Appropriate justice for sexual offenders

here’e one thing i haven’t figured out. lots of these men should serve time for their assaults… and then what?

i have a family member who maybe didn’t go as far as moore did, but what they did was wrong. and they served time. and then they were let go.

i’m not sure they’ve actually dealt with their guilt - tho they have found god :confused:. unfortunately, nothing in the system has made them directly deal with that guilt. and, because of our system they are f-d for life.

basically, they can’t hold a regular job ( they work off the books right now. ) there are numerous places they can’t live. they can’t even see their own children ( until the kids are adults; and nothing they did involved children just to be clear. ) they weren’t a predator, but they also did some harmful things.

there’s no way for them to move forward. maybe they shouldn’t? but, if that’s so: what do we do with these people?

maybe it’s too soon to ask stuff like this, but what is right afterwards?

i don’t know even how to articulate it properly. some men, and some crimes, are given a complete pass. but then, once a person is held accountable for their harmful sexual behavior: there’s no spectrum.
passports get sex offender stamped on them. you can’t travel. you can’t vote. you can’t rent. you can’t work.


there’s a weird all or nothing reaction our society has that i guess i’m still trying to reconcile.


That seems just, considering.

Again, it begins with their own choice to enact that very all or nothing objectification dynamic on another without mercy.

That we won’t trust them again is not illogical or a fault of society.

You’re aware, I hope, that not every person who is branded as a “sex offender” is guilty of the same level of crime as what you’re describing here?


There is a time and place for splitting those hairs. This isn’t either of those. Not about me, not about you.

The differences in relative harm compared to lifelong punishment seems to be a big part of @gatto’s post that you so cavalierly replied to.

There’s a broad spectrum of things declared as “sexual offenses” and the harms they cause, but there’s no spectrum to the punishment. Do you really think “that seems just”?


No harm in changing the subject over to the poor poor perps? #againandagainandagain

Staaaahp. Start a new thread and see who attends to your ‘very important point’ there. No derail thank you.

How so?

It doesn’t help the victims. It doesn’t stop the attacks. It seems very status-dependent. Compare the fate of the Central Park 5, who were railroaded, to one of the people demanding that they be executed, who has bragged about his own assaults.


Indigenous communities have been doing innovative work in this regard, not least because they are a) small and b) devastated by the old residential school system. I read a great article about a community in Alaska, but I can’t find it now.

This article describes a similar case:


But if they need a place to stay, there’s always a place available. It even comes with free meals. And they can work, albeit for far less than minimum wage. The only thing they have to do to get in is commit another crime.

Perverse incentives encourage crime by removing the possibility of living a normal life.


In another thread I mentioned the idea that the second you give a human a hammer they’re going to find nails. Human nature only provides us with hammers and I think only exhaustion is what makes us stop swinging once it starts.

Sorry, it can’t be reconciled. No more than you can reconcile a tapeworm’s actions. It’s part of the monkey.

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i am reminded of brock turner. and, i can’t help wonder whether any of the hollywood men who have harassed and assaulted people – mainly women – are ever going to face real justice.

it’s great that weinstein has been kicked out of his job: but that’s not the punishment of jail or prison; that’s not rigorous rehabilitation and restitution. roman polanski has received award after award – what meaningful punishment has he ever faced?

the arbitrariness of it can’t help. and, oddly it seems very like the “thoughts and prayers” thing. if only some certain men are penitent that’s enough. yet, we also happily throw the book at teenagers having sex with other teenagers. i’m sure race has a huge influence in the results as well.

my other thought is – like MajaE says – i’m not sure post-incarceration punishment is any deterrent. sure it’s harder to be involved in online transgressions if you’re technically not allowed to use the internet – but who does that actually stop? how much does it really matter if you don’t can’t live right next to a school when you still own a car?

maybe the moralism that doesn’t let us talk about sex – which i think helps to contribute to sex crimes – also means we can’t talk about rehabilitating sex offenders? not every offender is going to change; but are they really all just hopeless deviants who were somehow mutated at birth?

and maybe justice for lots of kinds of violent crimes should extend beyond the perpetrators. do we really support victims the way we should?

i don’t know i guess i’m throwing lots of things out there. i’m glad these things are finally coming to light. i hope it’s the start of real change.


Your lack of understanding is concerning.
Nobody here has referred to perpetrators as victims.

There ought (in my view) to be a clear distinction between abuse (exercise of power e.g. Weinstein), untreatable conditions like some forms of paedophilia, and sex outside social norms such as adolescents sexting. Some US States recognise this, I believe. So do most European countries.

The question being asked is whether it is appropriate to use a hammer on nails, screws and pop rivets. Your answer is “Yes”. The proper answer is “No.”


Consider hypothetical person A who really needed to pee, went to a public restroom but it was locked so they found a nearby bush in a shadow but got caught with their pants down. Person B, a 17 year old who was dating another 17 year old, both over the age of consent in their state, received a nude picture from their boyfriend/girlfriend and got busted for having child porn. Person C who actually did something violent and despicable. Different cases for sure, but when they get out, they are all branded with the same ‘sex offender’ label.

Ok, so logically, some might go on to become normal contributing members of society (A and B?) while some might not (C?). Either way, the logic is flawed. If you believe that they can be ok citizens, then why prevent them from renting or working and intentionally force them into a life of crime or dependence instead? If you believe that they can’t, then why let them out in the first place (do you want them to commit more crimes?!) No matter what their crime was, no matter what your beliefs are, it doesn’t make sense either way. No possible combination makes sense. It’s like a zero-tolerance fallacy no matter what angle you approach it from.