Pedophilia – Is jail term the best punishment
Pedophiles commit crimes against the most vulnerable in our society, our children. The NSW government introduced new tougher laws for child sex offenders. According to new legislation, these offenders will face life imprisonment, as against the old rule of 25 years.
Is it the best option?
Studies say that most, if not all, of the child sex offenders have been victims of abuse themselves at their young age. Not all pedophiles are child sex offenders. There can be some who are attracted to children but do not act on it. On the other hand, child sex offenders may not be sexually attracted to children. It is said that they suffer from a mental illness called ‘Pedophilia’, which manifests itself in deviant sexual behaviour.
Child sex offenders have committed heinous crimes against children with lasting consequences. They have been handed out lighter sentencing in the past for the crimes they have committed. Fewer than two-thirds of child sex offenders have been handed prison sentences since 2012, most commonly for a minimum of six months, Justice Minister Michael Keenan has told parliament. I agree with the federal government bringing in tougher laws that will prevent pedophiles from avoiding jail term or being released into the community without proper supervision.
But we should not forget that these criminals are suffering from a mental illness. And that paradox is, that we should protect the mentally ill from the justice system. I am not justifying their acts, but it does justify a nuance. A psychological evaluation must be carried out to figure out the person’s act and reasons behind it. This, though does not extend to repeated offenders.
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