Management of Sex Offenders on Parole

The management of offenders in parole is an essential role of the criminal judicial system. It ensures that the offenders released into the society do not pose a threat to the members of the society. The management of these offenders is faced by different challenges. This paper will discus the challenges that have made the management of sex offenders in the parole to be difficult task among parole officers.

The management of sex offenders in parole has evolved to be a major role of the criminal judicial systems. It is the role of the criminal judicial system to assess, treat and manage the offenders who have been convicted of sexual offences. Dealing with sex offenders has proved to be a challenging role in the criminal judicial systems. The main difficulties in the management of sex offenders is the risk involved in dealing with such people and the unlikelhood of recidivism once the convict is released. The number of sexual crimes has increased in the recent past attracting a lot of media attention. This has resulted into a very large number of sex offenders in the criminal judicial system. When the number of sex offenders is combined with the difficulties of managing such offenders, dealing with sex offenders in parole has become very difficult.

Management of Sex Offenders on Parole
Key challenges faced by the criminal judicial system in the management of sex offenders in parole includes the ability of the management to assure the public that the individual is safe to be reabsorbed back into the system and protecting the public from possible repetition of the offence. Effective mechanism for the management, monitoring and control of sex offenders is also a major challenge. The integration of the offender back to the society where he or she is able to reestablish his or her self esteem has also proved to be a major challenge. It has become increasingly difficult for sex offenders in parole to secure jobs and be financially independent. Moreover, the support services that could be instrumental in the rehabilitation of the offender are not available due to stigma associated with sex offences. The parole officers have a difficult time accessing the risk associated with such offenders making their management very difficult.

The difficulty in dealing with sex offenders is evident from the concerns that have been raised by the stakeholders in the criminal judicial systems. The probation officers, parole officers, administrators of correctional facilities and the general public have raised a lot of concerns in the management and supervision of convicts accused of sex offenders in parole. These officials have had a hard time dealing with sex offenders. The parole officers have always wondered how to interrogate the offenders, using which questions. The officers are not sure of how the questions he or she is likely to ask the offender are related to the risks or whether the risk has been handled effectively. Passing the risk associated with the offender from one officer to another has also been a problem.

A cross section of sex offenders does not pose a homogeneous risk. The risk posed by sex offenders in a parole program cannot be assumed to be the same. Analyzing such risks has been a big barrier in the management of sex offenders. For example, the risk associated with non contact offence in a district court is not the same as the risk involved if the offender was accused of kidnapping and raping his victim. Moreover, sex offenders may have been accused of the magnitude of an offence but pose different threat to the society which makes management of supervision programs difficult. Research indicates that there is a very high likelihood of repeating the same offence in sex offenders as compared to other offences (Hanson  Bussiere, 1998). A survey by the Department of Justice in 2003 aimed at determining the rate of recidivism among sex offenders over a decade indicated that about 43 percent of sex offenders who had been released under different programs with up to a third of all the sexual offenders returning to prison within a period of three years since they were arrested. However, most of them were arrested due to other offences. Less than five percent were convicted of other sexual offences (Langan, et al, 2003). The rate of the return of sex offenders to prison is as a direct consequence of the ineffective supervision programs and the difficulties associated with the management of the programs as compared to other crimes.

However, these statistics should be treated with a lot of caution. It should never be assumed that any sex offender is likely to commit another offense since it will inhibit the rehabilitation of the offender. This makes the criminal justice officials work even harder. Recent statistics release indicates that less that twenty percent of the cases of sex offences are reported and processed in the criminal judicial systems leaving majority of the sex offenders within the society (Martin, et al, 2009). The criminal judicial system is therefore concentrating on rehabilitation of a fraction of the offenders. No matter how the management of the supervision program are effective, they will not deter sexual offences in the society .

A major obstacle in the management of sex offenders in the parole is the inability to attract qualified and dedicated officers to work with such offenders. In any program that aims at rehabilitating offenders, the backbone of the program is the personnel the program is able to attract. Very few officers are willing to work with sex offenders. It is not easy to gauge the risk involved in such individuals given that the officer may be held accountable for the acts of the offender in parole. The officers may also fear that they are likely to be victims of the offender. The officer may not be certain that the offender has been fully rehabilitated and is fit to be absorbed back into the community. The officers are faced with many challenges in the management of sexual offenders in parole in all activities to ensure that the offender does not have the opportunity to commit the crime again. This is a very demanding task for the officers which in many instances discourage potential officers from pursuing such careers.

The ability of the offenders to get a full time occupation after release is a major factor in the management programs involving any offender. The social stigma associated with sexual offences has gone a long way in making the management of such program where sexual offenders are involved. Sex offenders find it hard to be accepted back to the society than any other offenders. For this reason, the very few employers are willing to engage sex offenders in their premises. It is not easy for potential employees to ensure that other employees are safe from the risk associated with a sex offender working in his premises. The employer may not be a correctional officer but incase he employs a sex offender he has the responsibility of supervising the offender.

Research in the last few decades indicates that lack of employment for sex offenders in parole is the greatest challenge to the criminal judicial systems (Kruttschnitt et al, 2000).  Sex offences are associated with loss of self esteem.  The social life of the offender in parole plays a major role in the restoration of self esteem and makes the management of the offender easy. The offender is also able to meet his or her financial obligation if he or she secures a job. The case of sex offenders is very different because they find it difficult to be assimilated back into the society. For this reason, the sex offenders are more likely to commit the offence again in future. This social stigmatization leading to marginalization of sex offenders in parole have created a bad perception about these individuals in the society. The rejection of these individuals by the society has resulted into the individuals repeating the same offences. This lack of support from the larger society has had a negative effect on the management of sex offenders (Kruttschnitt et al, 2000).

Other factors that make the management of supervision programs of sex offenders in parole programs include professional and ethical challenges. A fundamental aspect of rehabilitation of sex offenders is treatment of their mental health conditions. The large number of professional involved in the management of these offenders complicate the issue (Glaser, 2005).

The management of sex offenders in parole poses a lot of difficulties to the criminal judicial systems when compared to juvenile offenders, female offenders and criminal gang members. This is basically because of the risk associated with the released offender and the inability of the society to accept the individual back.


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