The Treatment of Sexual Offenders in California: Community Placement Trends and Laws Governing Treatment Programs
Since the early 1990s, the treatment of sexual offenders has been a controversial topic in the United States. Some states have enacted laws that require sex offenders to be treated before they are released from prison, while others have not. There is a lack of consensus on what works best to prevent recidivism, and there is little agreement on how to balance the rights of sex offenders with public safety concerns. The state of California has a large number of sexual offenders, and its laws and treatment programs have been the subject of much debate. This paper will examine community placement trends and laws governing the treatment of sexual offenders in the state of California.
2. Community Placement Trends
In recent years, there has been a trend towards increasing community placement of sexual offenders. This is due in part to a decrease in funding for prisons and an increase in the number of sex offenders being sentenced to probation or parole. In addition, many states have enacted laws that require sex offenders to be treated before they are released from prison, and this has led to an increase in the number of sex offenders who are eligible for community treatment programs. There is evidence that community placement can be effective in reducing recidivism, but there are also concerns about the safety of communities when sex offenders are living in their midst.
3. Laws Governing Sexual Offender Treatment
There are a number of laws that govern the treatment of sexual offenders in California. The Sexually Violent Predators Act (SVPA) requires that some sex offenders be confined in an institution for mental health treatment after they are released from prison. The SVPA is controversial because it allows for indeterminate confinement, which means that an offender can be held indefinitely even if they have not been convicted of a new crime. In addition, the law requires that all sex offenders be registered with the state and their information made available to the public. The Community Protection Act (CPA) prohibits sex offenders from living within 2000 feet of schools or other places where children congregate. The CPA is also controversial because it can result in sex offenders being forced to live in remote areas, far from support services and potential employment opportunities. Finally, Proposition 83, also known as Jessica’s Law, was passed by voters in 2006 and imposes a number of restrictions on sex offenders, including barring them from living within 2000 feet of schools or parks and requiring them to wear GPS monitoring devices at all times.
4. Treatment of Sexual Offenders
A variety of treatment programs are available for sexual offenders in California. These programs typically involve group therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, polygraph examinations, and chemical castration (the use of medication to reduce libido). Programs vary in their intensity and duration, but most require participants to attend weekly sessions for at least six months. Most programs also require participants to take responsibility for their offenses and abstain from all forms of illegal sexual activity. There is evidence that treatment can be effective in reducing recidivism, but there is also concern that some programs may do more harm than good by reinforcing negative stereotypes about sexual offenders.
5. Sexual Predators in the Community
Some sexual predators are required by law to register as sex offenders and their information is made available to the public via online databases. However, not all sex predators are required to register, and many people who are required to register do not do so. There is concern that these offenders are not being properly monitored and that the public does not have adequate information about their whereabouts. In addition, there is evidence that some sex offenders may be using the internet to commit new offenses.
The treatment of sexual offenders is a controversial topic, and there is no consensus on what works best to prevent recidivism. However, it is clear that community placement of sexual offenders is on the rise, and that a variety of treatment programs are available to those who are willing to participate. It is also clear that sex offenders pose a risk to public safety, and that the public needs to be aware of the dangers they pose.