What is the California Corrections Dept. Thinking?
The California Department of Corrections shipped twelve paroled high risk sex offenders to San Quentin on Thursday. The key word is paroled. Since they're out of prison, while they'll be housed on the SQ grounds, they'll be free to come and go as they please for 12 hours a day. They do have tracking devices but (a) we already know from Martha Stewart that you can get the darn things off and (b) that will tell where they are, but not if they're raping or molesting a woman or child.
Normally complacent, liberal Marin has turned NIMBY big time. I received an email (and forwarded it to friends) telling of a protest at SQ's West Gate on Monday at 9 a.m. I intend to go. I suspect that attendance will be large in numbers and high in estrogen. The men may be at the office, but we Marin Moms will be out in force defending our young —— and, incidentally, our own safety, because there's no reason to believe that these men are just pedophiles.
One really has to ask what the corrections department is thinking when it concentrates these individuals in one community —— and a community with a very high population of children. I know of (although have never met) a man who was convicted for pedophilia 25 years ago. This man, I've been told, has managed to control his impulses and, indeed, works with the police to help profile pedophiles. He told a mutual friend that the Internet is the best thing that ever happened to pedophiles, because it gives them the strength of numbers. They can get together and share information about vulnerable children and techniques for preying on those vulnerabilities. But who needs the Internet? We now have the Department of Corrections bypassing the Internet and simply clumping these people together so that they can share notes, scope the neighborhood and plan their activities.
And no, I don't think we in Marin are being paranoid. Sex offenders are just wired wrong, and punishment seems to be a limited deterrent —— as evidenced by their unusually high recidivism rates. No wonder people want them to be isolated after they've left prison. I recognize that a Constitutional problem arises from the fact that no community wants sex offenders to roam free after they've done their time. That is, Constitutionally speaking, sex offenders cannot continue to be punished after having served their sentences. However, to the extent our Governments (local, State and Federal) have police authority, we expect them to protect us from the disproportionate risk of a vile crime. In this regard, I'll note that people who commit property crimes such as breaking and entering can also be recidivists, although not at the high rate seen in in sex criminals. While break and entering is a heinous act, however, no one would argue that it's repercussions go beyond property loss.
A rape or child molestation, though, is the crime that keeps on giving in terms of future psychological damage. It therefore demands, I believe, that our Government engage in much stronger preventative measures.
Bookworm is a crypto—conservative. She is the proprietor of Bookworm Room.