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UT: In our opinion – Policy dilemma – how to handle prison issues with large number of sex offenders

The numbers are often repeated in discussions about sexual assault, but they never become less shocking. One out of three women in Utah will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime; one out of eight will be raped.

But while there is evidence that a large percentage of sex crimes go uninvestigated and unprosecuted, there are still more people in prison in Utah for sexual assault than for any other category of crime. Full Opionion Piece

Join the discussion

  1. Avig

    Well, it should come as no surprise that locking people up over sex isn’t going to fix any problems, and will only bring about much bigger expenses for the state of Utah. Here is a solution for you: suspend the prison sentences for most of these crimes, charge an appropriate fine instead, and make it all conditional on some sort of rehabilitation work: classes on the right way to handle marriage, or women, for instance. That lowers your prison population, reduces your expenses, and even provides a new income stream for the state. And since you now have an income stream from these people, you want to eliminate any requirement to register—-such a requirement would likely prevent them from generating the income they need in order to pay their fines.

  2. ab

    And this is why we need to change the language of the law. Sexual assault can mean a number of different things and then there are all the other sex offenses. The wrong question is being asked here. Nobody should be dealing with prison issues anywhere. Once in prison, the system has already failed. The whole purpose should be putting into place programs, social structures, and initiatives that redirect people away from going down a path to prison.

    Extremely difficult questions must be asked regarding the root causes of illegal activity and more specifically for this instance, sex offenses.

  3. Eric Knight

    Certainly one reason that there seems to be more sex offenders in Utah prisons by percentage is not difficult to figure out. First, the state is not exactly a hotbed of violent crime one would associate with urban communities (not PC to say, but it has to be mentioned with regard to the numbers). In addition, sex crimes are committed by (mostly) men in every class of society, including professionals such as doctors and laywers. Finally, sex offenses are among the longest prison sentences.

    This is actually very easy to determine if they did more drill-down researching, but political correctness rules the day.

  4. Double A

    When I was in LA County jail waiting for transfer to state prison I heard a lot of stories from the other inmates. Stories claiming ex-girlfriends and ex-wives claiming things were done to them or their children but didn’t actually happen. I’m sure there is a percentage that were being honest and were actually innocent.

    I haven’t seen the numbers but I’m sure conviction rates for sex offenses are much higher than other crimes. Considering some cases are taken to trial without any evidence just the word of the victim is enough to convict. No DNA, no pictures or video, no texts or e-mails, no recorded pre-text calls, and/or witnesses to the crime except the victim. I’m sure conviction rates are higher for sex crimes more than any other type of crime. That’s my opinion; I could be wrong.

    • Katharine

      I think you are right, although I have never seen any statistics to back you up. Despite feminists claiming sex-crimes convictions are hard to get, I believe just the opposite is true. When indictments are handed down on no evidence whatsoever beyond the word of an accuser (because none is required by law), when juries are predisposed to believe the word of the (usually female) accuser over the (usually male) accused, and when almost every defendant takes the plea deal anyway, because they can’t prove their innocence, sex crimes convictions are a slam-dunk for prosecutors.

      I would only add that you should be sure to write either “so-called victim” or “accuser” in place of “victim” when you are writing about sex crimes that never happened. I see many people do this in comments, not just here, and it somewhat undermines their argument. In fact, in these cases, the accused is the victim, not the accuser.

      • td777

        I saw the same thing, not just in LA county jail, but in prison, and on parole in OC. And I can include mine, I was accused of something I didn’t do, and forced into a plea by being held longer than the case warranted in the first place(2 years with half time, I was in 14 months). My choices were either take a plea or stay in jail maybe another year or two trying to fight a false claim where no one, not even my attorney…and I went through several… wanted to hear the truth. Knowing what I know now, I’m still convinced that the truth never mattered in my case, only the accusation.

        • Double A

          @td777

          We were both in the same boat when it comes to time served. But I went to trial despite everything I was told by other inmates. They gave me all the sex crime conviction rates and stories of no one beating a sex case. Obviously I didn’t listen and went to trial. I figured I was innocent why am I going to plead to something I didn’t do.

          After trial I was found guilty on 6 counts and acquitted on 4 counts. I was sentenced to 2 years with half time. I was incarcerated for 368 days. I included the 3 days that I spent in County before I was bailed out. I forget the break down but all the time was done concurrently. The most I could have done was 9.5 years if found guilty on all counts, but it still would have been half time. The deal they offered was a county lid which would have been just 6 months vs. the year that I served.

          @Katharine

          Yes I should have used either “so-called victim” or “accuser”. But according to someone I met in the past year I’ve been out they told me if there was a conviction regardless if you were innocent or not they are called a victim. It might have been the cop interviewing me when I registered at the college.

          So when I discuss my case I just say “the crime I was convicted of” but I just don’t always add the “wrongly” before convicted. It depends on who I’m talking to at that moment. I figure if I say I was convicted of something it is different from saying I actually did it. My logic or rationale could be off. Also the so-called victim in my case I still call her my ex. We dated from when she was 17 and a half until she was 20.

        • Katharine

          Re: victim terminology. In-justice system definitions of victim-hood have exactly the same value as their other definitions, which is to say none. Where is the bargaining in a plea bargain? Where is the “only civil regulatory” in the sex offender registry? Using their definitions graces them with a legitimacy they simply don’t have. Don’t get me wrong: there are plenty of real crime victims out there who deserve to be defined as such, if they wish to be. But our system also creates “victims” out of false accusers; and when that is the case, I will call a spade a spade and always appreciate it when others do so, too.

  5. Q

    What can I say; they are manufacturing consent for whatever they decide to do. Let’s face the truth; fear sells and can be very profitable to some, either monetarily and other ways too.

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