Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pharmaceuticals Instead of Residency Restrictions in Britain

A different response to the child sex crime moral panic in Britain:

Sex crime drug treatments planned Plans to offer more drug treatments to sex offenders to try to stop them committing more crimes are being announced by the Home Office.

The treatment involving libido-reducing drugs or anti-depressants would be given on a voluntary basis.

Parents will also be able to ask for checks on whether new partners or people dealing with their children are known sex offenders.

And remember that Britain explicitly rejected the "Megan's Law" approach there:

Home Secretary John Reid told BBC News: "Prison and punishment should take place when people are guilty of child offences but in addition to that we need, after that, to treat them, to supervise them and to share information, where appropriately, with them and in all three areas this is what we are doing today in terms of strengthening our regime."

Some of the most persistent sex offenders are already offered drug treatment, but the Home Office says this provision could be increased.

Mr Reid said sex offenders would be offered drug treatment on a voluntary basis alongside other measures, including supervision.

"The evidence suggests that it's far more effective and only really effective if someone is getting this treatment voluntarily, as part of a treatment course."

He said allowing everyone to have access to information about sex offenders - a measure known as Megan's or Sarah's Law - could drive paedophiles underground, so he had decided on a "middle way". This allows "vulnerable people, especially young single parents with young families" to find out whether a new partner or other adult who came into contact with their children was a sex offender.

So we literally have a semi-experiment going on as to greater effectiveness of approaches here. Hopefully some enterprising future doctoral student will figure out how to get the data to do the comparative analyses in a few years.

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