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Singapore: Suspended sentences: Sex offenders should undergo psychological evaluation, treatment

[ – 5/14/19]

In dealing with sex offenders with mental illness, the best solution may not be rehabilitation, says the writer.

Assistant Professor Benjamin Joshua Ong’s idea of imposing suspended sentences on voyeurs is a good one (“NUS case: Suspended sentence in place of police warning will have added benefit of judicial oversight”; May 9).

These include jail sentences passed by a court that do not take effect if offenders comply with conditions, such as refraining from re-offending, attending counselling sessions, or staying away from certain areas or persons.

The question is whether judges have the expertise to assess cases involving sex offenders.

Some offenders may have been carried away by youthful impulsivity and thoughtlessness, and limited disciplinary action may be appropriate.

Some may have more serious anti-social behaviours and incarceration to protect society may be necessary.

Others, however, may have a diagnosable mental illness, such as depression, social anxiety and compulsive sexual behaviour disorder.

The best solution for them may not be simply expressing remorse and proceeding to criminal rehabilitation. It may necessitate psychological treatment.

Perhaps all such offenders should undergo mandatory psychological evaluation and a court’s decision to suspend a custodial sentence should be made conditional on receiving treatment.

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  1. Joe123

    Ahh how refreshing. At least we can always count on our foreigner friends to apply Common Sense when so little of it exists in the US apparently.

    Can you imagine if a single active lawmaker here in the US had this same rational thinking? We’d have the beginning of a whole, new, better country.

    • NY won’t let go

      Chewing gum and smoking in the wrong place are a 5000 and 10000 dollar fine though. 😂😂

      But those people can afford it with a population of about 6 million and one of the highest cash flows on earth.

      To own a car there you have to pay a like 10000 per year for your license and the car can’t be older than 5 years.

      One good thing about SIngapore is that racism and discrimination are illegal there. You say something racist or against any certain group you’re looking at 5 years in prison and a big fine

      • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

        “One good thing about SIngapore is that racism and discrimination are illegal there. You say something racist or against any certain group you’re looking at 5 years in prison and a big fine”

        So, does it keep people from thinking racist thoughts? I don’t think that S’pore should be commended for banning speech.

        • NY won’t let go

          I am a minority, and have felt the effects of the “speech” that you’re talking about.

          Free speech is one thing, but hate speech doesn’t fall under that category as it infringes on the rights of others and prevents the progression of society.

          People can still be racist, but as long as they don’t act on it it’s okay.

          The law is more in place to keep the small nation state from having a bigger racial divide on top of the financial one.

          Does it work 100%?

          No, because many people are hateful and resent others because they feel one group has an advantage due to their skin color or race.

          Has it prevented race related crimes in Singapore?

          For a lot of people, yes.
          Because people literally cannot afford to be outted publicly in a negative light as any form of it instantly becomes viral and will make it impossible for them to find work anywhere.

          I’m not commending it entirely because it actually has collateral consequences as well, where Singaporeans believe they are superior to other countries in the region which in turn creates a counter productive effect and just causes them to be racist and discriminate when they go outside of Singapore.

          But again, when they do this it goes viral and makes it hard for them to get or keep work when they get back to Singapore.

          On a side note, prostitution is oddly legal and regulated in Singapore.

          In addition to this it has one of the fastest growing economies and has become one of the most expensive places in the world to live even though 2/3 the size of NYC.

          Not sure where I was going with that, but overall laws are hit and miss, but they have a rational purpose for this one, to create a level playing field economically where you can be judged on your skills and determination rather than your skin tone.

        • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

          “I am a minority, and have felt the effects of the “speech” that you’re talking about.” Yeah, me too. I’d rather the haters tell me they hate me, it’s good to know who I should keep an eye on. Speech is speech. You may not like what everyone has to say but you are so much better off living in a place where people are able to say it. Singapore? Yeah, they’ve got to watch what they say. Keep in mind, that’s a country where only one political party has held office since 1965, all media is censored and people can be sued by the government for criticizing the government. You will rarely hear anything but praise for the government because there is really little alternative. No, it’s not as bad as China in that respect but which country is? North Korea? If you’re an obnoxious, insulting and obscene kid like Amos Yee then they throw you in prison. They locked him up for “hate speech.” No one can be sure how many people they hang in Changi Prison on Fridays since they don’t announce all of their hangings. Besides, S’pore is extremely boring. So, I’ll take freedom of speech any day, hateful or not. By the way, limiting speech does not create “level playing fields.”

        • NY won’t let go

          I guess that’s true. Was reading a story how the education minister in Malaysia thinks that keeping the playing field level is through making public universities only available to the Malay race as the other races have an advantage for being not Malay even though the reports show that the highest earners in the country are ethnic Malay. 😂 gotta love them quotas.

          I’m good though, I got sick of putting out the fires in my yard and on my house and waking up to spray paint all over. Half the time it was from being on the registry. The other half for not being white 😂

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