Call for treatment of sex offenders
By Royston Jones Jr.
Guardian Staff Reporter
Convicted sex offenders, and pedophiles in particular, will likely reoffend once released if not subjected to targeted treatment while incarcerated, said Director of the Bahamas Crisis Centre Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson yesterday.
She told The Nassau Guardian that the Crisis Centre has been calling for such a program to be implemented for years, and it needs “to be taken seriously”.
According to Dean-Patterson, sex offenders are highly likely to pursue deviant behavior if the arousal connection is not changed, despite having served long sentences.
“We need to break through that connection so that they are no longer aroused by seeing a littler boy or girl in a swimsuit,” Dean-Patterson said. “Our mental health and prison agencies have to come to together to put a system in place.
“If someone goes to jail for five years, or even 10 years for sexual assault he is still highly, highly likely to do so again.”
However, she admitted that research shows that many perpetrators benefit from this kind of treatment, but some do not.
Dean-Patterson said the low conviction rate in sexual offense and domestic violence cases contributes to offenders thinking they can rape, molest and batter without consequence.
Dean-Patterson added that in order for the Crisis Center to expand its services and become more involved in aiding victims of abuse, its annual $30,000 government grant needs to be increased to around $200,000.
This would facilitate more permanent administrators and advocates, as the non-profit organization relies upon volunteers, she said.
Jun 20, 2012