Labeling sex offenders won't protect children.
JESSE K. TIMMENDEQUAS IS NOT THE SORT OF person you want to know, much less have as a neighbor. Now 35, he has spent at least the past 15 years either sexually abusing children or serving time for doing so. He has confessed twice to child molestation Child molestation is a crime involving a range of indecent or sexual activities between an adult and a child, usually under the age of 14. In psychiatric terms, these acts are sometimes known as pedophilia. , and one judge called Chief Judge Cal is a fictional character in the Judge Dredd comic strip in 2000 AD. He was loosely based on the real life Roman emperor Caligula, who is widely considered to have been insane. He was the villain in the story "The Day the Law Died" (1978-79). him a "compulsive, repetitive sexual offender."
In 1994, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the police and prosecutors in New Jersey, Timmendequas preyed on another little girl, 7-year-old Megan Kanka. This time, they say, his brutality did not stop at sexual abuse; this time, he murdered his victim. Megan, it turned out, had Timmendequas as a neighbor. When he and two other sex offenders sex offender n. generic term for all persons convicted of crimes involving sex, including rape, molestation, sexual harassment and pornography production or distribution. were released from prison, they moved into her community of Hamilton, New Jersey. The authorities did not inform the Kankas or anyone else on the block that the ex-convicts were coming. One day, police report, Timmendequas lured Megan away by promising her the chance to pet a puppy. Once he had her alone, he strangled stran·gle
v. stran·gled, stran·gling, stran·gles
a. To kill by squeezing the throat so as to choke or suffocate; throttle.
The justifiable outrage that followed Megan's death has led to an unjustifiable law named for her, first on a state level and then in federal legislation, signed in May 1996 by President Clinton. "Megan's Laws Megan's Laws are named for Megan Kanka, a seven-year-old girl from New Jersey who was sexually assaulted and murdered in 1994 by a neighbor who, unknown to the victim's family, had been previously convicted for Sex Offenses against children. ," as the statues have come to be known, require authorities to notify communities when a child molester Noun 1. child molester - a man who has sex (usually sodomy) with a boy as the passive partner
degenerate, deviant, deviate, pervert - a person whose behavior deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behavior is released into their midst. An example is New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of State's Megan's Law, officially known as the Sex Offender Registration This article requires authentication or verification by an expert.
Please assist in recruiting an expert or [ improve this article] yourself. See the talk page for details. Act. Under its provisions, offenders must register with the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services within ten days of being released from prison. Some offenders must then verify their home address annually for ten years. High-risk offenders must keep in touch every 90 days. When Governor George Pataki George Elmer Pataki (born June 24, 1945) is an American politician who was the 57th Governor of New York serving from January 1995 until January 1, 2007. He is a member of the Republican Party and was seen as a possible 2000 and 2008 Presidential candidate. signed the law early in 1996, he declared: "This will make New York's communities safer for our children."
He's wrong. So is the law. The best intentions--and they abound in tile case of victimized children and their pained survivors--don't always result in good laws. Megan's Law is an example. It won't resurrect Megan or protect her peers. It certainly won't rehabilitate re·ha·bil·i·tate
1. To restore to good health or useful life, as through therapy and education.
2. To restore to good condition, operation, or capacity. child molesters, which is the action society needs to take to guard youngsters. Warning parents about a potential threat to their children is a worthwhile goal, but Megan's Law is so unconstitutional that it can't survive a serious challenge in the courts. A federal judge has already blocked enforcement of the New Jersey version of the law on which the laws of other states have been modeled. Once Megan's Law has been removed from the books, as it inevitably will be, society will be back where it started. Maybe then it will direct its rage in the proper direction: toward taking some serious action to deal with sex offenders rather than opting for quick fixes and bad laws.
It's not difficult to see why the federal judge has put the brakes on Megan's Law. First of all, it unjustly continues the punishment of the person after he or she has served time. Released from prison, a person is labeled by the state of New York as either a level-one, -two, or -three risk, which determines who will be told about his or her crimes. Level-three persons have to register for life; they will not only have information about their crimes disseminated but also have their exact addresses given to the public, in much the same way that red meat is given to leopards. Some people want punishment to continue beyond the prison walls because, they rightly complain, offenders are released too early from prison. Sentenced to ten years for one of his offenses, for example, Timmendequas was paroled after serving only a few months. Such foreshortened punishment is ineffective and should be ended, but it does not justify extending penalties past the walls of prison.
