Can Bad Men Change? What It’s Like Inside Sex Offender Therapy

The men file in, a few wearing pressed button-down shirts, others jeans caked in mud from work on a construction site. They meet in the living room of an old taupe bungalow on a leafy street in a small Southern city.

Someone has shoved a workout bike into the corner to make room for a circle of overstuffed chairs dug up at the local Goodwill. The men jockey for a coveted recliner and settle in. They are complaining about co-workers and debating the relative merits of various trucks when a faint beeping interrupts the conversation. One man picks up a throw pillow and tries to muffle the sound of the battery running low on his ankle bracelet, a reminder of why they are all there. Full Article (Time Magazine)

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Unfortunately, and as always, the article assumes that all offenders are contact offenders.

An extremely important and well written article. And in a very prominent journal. I anticipate this will receive attention and move our cause forward.

Very balanced, but slightly skewed toward a more realistic and reasonable view of our situation.

I think most of us can relate — brought back painful memories of group.

Which case is this? “In October, the Supreme Court will consider a complicated case challenging the federal laws that govern some sex offenders. The decision could allow hundreds of thousands of convicted offenders to move more easily across state lines and eventually remove their names from the sex-offender registry.”

No time to read the article right now. So can someone tell me… what was the author’s answer to the question?

” The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case challenging the limits of the registry in its October term. ”

Pardon my ignorance, but which case are they talking about ?

Then the article says this:
” Even if that suit fails, civil rights proponents and victim advocates will likely confront each other again in the nation’s highest court. A Colorado federal judge recently ruled that the state’s sex-offender registry is unconstitutional. ”

So then the Colorado case which ruled their registry unconstitutional is ” likely ” to go to the Supreme Court ?

The entire premise is flawed from the start. The question “Can bad men change” makes too many assumptions to be viable for a conversation of any merit.

They and others dealing with the registry should ask the easier to answer question: “Can people who have made bad choices make better choices moving forward?” That’d be a start. The answer is an obvious yes.

Another important question would be “Should we be targeting a single group of people and mandating therapy when they have already served their prison time?” Again, an obvious no for an answer.

An even better question would be “Given the mountain of evidence showing registries do not increase public safety, can we justify the financial and human cost of keeping them operational?” Everyone should have realized a long time ago the answer to this is no.

Those are the questions I would prefer to see on the cover of Time. Considering the extreme resurgence of sensational journalism in the age of clickbait however, I’m not holding my breath.

Either way, I find much of the article a joke. Yes, therapy can help people, but real therapy where people can feel comfortable and let it all out with a psychologist. Not an environmental designed to embarrass and demean said people. From a psychological standpoint, and the article, some of these “professionals” seem to enjoy speaking down on said offenders and that in itself is a problem. I was never ordered to take a treatment class, but did go to a few to see what it was like and the lady told me to admit I’m capable of a sexual crime, which I agreed. After all, I’m human and am capable of any crime INCLUDING HER! She didn’t care for the answer much and I didnt care. She then started threatening to have some of the guys parole revoked since she felt they didnt open up enough, even though each guy had vastly different crimes and some should have been completely separate from the group (one guy also had sex with animals) which caused some of the men to snicker and look at the man with disgust which only caused him to close up even more. The second time I went the lady said I owed money but I was told I wouldn’t have to pay a dime and I told her that, which she then stated sending guys back to prison for not paying and threw hints at me which I told her I wasn’t under probation or parole and wasn’t court ordered to attend the meetings and from then on it was like she hated my guts even though I fully participated. After four meetings I stopped going and feel the right psychologist could really help people, but some SHOULDN’T be teaching said classes. That happened many years ago and I’ve always lived my life crime free with my wife and children, but hey, I’m dangerous and could hurt someone any second and dont deserve a second chance at life…………..

By this article’s logic, I was a good man, before I committed my offense. That was because I had not yet committed a sex offense to make me bad. It has been 18 years since I committed a sex offense. During those years I actually did some good things, too. Often. Am I a good man or a bad man now therapist, mam. Is it saying things the right way, or not committing the crime that matters?

Yes and yes!

Perhaps a better question would be: What does it take to allow any offender an unfettered lifestyle?