The Journal of The DuPage County Bar Association

Back Issues > Vol. 14 (2001-02)

NIU's Northern Exposure
The Rights of Sexual Offenders on Probation: Conditions Must Rationally Relate to the Goals of Probation
By Kenya A. Jenkins

Introduction
One of the biggest fears pertaining to crime in the United States today is the idea of a sex offender living in one’s neighborhood.1 Even though it is obvious that, despite the public’s fear and anger at such crimes, all sexual offenders cannot be put in prison,2 these fears and questions have led to a plethora of legislation and court orders the to better protect the community.3 Legislation such as “Megan’s Law” was introduced specifically to allow the community to be notified if there is a convicted sexual abuser in their neighborhood.4 Sexual offenders must now notify the police and the community about their crimes.5

However, the public outrage at these types of crimes has forced trial courts to take an even more drastic measure: imposing “shaming” conditions.6 Probation conditions that require offenders to post signs and bumper stickers announcing their crimes are called shaming conditions.7 In various states, trial courts have begun imposing such conditions on sex offenders.8 These conditions have come to the forefront of debate once again because of Judge J. Manual Banales, a state judge in Corpus Christi, Texas.9 Judge Banales has ordered sex offenders on probation to post signs in front of their houses and bumper stickers on their cars that state, “DANGER, REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER LIVES HERE,” and “Danger. Registered Sex Offender in Vehicle,” respectively.10

The purpose of this article is to examine the use of “shaming” in the probation conditions imposed on sex offenders. Part I analyzes the purpose of probation from the perspectives of both the community and the probationer. It then examines what the goals of probation are, and what restrictions are placed upon the trial court in imposing probation conditions. Part II investigates who would likely commit a sexual offense a second time, and analyzes psychological studies that examine whether treatment lowers the rate of recidivism in sexual offenders. Finally, Part III examines shaming conditions and considers whether they are rationally related to the goals of probation. It also discusses whether, from a psychological standpoint, such punishments work at all.

I. The Goals of Probation
The major constitutional requirement for a trial court’s imposition of a particular condition of probation is that the condition must be reasonably related to the rehabilitation of the offender.11 This section examines those requirements throughout the United States.

Probation is usually reserved for convicted criminals whose release into the community poses a low risk to the safety of the public and promotes rehabilitation.12 Probation is not a right, but is, instead, a privilege that may be granted or withheld at the discretion of the trial court.13 If the probationer is unsatisfied, he “is free to reject terms of probation which limit his future rights and instead may accept the punishment imposed for his crime.”14 However, because prisons are so overcrowded, probation is very necessary in our criminal justice system.15 Therefore, probation should not merely be seen as an act of grace on the part of the judge, but, rather, as a necessary component of the legal system.

When deciding what type of probation conditions to impose upon a criminal defendant, broad discretion is given to the trial court.16 Statutes frequently state that the trial court “may” impose conditions upon a person on probation.17 However, that discretion is not without limits.18 Conditions that are arbitrary or unreasonable violate the trial court’s discretion.19 The conditions placed upon a person on probation must have a rational relationship to the goals of probation, which include the probationer’s rehabilitation and protection of the public. 20 Therefore, the trial courts have a dual duty not only to protect society but also to rehabilitate the defendant.21 As the Indiana Court of Appeals put it:

The sentencing judge has a broad power to impose conditions designed to serve the accused and the community. The only limitation is that the conditions have a reasonable relationship to the treatment of the accused and the protection of the public. The object, of course, is to produce a law-abiding citizen and at the same time to protect the public against continued criminal or anti-social behavior.22

A trial court, however, cannot merely order a requirement and then summarily state that the requirement fosters the dual goals of protecting society and rehabilitating the defendant; rather, the probation condition must be reasonably related to these goals.23 A Wisconsin court held that “reasonableness and appropriateness of a condition of probation is determined by how well it serves the dual goals of probation; namely, the rehabilitation of the offender and the protection of the state and community interest.”24 The Illinois Supreme Court has also stated that though trial courts can, in their discretion, impose additional conditions, in order to foster the rehabilitation and protection of the public, the conditions must be reasonable.25