A second reason such laws are wrong is that they pick out one specific group of criminals for special treatment. Why select only child molesters for such public labeling? Why not burglars? I'd sure like to know when one of them moves in next door. Wouldn't you want to know if your new neighbor is given to selling drugs or stealing cars or destroying property? If so, then be prepared to explain why we shouldn't pin a list of sins and crimes on you, too. Such scarlet letters scarlet letter
“A” for “adultery” sewn on Hester Prynne’s dress. [Am. Lit.: The Scarlet Letter]
See : Adultery
scarlet letter would allow everyone to know what you've done and might do again. The people you deal with on a daily basis at work might appreciate knowing that you are quick to anger or slow to forgive or have a roving eye or a foul mouth.
But what is most wrong about Megan's Law does not involve constitutionality; it involves morality. First, the law provides a false sense of security. Every community already has child molesters in them. It is a parent's duty--albeit a sad one--to teach his or her children properly about strangers, the dangers of the world, and how to protect themselves. If parents begin to believe that the state is doing that education for them, they will drop their guard and abandon one of their most important duties toward their children: teaching them about the reality of sin and evil in the world. None of us likes to tell our children that there are bad people in the neighborhood, but we must; it is part of their moral upbringing.
There is another moral problem at the heart of Megan's Law: it is an attempt to avoid admitting the truth about our ignorance about the causes and cures of sexual abuse. We don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. what to do with child molesters because we don't understand what makes them the way they are. We don't know why Timmendequas and his ilk prey on children; we can't comprehend it, and they can't explain themselves. The compulsion they are under is overwhelming; and even when they look for help, there is little to be found. We easily label them, to use the words of several New York politicians, as "fiends, monsters, and predators," but we shy away from Verb 1. shy away from - avoid having to deal with some unpleasant task; "I shy away from this task"
avoid - stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something; "Her former friends now avoid her" taking the more difficult road of offering counseling and making sure they take part in it as a condition of their release from prison.
Faced with such lack of understanding and inability to treat the problem, we resort to the legal equivalent of leeches Leeches Definition
Leeches are bloodsucking worms with segmented bodies. They belong to the same large classification of worms as earthworms and certain oceanic worms.
Leeches can primarily be found in freshwater lakes, ponds, or rivers. . Until psychology advances enough to help us treat sex offenders, we are embarrassed by their existence among us. So we try to shun Shun
In Chinese mythology, one of the three legendary emperors, along with Yao and Da Yu, of the golden age of antiquity (c. 23rd century BC), singled out by Confucius as models of integrity and virtue. them. The same sort of labeling was tried a few years ago with drunk drivers, who were ordered to drive cars with license plates that identified them. It didn't lower deaths from drunk driving. What does work are immediate punishment, effective treatment programs, and aftercare af·ter·care
Follow-up care provided after a medical procedure or treatment program.
the care and treatment of a convalescent patient, especially one that has undergone surgery. .
With child molesters, we've got the punishment part down (if we make sure to keep them in prison longer); it's the treatment and aftercare that we've fumbled. In desperation, we reach for quick fixes like Megan's Law. While that will help us point a finger at someone, it will also distract us from protecting our children from those offenders we don't know and prevent us from providing the help that could turn a twisted individual into someone with the self-respect that leads to respect for others.
The horrible death of Megan Kanka, the terrible suffering of her family, the lingering fear in their community--all of that should be harnessed to produce something more effective, constitutional, and moral than Megan's Law. She deserves better. And as Christians called to witness repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation by a Lord who showed us how when he healed lepers, forgave for·gave
Past tense of forgive.
the past tense of forgive
forgave forgive a condemned criminal, and told an adulteress to sin no more, we have to add that Jesse K. Timmendequas deserves better, too.
It's easy, Jesus said, to love the Megans of the world. He will judge us on how we loved the Jesses.
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The best way for the legal system to deal with convicted child molesters who are released from prison is:
Require ongoing counseling after release which should be indefinite and at the offender's expense. Also, require all child molesters to register with the local sheriff's department, and a register of all offenders should be maintained.
