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PDF Justice Perverted: Sex Offense Law, Psychology, and Public Policy

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Charles Ewing takes readers behind the headlines and reveals a side of contemporary life that is horrifying - a landscape of abuse, violence and neglect, revealing what is currently known about the psychology and personal histories of these kids, but raising the hardest question of all: how should society deal with this problem? Ewing received his Doctor of Philosophy from Cornell University and his law degree with honors from Harvard University.

Perverted Justice: Sex Offender Laws Represent the Triumph of Outrage over Reason

Before joining the law faculty, he taught at Mansfield University, where he taught psychology, and at Brandeis University, where he taught legal studies. At State University of New York, Ewing has taught criminal law, evidence, torts, juvenile law, forensic science, psychology, and psychiatry and the law. Ewing is the author or co-author of eleven books: Preventing the Sexual Victimization of Children.

Justice Perverted. Trials of a Forensic Psychologist. Insanity: Murder, Madness and the Law. Kids Who Kill. Battered Women Who Kill. Crisis Intervention as Psychotherapy. And He is also author or co-author of approximately seventy other publications—most of which deal with issues related to violent behavior, dangerousness, family violence and other issues in forensic psychology. Possession of child pornography has been made an extremely serious crime often punishable by prison sentences that dwarf those meted out to child molesters, rapists, robbers, and even killers.

Federal law now imposes a minimum sentence of ten years in prison for those convicted of using the internet to attempt to lure minors for sex. And the federal government and 20 states have "sexually violent predator" laws that allow the indefinite civil commitment of convicted sex offenders to secure institutions for treatment after they have served their full criminal sentences.

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All of these changes in sex offender law, as well as numerous others, have been based at least in part on input from psychology, psychiatry and the social sciences. Moreover, enforcement and administration of many of these laws relies to a large extent on the efforts of mental health professionals. And yet - he explains it to us. In other words, to find out these "horrific" cosequences of porn aren't even recognized? You're about as clear as mud.

So just because it's not on the DSM currently does not mean it's not an addiction that needs to be treated and addressed. And exactly how is that persuasive?


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All sex offenders? Some of them are kids who sexted pictures of themselves to their boyfriends or girlfriends. Or a year-old who had sex with a year-old and they both claimed they were in love.

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So you really think that laws that can be that stupid somehow "prove" the validity of sex addiction by mandating that these normal teenagers attend treatment for sexual compulsions? Back off bud! Studies have shown that treatment and I actually mean treatment not what many states claim is treatment but is only degrading them had actually shown to help.

I'm not talking about the teens who create a swap selfies, or teens engaged in consensual sex, not the guy who was told the girl was of age, and later found out she lied. Many of those who offend, do so because of a trigger they respond to inappropriately. Treatment will actually help them uncover what and whys behind why they offended, and learn other ways to help manage those triggers. Are you going to make any constructive arugments for your views or are you just going to say "Nope"? That may be YOUR private and personal definition of "sex offender" but it is not what the state means by "sex offender" which is defined by laws, not you.

Justice Perverted: Sex Offense Law, Psychology, and Public Policy by Charles Patrick Ewing

And right now, that includes way too many people that shouldn't be defined as such. Given that you actually intended your own private and personal definition of "sex offender" which differs from the legal one, I'm more inclined to agree. I did read the words from the marriage and family therapist. Thank you for the link. I would suggest to her that - in the future - she refer clients who present with compulsive sexual behaviors to a licensed psychologist to be evaluated for personality disorders.

This is not a marriage problem. Partners are blameless in this. MFT therapists are not qualified to treat these clients. It is NOT a marriage problem. In fact, it is much more serious. Just as Dr. Hopefully, as the science progresses - training and treatment will be more accessible. Yes, I hope and pray that there are more treatment and training to correctly address this issue.