While the rehabilitation of the offender and the protection of society have been deemed the dual goals of a probation requirement, some courts have found that a focus on rehabilitation should be the main goal of a probation condition. In Ohio, trial courts must, in the interests of justice, order additional conditions of probation to rehabilitate the offender, in order to ensure future acceptable behavior.26 In California, an appellate court held that trial courts have wide discretion in making probation conditions, which aids in reforming and rehabilitating the defendant.27 The strongest statement in this regard was made by the Court of Appeals of New York, which pointed out that the New York Legislature had not made any reference to punishment or deterrence as a goal of probationary conditions, but had, instead, restricted probation conditions to those that are reasonably related to the rehabilitation of the defendant.28 This focus on the rehabilitation of defendants can be found in other state legislation and in federal statutes as well.29

Looking at both case law and legislation, it is obvious that the rehabilitation of the defendant should always be the focus of trial courts when imposing probation requirements.30 Without rehabilitation, convicted defendants cannot become the law-abiding citizens that society would like them to become.31 Therefore, the next question becomes, can the sexual offender be rehabilitated? And, if so, what types of psychological methods seem to work best with the sexual offender? Answers to these questions will be discussed in the next section.

II. Psychology and the Sexual Offender
In order to analyze the probation requirement of rehabilitating the offender, we need to explore which methods of psychological treatment are used to make an offender a productive member of our society, and which of those methods are the mose succssful in rehabilitating the offender.

A. The debate over the effectiveness of psychological treatment
The acts of sex offenders affect many Americans;32 however, due to the overcrowding of prisons, a lot of attention has been given to alternatives to incarceration for these defendants.33 The most frequently used alternative is psychological treatment of the sex offender.34 However, there has been a great deal of debate over the effectiveness of such treatment. 35 Some experts argue that treatment does not help lower recidivism amongst the sexual offenders,36 whereas others believe that sexual offenders cannot be helped at all.37 Therefore, these experts argue, because psychological treatment is ineffective, alternatives such as “shaming” penalties may be a viable solution.

Pessimistic views such as these detract from the importance of psychological treatment. No psychological findings support the conclusion that sex offenders cannot be treated.38 There is no proof that sex offenders are merely out of control and cannot stop themselves from acting on their urges.39 Many people who suffer from some sort of addiction feel as if they are out of control and cannot stop themselves.40 Looking at modern research, however, there is no proof that sex offenders suffer from any cognitive disorder that renders them unable to control their behavior.41 Though it could be easily said that sex offenders have sexual urges that they would like to satisfy, there is nothing that demonstrates that these urges cannot be controlled.42

B. Studies of the treatment of sex offenders
Through a comparison of treated and untreated sexual offenders, one can see the importance of psychological treatment in the rehabilitation of an offender. Kruttschnitt, Uggen, and Shelton did a retrospective study of 556 sexual offenders placed on probation between 1992-1997 in Minnesota.43 They used both informal social controls (employment and marital status) and formal social controls (whether drug testing was ordered as a condition, whether the offenders were told to avoid contact with minors, and whether they attended sexual treatment sessions).44 After five years, 5.6% of the offenders had committed a new sexual offense.45 Further, people with a juvenile arrest record and history of criminal acts were more likely to re-offend.46 The study also found that age seemed to have had a strong negative impact on recidivism.47 However, the main factor that was found to reduce recidivism in sexual offenders was the combined effect of stable employment, treatment, and supervision.48

A study by McGrath, Hoke, and Vojtisek used a comprehensive cognitive behavioral and relapse-prevention treatment to see if the sexual offender’s recidivism rate could be lowered.49 The participants in this study were convicted adult male sex offenders placed on probation for at least three months.50 The participants were divided into three groups: a specialized treatment group that included 71 people, a non-specialized treatment group of 32 people, and a no treatment group of 19 people.51 It should be noted that the difference between the specialized and non-specialized groups was that the former received a specialized cognitive treatment and relapse prevention for three months with frequent communication between the treatment staff and the probation officer, whereas the latter did not receive such in-depth treatment, and there was no frequent communication between the treatment staff and probation officer.52 The results found that only 1.4% of the participants in the specialized group committed a new sexual offense, whereas 15.6% of the non-specialized group and 10.5% of the no-treatment group became repeat sexual offenders.53 The authors argued that these results show that cognitive-behavioral and relapse prevention treatment is effective with sexual offenders.54

These studies support the proposition that using a psychological treatment does have an impact on the recidivism rates of sex offenders. It follows then that more research should be done in order to expand the effectiveness of psychological treatments.