Kansas City Kansas City, two adjacent cities of the same name, one (1990 pop. 149,767), seat of Wyandotte co., NE Kansas (inc. 1859), the other (1990 pop. 435,146), Clay, Jackson, and Platte counties, NW Mo. (inc. 1850). , Mo.
I believe a known child molester is extremely likely to inflict more of the same and needs to live in a protected society. I do not think punishment is much of a deterrent, but living daily in a way that redirects one's understanding of self and others may result in change. Until that is certain, a child molester should not reenter re·en·ter also re-en·ter
v. re·en·tered, re·en·ter·ing, re·en·ters
1. To enter or come in to again.
2. To record again on a list or ledger.
Denison, Iowa Denison is a city in Crawford County, Iowa, United States, along the Boyer River. The population was 7,339 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Crawford County.GR6 Geography
Denison is located at
Place them in a halfway house halfway house /half·way house/ (haf´wa hous) a residence for patients (e.g., mental patients, drug addicts, alcoholics) who do not require hospitalization but who need an intermediate degree of care until they can return to the community. .
Rehabilitation rehabilitation: see physical therapy. is the best solution--if the resources and personnel are available.
South Wales South Wales south n → sud m du Pays de Galles , N.Y.
Notify citizens in the locality in which the molester mo·lest
tr.v. mo·lest·ed, mo·lest·ing, mo·lests
1. To disturb, interfere with, or annoy.
2. To subject to unwanted or improper sexual activity. resides, and do not release a child molester from prison early and place them on probation.
Ira L. Shafiroff
Harbor City, Calif.
Why should molesters ever be released? The molester's compulsion is almost impossible to eradicate, so why should the public be subjected to danger?
Don't release them.
To not release a molester until a counseling and treatment program has been successfully completed while in prison and a competent, professional therapist agrees the individual is ready for society.
Sandy, Utah Sandy (also known as Sandy City) is a city in Salt Lake County, Utah and a suburb of Salt Lake City. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 88,418. A 2006 estimate placed its population at 94,203, making it the fifth-largest city in Utah.
In the case of repeat offenders, some sort of monitoring device should be worn on their person at all times.
Coolville, Ohio Coolville is a village located in Troy Township, Athens County, Ohio, United States, in the extreme southeast of the state. The population was 528 at the 2000 census. Geography
Coolville is located at (39.222197, -81.
To require continued treatment, such as a meeting once a week or month, something like the Alcoholics Anonymous Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), worldwide organization dedicated to the treatment of alcoholics; founded 1935 by two alcoholics, one a New York broker, the other an Ohio physician. method. Also, to require continued follow-up with a counselor.
Sister Barbara Reder, S.P.
Rancho Santa Margarita Santa Margarita ("Saint Margaret") may refer to:
To treat them as any criminally insane person, by requiring psychiatric treatment, either inpatient or outpatient, as well as long probation periods with close supervision. Convicted child molesters should not be allowed to work or volunteer in jobs that involve contact with persons under the age of 21. Information about their criminal record should be made available to employers and landlords.
Probation should include treatment, and this treatment should be paid for with health grants where recipients need help--possibly based on a sliding-fee scale.
St. Paul St. Paul
as a missionary he fearlessly confronts the “perils of waters, of robbers, in the city, in the wilderness.” [N.T.: II Cor. 11:26]
See : Bravery , Minn.
If I knew that a convicted child molester lived in my neighborhood, I would:
Talk to my three children. Tell them that this person is very sick and to never talk to or go near that individual. I would tell them that this person cannot help what he or she does and it's best not to get into a situation you can't get out of.
Bell tower, either freestanding or attached to another structure. More particularly it refers to the room, usually at the top of such a tower, where the bells and their supporting timberwork are hung. , Mont.
Organize or join a campaign to force the molester out of the neighborhood.
John J. Harlon
Try not to treat that person unfairly, but be aware.
I would want to know if that person could be rehabilitated, and if not, I would like him or her put away--rather than imprisoning another victim for the rest of his or her life.
To continue their rehabilitation through private meetings with prison representatives and counselors. I think the prison system should keep track of child molesters, but it should be done in a private manner, much like what is done for other prisoners as they are gradually mainstreamed back into society.
Father Mark G. Boyer
Tell my children that if this individual approaches them, they are to take to their heels and use their lungs while they seek help.
Take my child by the hand and make sure he knew who this person was and where he lived and warn the child to stay away.
