note that pedophilia is a psychiatric diagnosis done only by qualified psychiatrists or psychologists. Not all child molesters are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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