III. Shaming Conditions Fail to Relate Rationally to the Goals of Probation
After an examination of the goals of probation and an analysis of the treatment of sexual offenders, we must consider whether the so-called shaming conditions of probation, such as requiring a sexual offender to post signs in front of his home and a bumper sticker on his car, help foster this rehabilitation and protection of the community, and therefore relate to these dual goals of probation.

Many believe that requiring signs outside the home of a sex offender does help foster the goals of probation. Arguably, such conditions protect society because they warn the community about the fact that there is a sexual offender amongst them and he may be dangerous.55 This way, parents can protect their children, and warn them never to go near the offender.56 The bumper stickers could also be seen as a warning.57 Adults and children alike can read the bumper sticker and realize that this may be a very dangerous person.58 Secondly, it has been argued that these conditions help advance the goals of rehabilitation. For example, these signs will be a constant reminder that what the sexual offender did was not acceptable behavior, and reinforces the idea that when he breaks the law he will be punished.59 Finally, it has been asserted that the community can also get involved with the offender’s rehabilitation, by keeping themselves and their children away from the offender.60 This may help reinforce the societal norms by telling the offender that he will not be accepted until he conforms to those norms.61

Though these arguments may seem complete and logical on the surface, when one makes a more in-depth examination, obvious problems arise with shaming a sexual offender by forcing him to post signs and bumper stickers. An exploration of those problems shows that requiring a sexual offender to put up signs and bumper stickers does not rationally relate to the goals of probation. Therefore, such shaming conditions should be prohibited.
Rehabilitation is an important and necessary part of probation. This is especially true for the sexual offender because of his or her high chance of recidivism.62 One of the only ways to rehabilitate the sexual offender and make him a productive member of society is through psychological treatment.63 However, “shaming” requirements, such as signs and bumper stickers, have an adverse affect on the treatment of the sexual offender.64

A. Labeling of the sexual offender
The first problem with forcing a sexual offender to post a sign and/or bumper sticker is that it labels him or her.65 The sexual offender may begin to believe he is nothing more than a sexual offender and that this is unchangeable.66 Therefore, the offender may feel hopeless and begin to believe that it is inevitable for him or her to re-offend.67 Then, instead of seeking help for his problem, the offender may just believe that something is wrong with him and find ways to commit other sexual offenses.68 This is obviously adverse to the goals of rehabilitation. Society wants the sexual offender to believe that he can be helped, seek out such help, and become a productive member of society.69 Labeling an offender may make him deviate further from the norm, and is obviously adverse to the second goal of probation: protection of the community. 70

B. Effects on the offender’s life
Shaming penalties can also adversely affect an offender’s normal life, which, in turn, can inhibit rehabilitation through stigmatization of the offender. For example, bumper stickers that notify others that someone is a sexual offender may cause prospective employers to avoid hiring such persons.71 Further, probationers who have jobs could possibly be fired due to these signs.72 This not only leaves the probationer with no means to support himself or his family, but it most probably also has an adverse affect on his ability to reform. Having employment is a very important part of the rehabilitation of the sexual offender.73 It has been found that sexual offenders that have steady employment are less likely to become recidivists.74 An increase in the probability of recidivism also runs counter to the second goal of probation, protecting the community, because it makes the offender more of a risk to the community.75

A final problem with shaming conditions is that they do not incorporate a method of undoing the stigmatization of the offender.76 The sexual offender on probation will have to deal with the problems of stigmatization for years after the shaming.77 Shaming also does not admit of any concomitant procedures that can reintegrate the offenders into society.7 8 One of the major goals of probation is to rehabilitate the offender, so he can become a reintegrated law-abiding individual. However, if after the probationary period, a sexual offender cannot find a job and is shunned by the community, the goals of probation have not been met.79

Shaming conditions are adverse to both goals of probation: rehabilitating the defendant and protection of the community. Therefore, such probation conditions cannot be seen as rationally relating to the goals of probation. Hence, such shaming requirements should be impermissible in a sex offender’s probation conditions.