Make sure that everyone in the neighborhood knew so that we could each keep an extra eye out for one another's children.
Reinforce to the children not to talk to strangers, and when the person is no longer considered a stranger, not allow the children to go into this person's home or to be with him alone.
Marian P. Deilke
Cottage Grove Cottage Grove, village (1990 pop. 22,935), Washington co., SE Minn., near the St. Croix River; inc. 1965. There is farming (cattle, sheep, corn, and soybeans) and manufacturing (chemicals and machinery). , Minn.
Be more cautious with my children, but I would not label or condemn the former child molester.
To be realistic, I would certainly be aware of where my grandchildren GRANDCHILDREN, domestic relations. The children of one's children. Sometimes these may claim bequests given in a will to children, though in general they can make no such claim. 6 Co. 16. or other children visiting were playing. Otherwise I'd probably just go on with life.
San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. , Calif.
Offer my assistance in taking them for counseling; but I would not allow my grandchildren to be near the person. Jesus said love my neighbor, not be stupid.
Central Islip, N.Y.
Specifically instruct children to never speak to or be near that person, and tell them why. Explain that the person is mentally ill--a tragedy--but that person inflicts harm on children.
I would like to see the church doing the following for convicted child molesters:
Pray for them. Advocate greater legal protection for children. Do not shelter the abusers nor excuse their conduct. We should act with compassion and charity but not with foolishness.
Poplar Bluff Poplar Bluff, city (1990 pop. 16,996), seat of Butler co., SE Mo., in the Ozark foothills, on the low bluffs of the Black River near the Ark. line; inc. 1870. It is a trade, shipping, and medical center in a fertile farming area. , Mo.
First of all, pray for them and their victims. Secondly, offer a support group to help them live respectable lives, as we do for those who are dealing with homosexuality.
Father Edward M. Kachurka
Ozone Park, N.Y.
Stop being so righteously naive. Stop opposing the death penalty for murder and other heinous hei·nous
Grossly wicked or reprehensible; abominable: a heinous crime.
[Middle English, from Old French haineus, from haine, hatred, from crimes. Be more concerned about the victims' rights victims' rights, rights of victims to have a role in the prosecution of the perpetrators of crimes against them. Nearly all U.S. states have enacted some victims' rights legislation. .
Support counseling for offenders, and support child-safety awareness classes for parents and children. It is difficult to tell children that there may be bad people in the neighborhood; education in a Christian context can help both parents and children and might open some eyes as to our Christian responsibility toward convicts.
Lobby for adequate psychological treatment and care for them.
Offer opportunities for reconciliation and counseling. I would also like to see the church actively involved in helping the victims of child molesters and their families so that they may find ways to accept what has happened, live whole lives, and move toward forgiveness of their persecutor.
Denise S. Szabo
Jersey City, N.J.
Provide space for support groups and group-counseling sessions. Churches also should see to it that these people have support with finding work, maintaining a household, and regaining or gaining a sense of themselves as members of a community.
Father Milton Adamson, C.S.C.
Voice opposition to singling out certain citizens for branding. It is like the scarlet A in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Facts don't necessarily decide who is guilty or innocent, and the innocent may be branded and the truly recovered will be forced to live with a brand no longer applicable.
A mentor or sponsor could be assigned--someone who would lead, comfort, and influence the person toward God, the church, and spirituality. Someone to help the person strive for self-forgiveness and love of humanity.
Mary A. Gigac
Villa Maria Villa Maria is a private catholic girl's high school in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was founded in 1854 and offers both a francophone and an anglophone stream. The central part of the Villa Maria school used to be called the Monklands mansion, and it was the home of the Governor , Penn.
The church should continue to reach out to all sinners regardless of what their sins might be. The Good News of Jesus Christ Jesus Christ: see Jesus.
40 days after Resurrection, ascended into heaven. [N.T.: Acts 1:1–11]
See : Ascension
kind to the poor, forgiving to the sinful. [N.T. is meant for all of us, to heal us of our past and convert us to a new way of life.
St. Louis, Mo.
tr.v. ex·com·mu·ni·cat·ed, ex·com·mu·ni·cat·ing, ex·com·mu·ni·cates
1. To deprive of the right of church membership by ecclesiastical authority.
2. them. I believe the sin of child molestation deserves it.
