What Should Be Done With Sexual Offenders?

January 15th, 2010

prisoners handsThere are sexual offenders living in typical neighborhoods all throughout the United States. Some live near schools, day care centers or the homes of people who may be viewed as potential targets for sexual predators.

The thought of living near a registered sex offender can be frightening, especially if you have young children. That’s why many people frequently run sexual offender searches – the search allows them to learn about potential predators living in any city or zip code in America. Some people are hoping the Supreme Court will support a law that will help keep sexual offenders out of their neighborhoods.

Civil Commitment is a law that gives every state the option to keep sexual offenders in custody after they have finished serving a prison sentence. The offender is taken to a high security mental hospital immediately after their release. This could be a way to keep violent sexual offenders out of society indefinitely.

Members of the Supreme Court declared Civil Commitment to be Constitutional as long as the goal is to treat patients, not inflict punishment. Any state may choose to enforce this, and on January 12, 2010, the Supreme Court heard a case that called for the commencement of Civil Commitment on a Federal level.

As of 2010, nearly 20 states utilize Civil Commitment. Currently, there are about 4,000 convicted pedophiles, rapists and other offenders confined in state-run mental facilities. Some of this is due to the efforts of a man named Martin Andrews.

When Andrews was only 13-years-old, he was approached by a stranger named Richard Ausley, who offered the boy money in exchange for help moving furniture. Ausley coaxed Andrews into his van, and drove deep into the country.

For the next several days, Martin Andrews was chained up inside a small metal box. He was beaten and savagely raped, then left to die in the wilderness. Andrews’ screams for help would have been in vain, but a group of hunters heard and followed the young boy’s cries.

Richard Ausley was arrested, tried and convicted for this heinous crime. This was not the first time he had been found guilty of a violent act. Ausley had two prior convictions for sexually assaulting young boys, and yet he was a free man in 1973 when he met Martin Andrews.

By 1999, Ausley had been incarcerated for 29 years and was going to be set free. Martin Andrews heard about his release date, and decided to do something about it. Andrews acted quickly: he lobbied lawmakers to fund a program that would examine convicted sexual offenders and determine if they should also be subjected to Civil Commitment.

Andrews was successful. Virginia lawmakers backed his cause, and began enforcing Civil Commitment laws. The man who had tormented Andrews would not be set free.

Although Andrews agrees that Civil Commitment is not the best possible system for dealing with sexual offenders, he strongly advocates the law and says that it is “the only tool we have that is 100 percent effective, because they (sexual offenders) are removed from society.” His goal is to help prevent other children from experiencing the torture he endured at the tender age of 13.

Whether or not Civil Commitment will be enforced on a federal level remains to be seen. What do you think? Should sexual offenders be held after they have served their prison term? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts.

At PeopleFinders, we believe that education is our most powerful tool, and we are dedicated to helping people get the information they need to protect themselves and keep their families safe. That’s why we proudly offer a Free Sexual Offender Alert Program. Sign up now to get photos, addresses and other information about sexual offenders who may be living near you, your children’s school or any area your family visits.

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10 Responses to “What Should Be Done With Sexual Offenders?”

  1. bob says:

    I am adding a comment much like the rest. I do want to say If I had ever found any of my children being molested and there was a is remote chance of seeing this bastard, they would be gone as in G_O_N_E!! The person molesting a child doesn’t have a normal brain and is useless to anyone. There is nothing that will take these thought from them other then frying the brain (burning them at a stake someplace). Make sure first and wait on no one.

  2. angelica says:

    I think all sex offender should be put in a mental hospital after they are released from prison it would avoid minor getting rape by this sick minded people..I was rape myself at the age of 8 years old and he got release 6 month later and raped me again after he was released…it messed my life in every way…that’s my personal opinion they should be but away.

  3. Brenda Williams says:

    Yes, I agree that most sex offenders were victims themselves – as stated where were the parents – love and support so much needed. Yes, I am all for the Civil Commitment – if this had been in place in 1999 my two children 7 and 9 would not have been victims of a registered sex offender – law enforcement did not do their job. Law enforcement contacted – nothing done then, now 2010 – nothing has ever been done, legally, about my children. The “alleged” offender of my children is now in Federal Prison for raping an 8-year-old male in Spokane, WA – if convicted of my children – this boy would have not been a victim. Is Tennessee one of the 20 states. If a pedophile is convicted in one state, incarcerated in another state – which state would the Civil Commitment come from. My son and daughter both are diagnosed with PTSD, depression – my son with a sexual disorder. As stated no help from the state – only from the local chief of police to tell me, when this man is released in 2022 – the chief would promise me that they would keep this man out of Cumberland County, TN. Yes, there are a lot of laws on the books to protect children from sexual offenders – problem is these laws are not enforced. Help me, help children in Tn.

  4. jane says:

    ABSOLUTELY, LOCK THE SCUM UP & THROW AWAY THE KEY FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Sharon says:

    I think that any time a man can take a child’s innocence, that man don’t deserve to live. Any time a man take something against a woman’s consent he deserves life in prison..And the reason I say death for a child is because he will strip a child of everything he/she believe in that child will not trust that child will shut down. And not to mention the mental damage it will do. I think for an adult it may be more hope of recovery then it will be as to for a child.

  6. cathy says:

    Certain sexual offenders should indeed be kept out of society, and ….yes even receive the death penalty. They cannot be cured. I think a committee at the federal level should be formed in order to conduct research and produce feasibility studies. We will never keep them all out of society because some will never get known or caught and some of the attacks are not as debilitating as others – such as the ones I experienced. But the really sick ones who did indeed ruin innocent people’s lives should never be allowed to do that again. What’s wrong with forming some type of “camp” for these offenders where they can perform services on which money can be raised to finance the camps? Also, this federal committee should decide the best way to treat the victims and provide all the therapeutic treatments which could prevent them from becoming offenders and help them all adjust to life again. I bet after research and feasibility studies are conducted, a way to remove these awful offenders from the main society can be found.

  7. kathy mcdaniel says:

    I believe the worse crime is against a child.

  8. anonymous says:

    Being a former child victim myself, I am now inflicted with DID and PTSD because of the crimes committed against me. Without hatred and anger in saying this, I wish that pedophiles would be put away in prison for the remainder of their lives. If lawmakers could understand what these two mental disorders of mine had done to me. I live in a hell where there is no escape.

  9. alice arlene krause says:

    I am sick and tired of sex offenders hurting our children. I would happily pay more taxes to keep them locked away. Child abuse should be a federal crime punishable by death. It has been proven they are not able to rehabilitate them. Why should we have to be afraid all the time?

  10. Bren St.L says:

    I had worked with at risk adolescents for 14 years. When I first stated my work, I was naive. I learned in a very short period of time that 90 percent of these adolescents have been sexually molested. The frightening fact is that all had been molested by family members, uncles, grandparents, fathers and yes even a few mothers. I was saddened by this awakening. Child molesters are just as bad as killers. They take these children’s spirit, self esteem, trust and they become empty untrusting souls. So sad to see. I firmly believe that violent sex offenders should most surely be never released into the public. They will STRIKE again and ruining many more lives. I do not know what the answer is as to holding them in prison. Prisons are full to capacity. Wish there was a answer. But letting them out to abuse again is not it. FYI: One person who commented had a good point. MAKE SURE THEY HAVE THE RIGHT PERSON IN PRISON!

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