Conclusion
Sexual abuse is one of the larger problems in the criminal justice system today. The fact remains that jails are overcrowded, and many sexual offenders will be put on probation. Despite legislation such as Megan’s Law, these offenders continue to commit further sexual offenses. Desperate to control this outbreak, trial judges have decided to use shaming probation conditions in the hope that such conditions will better warn the community and rehabilitate these offenders. However admirable the court’s reasoning for imposing such conditions, all probation conditions must be reasonably related to the goals of probation: protection of the community and rehabilitation of the offender. Requiring a sexual offender on probation to post a sign in front of his or her residence and a bumper sticker on his or her car does not rationally relate to the goals of probation. Such conditions adversely affect an offender’s rehabilitation, and fail to protect the community. Therefore, such conditions must be found impermissible in any sexual offender’s probation.

In order to solve society’ problem with the sexual offender, there must be a focus on how to rehabilitate the offender. Through increased research, we can determine which psychological treatments are the most effective at rehabilitating the sexual offender. Research may also indicate that there exist other, more positive, shaming penalties that can have therapeutic benefits for the sexual offender.

Sexual offenders are one of the most hated groups in our society today. However, trial courts cannot be allowed to make unnecessary and counter-productive probation conditions in order to attempt to solve this problem. Instead, society must focus on rehabilitating the sex offender. Only through rehabilitation can society be truly protected from the sexual offender.