I especially want this help to be made available to those who are struggling to not act out. For now, there are SA groups, but not well known in the communities that this is available. No doubt that the treatment that many are going through is expensive, and since it's not on the DSM, not available for medical insurance coverage, which negatively impacts those of low income who can't afford the expensive costs of treatment.

Actually not a good idea, especially in the context of this article about sex offenders, particularly if their problem is pedophilia in jurisdictions where therapists and other specialists are obligated to break patient confidentiality in situations where the therapist, not the patient, deems it "likely" that the patient will act on his fantasies. In fact, such people are already avoiding licensed help because of this reporting obligation, and so they don't seek the help they need, possibly resulting in more of the problem, not less.

The MFT was addressing sex addiction diagnosis and treatment, correct? That's what I was responding to. Weiss article was addressing a broader felons population. In her marriage couples counseling - I'm suggesting that she refer the "sex addict" for evaluation; particularly since the sex addiction may be a symptom of a much more complex disorder. I would also recommend she send the partner to a trauma specialist.

The registry merely sews hatred among the populace. Those who use the registry are more likely to be hatemongering vigilante wannabes. The registry has been proven to be ineffective and must be abolished. Generalizing offenders into categories is nearly impossible, as other commenters have mentioned. However not mentioned yet, are offenders convicted of sex crimes with zero sexual intent--crimes committed for attention seeking purposes, example: streaking; touching a woman passed out a party with a group of people encouraging the behavior; crimes committed under the influence of drugs or alcohol--the list goes on, and young men between 18 and 23 find themselves in a bind after making very poor, immature judgment calls.

This group of young men are extraordinarily unlikely to reoffend after being punished. They are eventually 30 something years old, mature, and stuck because of crazy lifetime sex offender registry laws, and total misunderstanding of recidivism rates amongst the public. While these crimes should not go unpunished, they shouldn't be treated any differently than other young adults who get caught up in drug rings, gangs, etc, and are 'allowed' to serve their time, mature, and move on.

When they move on successfully, these groups of people are practically celebrated and considered 'inspiring'. Young adult sex offenders are the least likely group to reoffend beyond murderers most murders are committed without forethought and in negligence, not by serial killers or with premeditation, which is why they are also unlikely to reoffend in the same manner. I've become intimately knowledgeable about sex offender laws and crimes since meeting an individual who falls in the 'thought he was going to get a laugh' when he was 19 category.

The victim did not press charges, but the state did, and he served time in prison. And as valuable as he could be to society--he's very smart, and truly a great guy--the lifetime registry will forever limit him. I appreciate the sentiment of the author in starting a discussion on the matter of 'hating sex offenders', but it is just slightly short sided. There is so much more at stake for the individuals affected by laws that are VERY politically driven, and not fact or research driven.

I encourage you to take this further. They are few advocates for this HUGE group of people, who are not serial rapists, or pedophiles, or predators, addicted to nothing, or horrible pyschopaths.

Justice Perverted: Sex Offense Law, Psychology, and Public Policy

I could write a lot more, but find myself on a phone screen and without the ability to proofread my writing well. Apologies for typos or odd grammar. Good comment, Tia! I think the author failed to sufficiently describe the most non-offending of registered sex offenders are really like, and how some of them, unlike the examples he cites, had not even an iota of knowledge that there was anything wrong with what they were doing, and had no intention of hurting anyone, and did not hurt anyone.

Such as the case of a teenage girl who texts pictures of herself to a boyfriend, only to find herself guilty of a felony for dealing in child pornography if she's of a particular age, in a jurisdiction or sending across state lines where the ages of consent and criminal law age ranges are unfortunately aligned. In the worst theoretical case, a teenage girl with no malicious intent or any sexual deviancy whatsoever could end up being guilty of three felonies -- creation, posession, and distribution of child pornography, it being nothing more than pictures she took of herself, voluntarily.

Thanks for bringing up this situation.


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We have a legal system set up - that automatically defaults to assuming the worst.