Naivete about sex offenders
It’s commendable that we have people who wish to help those who have come into contact with our criminal justice system and by helping them try to better society. But when that help endangers innocent people, then it must be called into question.
Having written a novel, “The Therapist,” in which the protagonist in the story with the help of unknown individuals delivers their own justice on those who sexually offend, I have, as expected, run across those who believe this story line is harmful, unhelpful and creates an undue sense of fear in regards to offenders.
Many of the statements these people have made in regards to offenders are, though well intended, naive and based on little to no experience, and they create a much more dangerous situation than the crime novel I have written.
On April 4, the Rutland Herald ran a story titled: “Justice program at work in schools.” In the article, Kate Searles Brayton talks about her program called Restorative Justice. In the first part of the article, she talks about resolving conflicts among public school students. This is commendable.
However, she then tells the reporter that her group of volunteers has had great success re-entering high-risk sex offenders into the community. This type of belief is naive, misleading, extremely dangerous and unfair to victims and potential victims. How has she determined that success? What training has her group of volunteers had?
I have had hundreds of hours of training in working with offenders and have spent thousands of hours working directly with them, and I would be naive to think that I still could not be taken in and manipulated by an offender.
Sex offenders are masters of deceit who see kindness as weaknesses that are to be exploited. They look for these situations. They are patient and almost always known to their victims. They often use unsuspecting adults to gain access to those victims. Ms. Brayton’s group would be a prime target.