1 See Bruce J. Winick, Sex Offender Law in the 1990’s: A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Analysis, 4 Psychol. Pub. Pol’y & L. 505 (1998) (stating that individuals who commit sex offenses against children are probably the most hated group in our society). [hereinafter Sex Offender Law]; See also, Downtown 20/20: No Escape (ABC television broadcast, June 18, 2001) (Don Dahler of ABC News states, “It’s a no-brainer. Convicted sex offenders are bad people, the lowest of the low, perverts. That is sure what a lot of people think here in Corpus Christi, Texas.”).[hereinafter 20/20]
2 See infra note 73 (noting that prisons are overcrowded).
3 See generally Sex Offender Law, supra note 1 (examining different legislations for dealing with sexual offenders: such as the civil commitment of sexual offenders through violent predator laws, and community registration laws).
4 Id. at 549-50 (noting that currently every state requires sexual offenders to register their whereabouts in order to give information to people in the community).
5 Id.
6 Larry Copeland, Does “Scarlet Letter” Judge Cross the Line? Some applaud Texas Jurist for Taking Creative Approach to Sentencing Sex Offenders, USA Today, July 10, 2001, available at 2001 WL 5466528 (noting that Judge Banales made the sign order shortly after a girl was almost sexually assaulted by a man with a prior conviction for a sexual offense). [hereinafter USA Today]
7 See People v. Meyer, 176 Ill. 2d 372, 680 N.E.2d 315, 319, 223 Ill. Dec. 582, 586 (1997) (holding that probation conditions that label a defendant’s person or property are “shaming” penalties).
8 See Cathy Booth Thomas & Hilary Hylton, A New Scarlet Letter: A Texas Judge Forces Sex Offenders to Broadcast Their Crimes With House Signs and Bumper Stickers, Time, June 11, 2001, at 82, available at 2001 WL 22574380 (stating that judges in Texas, Florida, Oregon, and Louisiana began ordering individual sexual offenders to put signs in their yards).[hereinafter Time]
9 Philip Delves Broughton, Judge Drives Home Sex Crime Message, The Daily Telegraph, May 30, 2001, available at 2001 WL 22440340. [hereinafter Daily Telegraph]
10 Id.; See also USA Today, supra note 6. In order to make sure that the required signs and bumper stickers are shown in plain view there is a task force known as “The Sex Offender Unit,” consisting of four members of the Corpus Christi Adult Probation Unit. 20/20, supra note 1. This task force looks for sex offenders who refuse to put up the signs and bumper stickers. Id. For example, the unit saw a car in front of the warning sign posted in the yard, and the bumper sticker on the car was covered with mud. Therefore, the unit required the car to be moved and the bumper sticker cleaned off. Id.
11 See discussion infra Part I.
12 People v. Welch, 851 P.2d 802, 805 (Cal. 1993).
13 State v. Welsh, 853 S.W.2d 466, 469 (Mo. Ct. App. 1993); see also Johnson, 659 N.E.2d at 198 (stating that probation is not a right, but a matter of grace and limited liberty that is a courtesy).
14 Id. (noting that the defendant had the option of rejecting the conditions of his probation and choosing to accept the jail sentence that would have been imposed, instead).
15 See Leonore H. Tavill, Note, Scarlet Letter Punishment: Yesterday’s Outlawed Penalty is Today’s Probation Condition, 36 Clev. St. L. Rev. 613, 615 (1988) [hereinafter Outlawed Penalty] (noting that the chances of a defendant being sentenced to jail decreases everyday). Prisons are operating way beyond their capacity. State prisons are operating at 110% and federal prisons at 124% of capacity. Id. Therefore, judges are using alternative sentences, instead of prison more frequently. Id. at 618.
16 People v. Bianco, 113 Cal. Rptr. 2d 392, 396 (Cal. Ct. App. 2001) (“the state Legislature has vested the trial courts with broad discretion to impose conditions of probation”); See also State v. Johnston, 31 P.3d 1101, 1106 n.6 (Or. Ct. App. 2001) (“trial courts have broad discretion in imposing special conditions of probation”).
17 See, e.g., 18 U.S.C.A § 3563 (b) (West 2000) (“the court may provide, as further conditions of a sentence of probation ….”); Fla. Stat. Ann. § 948.03 (1) (West 2001 & Supp. 2002) (“the court shall determine the terms and conditions of probation or community control); Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-35-313 (1997 & Supp. 2001) (“the court … place such defendant on probation upon such reasonable conditions as it may require ….”).
18 See, e.g., United States v. Balogun, 146 F.3d 141, 145 (2nd Cir. 1998) (noting that though the phrase “any other condition” may seem to give trial courts unlimited discretion, this court did not believe it gave “untrammeled discretion”); State v. Brillhart, 717 N.E.2d (Ohio Ct. App. 1998) (stating that the “trial court has broad, but not unlimited, discretion in fashioning the conditions of probation)
19 See, e.g., Welch, 851 P.2d at 805 (stating that the sentencing court violates its discretion when its condition is arbitrary or capricious or goes beyond reason, after considering all circumstances).
20 See, e.g., State v. Shepard, 554 N.W.2d 821, 823 (N.D. 1996) (stating that the only limitation on the trial courts imposition of probation conditions are that they “must be reasonably necessary to ensure that the defendant will lead a law abiding life or assist him to do so”).
21 See Gordy v. State, 674 N.E.2d 190, 191 (Ind. Ct. App. 1996).