Be honest with parishioners when such acts are committed by ordained or·dain
tr.v. or·dained, or·dain·ing, or·dains
a. To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on.
b. To authorize as a rabbi.
Mary Kay Mary Kay is a brand of skin care and color cosmetics sold by Mary Kay Inc. Mary Kay World Headquarters is located in the Dallas suburb of Addison, Texas. Mary Kay Ash (d. November 22, 2001) founded Mary Kay Inc. on Friday, September 13, 1963. Frank
St. Marys, Pa.
I fail to see how justice is served by releasing a repeat offender anonymously into a neighborhood. The preservation of the public good might be best served by never releasing offenders into general society.
I'm tired of seeing criminals go free while their victims live in terror.
Euclid, Ohio Euclid is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. It is part of the Greater Cleveland Metropolitan Area, and borders Cleveland. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 52,717. In 2006 Euclid's population was estimated at 48,717.
Unlike burglars, robbers, and the like, child molesters steal some thing that can never be replaced--a child's innocence, trust, security, and, all too often, the child's life. The mental and emotional scarring of molestation molestation n. the crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, including touching of private parts, exposure of genitalia, taking of pornographic pictures, rape, inducement of sexual acts with the molester or with other children, and variations of these lasts a lifetime. That is why it is proper for authorities to single out child molesters for special treatment. Probation officers cannot watch them 24 hours a day. Although we can never know who all the molesters are, we can concentrate our efforts on preventing the known molesters from having an easy time finding additional victims.
Laura W. Meredith
Children, especially young children, are vulnerable no matter how much parents have talked to them. Child molestation is not the fault of children or their parents. The burden of responsibility should be on the molester. If we break the mores of civilized society, we should pay the price. We can deal with compassion, but people have a right to protect their children.
Since this is a problem in the church itself, prevention should be a high priority, as well as treatment and monitoring behavior. The church should share any information learned (such as effective treatment) with other workers in the field.
Mary Ann Knorr
New Town, Pa.
I think there are as many facets to the solution as there are sex offenders. I think the concept of Megan's Law would help protect kids. But it is insufficient to overcome the constitutionally bad-law aspect James Breig points out.
Parents have the difficult job of helping their children realize that strangers are not always nice without squelching their children's faith in humanity--something best accomplished in a secure family environment with access to other adults well-known to the parents.
I would like to know whether a serial offender has moved into my neighborhood.
AGREE 82% DISAGREE 17% OTHER 1%
Authorities should be required to notify communities when a child molester moves into their area.
AGREE 70% DISAGREE 28% OTHER 2%
Megans Law will give parents a false sense that their children are safe.
AGREE 52% DISAGREE 43% OTHER 5%
Criminals are not imprisoned im·pris·on
tr.v. im·pris·oned, im·pris·on·ing, im·pris·ons
To put in or as if in prison; confine.
[Middle English emprisonen, from Old French emprisoner : en- as long as they should be.
AGREE 86% DISAGREE 4% OTHER 10%
Parents need to teach children to be wary of all strangers, not just known criminals.
AGREE 96% DISAGREE 1% OTHER 3%
Megan's Law should be applied to all dangerous criminals, not just child molesters.
AGREE 53% DISAGREE 38% OTHER 9%
Rehabilitation and treatment during imprisonment Imprisonment
See also Isolation.
former federal maximum security penitentiary, near San Francisco; “escapeproof.” [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 218]
German prison ship in World War II. [Br. Hist. and after release is the best way to prevent convicted child molesters from victimizing someone again.
AGREE 60% DISAGREE 20% OTHER 20%
Publicly labeling child molesters will not stop the overwhelming compusions that drive them to victimize children.
AGREE 92% DISAGREE 6% OTHER 2%
In the case of Megan's Law, the public good outweighs the right to privacy.
AGREE 67% DISAGREE 26% OTHER 7%
Labeling and shunning people even criminals--are unchristian acts.
AGREE DISAGREE OTHER 54% 32% 14%
No matter how long you keep a child molester in prison, unless he or she receives treatment, that person is likely to become a repeat offender.
AGREE DISAGREE OTHER 85% 2% 13%
Along with James Breig, I believe that lebeling sex offenders will not protect kids.
AGREE DISAGREE OTHER 52% 43% 5%
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v. con·densed, con·dens·ing, con·dens·es
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