22 Id. at 191-92, quoting McCloud v. State, 452 N.E.2d 1053, 1056 (Ind. Ct. App. 1983).
23 See infra notes 24-25.
24 State v. Brown, 497 N.W.2d 463, 464 (Wis. Ct. App. 1993).
25 Meyer, 680 N.E.2d at 318, 223 Ill. Dec. at 585.
26 State v. Williams, 611 N.E.2d 443, 445 (Ohio Ct. App. 1992).
27 People v. Brewer, 105 Cal. Rptr. 2d 293, 303 (Cal. Ct. App. 2001).
28 State v. Letterlough, 655 N.E.2d 146, 149 (N.Y. 1995) (stating that New York Penal Law § 65.10 only has a rehabilitative goal). But see State v. Myatt, 681 N.Y.S.2d 114, 116 (N.Y. App. Div. 1998) (stating that a Legislative amendment to Penal Law § 65.10 overrules the New York Court of Appeals holding that there is only a rehabilitative purpose in probation). The court noted that New York Penal Law § 65.10 [5], which is titled “Other conditions,” provides: “When imposing a sentence of probation the court may, in addition to any conditions imposed … require that the defendant comply with any other reasonable condition as the court shall determine to be necessary or appropriate to ameliorate the conduct which gave rise to the offense or to prevent the incarceration of the defendant.” Id.
29 18 U.S.C.A. § 5D1.3 (b)(1)(D) (West 1996 & Supp. 2001) (trial courts could impose other conditions to the extent that the conditions are reasonably related to “…the need to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective treatment ….”). Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2301.30 (C) (Anderson 2001) (trial courts must “use all suitable methods, not inconsistent with the conditions of probation or parole, to aid and encourage the persons under its supervision or in its custody and to bring about improvement in their conduct or condition.”). Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 53a-30 (a) (West 2001) (“When imposing a sentence of probation or conditional discharge, the court may, as a condition of the sentence, order that the defendant … undergo medical or psychiatric treatment and remain in a specified institution, when required for that purpose … undergo specialized sexual offender treatment ….”). Alaska Stat. § 12.55.100 (a) (Michie 2000) (“While on probation and among the conditions of probation, the defendant may be required … to participate in or comply with the treatment plan of an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation program specified by either the court or the defendant’s probation officer that is related to the defendant’s offense or to the defendant’s rehabilitation ….”). Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 771.1 (2) (West 2000) (noting that if a defendant is possibly eligible for probation the court may delay the defendant’s sentencing in order to give the defendant an opportunity to prove their eligibility for probation which is consistent with the justice and the defendant’s rehabilitation).
30 See supra notes 21-29 and accompanying text.
31 See infra Part II.
32 See Robert J. McGrath, Stephen E. Hoke & John E. Vojtisek, Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Sex Offenders: A Treatment Comparison and Long-Term Follow-Up Study, 25 Crim. Just. & Behav. 203, 203-04 (1998) (stating that 20% of women and 5-10% of men in America have experienced some form of sexual abuse as a child). [hereinafter Treatment Comparison]
33 Id. at 204.
34 Id. (stating that community and prison based treatment programs have been some of the alternatives to prison).
35 See id.
36 See id. (stating that some studies have concluded that there is no support that treatment actually helps lower the chance for recidivism in the sex offender); Jan Looman, Jeffrey Abracen & Terry P. Nicholaichuk, Recidivism Among Treated Sexual Offenders and Matched Controls: Data From the Regional Centre (Ontario), 15 J. Interpersonal Violence 279 (2000) (asserting that there is little agreement in the studies as to whether sex offender treatment actually is effective). [hereinafter Data from Ontario]
37 See Outlawed Penalty, supra note 15, at 641 (arguing it is clear that rehabilitating a sex offender is difficult if not impossible).
38 See Sex Offender Law, supra note 1, at 520 (arguing that there is nothing in clinical literature which would support any conclusion that pedophiles cannot control their behavior).
39 See id. at 521, 523 (holding that there is no theoretical or empirical support for the argument that people whom have pedophilia are unable to prevent themselves from acting on their strong sexual urges).
40Id. at 520.
41 See id. at 523 (stating that there is no proof that pedophiles suffer from any cognitive impairment that affects their ability to understand that their conduct is wrong or that renders them irrational to control their behavior. The author compared pedophiles, who can control their behavior, to those with Tourette’s Syndrome or multiple personality disorder who have a cognitive disorder and cannot control their behavior).
42 See id. (arguing that though pedophiles have strong urges for children that they would like to satisfy, there is nothing in diagnostic criteria to suggest that these urges render individuals unable to avoid acting on these desires. It was noted that people don’t molest children in front of police, but instead uses deception); see also Outlawed Penalty, supra note 15, at 642 (child molesters are very creative and are able to design innovative methods to lure children in their nets).
43 Candace Kruttschnitt, Christopher Uggen & Kelly Shelton, Predictors of Desistance Among Sex Offenders: The Interaction of Formal and Informal Social Controls, 17 Just. Q. 65, 67 (2000) [hereinafter Formal Social Controls].
44Id. at 69.
45 Id. at 73.
46 Id. at 74.
47 Id. at 75-76 (stating that with each one year increase in age it reduces the chance of re-offending by 3%.)
48 Id. at 81.
49 Treatment Comparison, supra note 32, at 205 (stating that they used a combination of correctional supervision designed to limit offender access to a potential victim, and treatment designed to help offenders identify and modify the types of feelings, thoughts, situations, and behavior that were proximal to their sexually aggressive acts).
50 Id. at 206.
51 Id. at 206-09.
52Id. at 209-14. (notes that the specialized treatment group also received ancillary treatment, such as referrals to Alcoholics Anonymous and job training programs). Within the specialized group 91.5% participated in group therapy, while 8.5% of the participants had individual therapy because they lacked the cognitive skills to be a part of group therapy. Id. at 209. The specialized treatment group’s initial step was accepting responsibility. The next goal was to modify their cognitive distortions, which are self-statements made by sex offenders to minimize what they did, and then develop empathy for the victim. The group members then underwent behavioral conditioning to help them control or eliminate their deviant sexual arousal or attempt to strengthen appropriate sexual arousal. The final steps are to improve social competence and develop their relapse-prevention skills. Id. at 211-14.
53 Treatment Comparison, supra note 32, at 217-18 (the results came after a 12 year study).
54 Id. at 219.
55 See Rosalind K. Kelley, Comment, Sentenced to Wear the Scarlet Letter: Judicial Innovations in Sentencing—Are They Constituional?, 93 Dick. L. Rev. 759, 783-84 (1989) (saying that identifying and controlling those that pose a threat protects society). [hereinafter Judicial Innovations].
56 See Time, supra note 8, at 82. Judge J. Manuel Banales states that forcing a sex offender to put up such signs “will keep people like you, sir, honest. Your neighbors will watch you and make sure you’re not taking another child into your home.” Id.
57 Id.
58 Jeffrey C. Filcik, Signs of the Times: Scarlet Letter Probation Conditions, 37 Wash. U. J. Urb. & Contemp. L. 291, 322 (stating that with the signs parents will probably keep their children away from the offender). [hereinafter Signs of Times].
59 See Judicial Innovations, supra note 55, at 781.
60 See Signs of Times, supra note 58, at 322.
61 Id.
62 See Treatment Comparison, supra note 32, at 217-18 (results showed that 10.5% of sex offenders whom did not receive treatment re-offended).
63 See supra Part II.
64 See infra Part III.A-B.
65 Sex Offender Law, supra note 1, at 556.
66 Id. at 556 (stating that such a label may make sex offenders come to feel as though there whole identity is that of a sexual offender.)
67 Id. (arguing that many sexual offenders believe they cannot control their urges to re-offend). The author argues that this label may make them believe that their behavior is due to some internal problem that cannot be changed, and this produces their belief that they are hopeless. Id. at 556-57.
68 Id. at 557 (arguing that such labels will inhibit the sex offender from seeking out help or controlling their behavior); see also Toni Massaro, The Meanings of Shame Implications for Legal Reform, 3 Psychol. Pub. Pol’y & L. 645, 694 (1997) (arguing that labeling a defendant a “deviant” could cause more deviance or criminal acts).
69 Sex Offender Law, supra note 1, at 557; see also supra Part I (examines the goals of probation which are to rehabilitate the offender).
70 Sex Offender Law, supra note 1, at 557 (author argued that community registration and notification laws may frustrate the goals of probation, which are “to prevent recidivism by the sexual offender by encouraging them to take responsibility for their actions and undergo rehabilitation”).
71 See Sex Offender Law, supra note 1, at 555.
72 See Time, supra note 8, at 82 (noting that this type of notification are causing bosses to fire these probationers).
73 See Mike Brogden & Sharon Harkin, Community Rules Preventing Re-Offending by Child Sex Abusers: A Life History Approach, 28 International Journal of the Sociology of Law 45, 59 (2000) (stating that work has several benefits, including the fact that it imposes its own restraints, and can bring about discipline and control).
74 See supra note 48 and accompanying text.
75 See supra Part I.
76 See Polly S. Woods, Criminal Justice; Shame on You, Texas Lawyer, Apr. 7, 1997, at 37, available at LEXIS, News Library, Txlawr File (arguing that in the United States after we shame the offender we have not methods to reintegrate them in the community and remove their stigma).
77 See Sex Offender Law, supra note 1, at 556 (arguing that notification of the sexual offender crimes to the community will have consequences that will last for many years and possibly for a lifetime).
78 See supra note 77.
79 See supra notes 71-76 and accompanying text.

Kenya Jenkins is a second year law student at Northern Illinois University College of Law. She is President of the Black Law Student Association, President and Treasurer of the Latino Law Student Association, and a member of the Northern Illinois University American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU).


 
 
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