The concerns of the public on the issue of predatory paedophiles were spurred in the year 2000 by the killing of eight year old Sarah Payne. It is the effect of this happening more than any political policy or legislative provision dictated the style and tone of subsequent debates about sex offenders in the community
In the present day, there has been new and pressing emphasis on the need and urge for security, the containment of danger, risk identification and its management. The dominant theme of penal policy is focused on protecting the public. (Garland D, 2001: 12)
"Sexual Predator" is usually attached to offenders whose mind is centred on strangers, having multiple victims, in particular committing violent offences. The term sexual predator is often used by the media and the legislation to classify and describe the most dangerous sex offenders in the society. It is also considered that no matter how violent or hurtful the offences which are done by offenders, whose only victims are their intimate partners or children, are not ordinarily called predators. The major idea behind both the legal definition and colloquial meaning of predator reveal the perceived threats in existence that certain kinds of offenders represent to the community as a whole (Roxanne Lieb et al, 1998)
Sexual predator" is most times considered different from "sex offender". A sexual offender or sex offender is categorized as anybody who has committed a sexual offense. Sexual predator is considerably referred to a person who habitually seeks out sexual situations that are deemed exploitative. Even though sexual offender differs from sexual predator, the term "sexual predator" in some places is related to anyone convicted of certain crimes, regardless of if there has been history of similar behaviour or not (Terry Thomas, 2005). Sexual predator is usually reserved for those offenders in which the public are categorized as the "worst of the worst" even though identifying these set of individuals may be difficult as it involves deciding the criteria used in placing someone under this category, the media still view them as a threat to the public following being classed as risk and dangerous individuals. In the broad sense of the word, it reflect someone who commit repeated sexual crimes and enjoying the feeling of "hunting down" his prey. Most sexual predators usually attack particular type of victim, such as children of a certain age, sex or race. Sexual offenders apprehended by the state are checked by court-appointed psychiatrists to determine whether they are "sexual psychopaths", or "sexual predators" as guides in properly selecting the persons for treatment (Karpman B, 1950).
The legal views of sexual predator and sexual psychopath in the past and present are not the same with the traditional or contemporary psychological meaning of psychopathy. It is viewed that individuals described as sexual psychopaths in the years back would not be perfectly considered as today, although some offenders could be group to be psychopath. (Jacqueline B. Helfgott, 2008) However, sexual offenders are placed into different categories. The first set consists of persons who are not capable to maintain proper control over their sexual impulses but their acts do not create them a menace to the health and safety of others. They are not "sexual psychopaths" and their cases should be handled on their legal merits. The second involves individual that have committed a sexual offense on only one occasion as a result of abnormal or unusual environmental stress. They are not considered "sexual psychopaths." (Simon R.I. 1996) The third is persons who are completely out of step with the social culture with long criminal histories or long histories of social maladjustment. These groups of offenders are impulsive in their behaviour and not remorseful of their misdeeds; sexually deviant acts committed by such individuals are usually incidental to their general asocial and amoral behaviour. They do not suffer from inability to control sexual impulses. Their offenses should be judged according to the legal merits of the case. Sexual psychopaths have deviant dangerous sexual impulses and are not able to control them. The vast majority of these persons are those who have committed sexual offenses against children (Simon R.I. 1996)
In using Roy Whiting, a sexual predator as a case study, it is pertinent to consider the extent to which his act and case revealed the failings of the system to protect children from the sexual violence and considering the government response to the campaign for Sarah's Law relating it to theory, subsequent policy changes, research and practice. It became evidently discussed that the weakness of the criminal justice process in Roy whiting first trial on the abduction and abused of a child made it possible for the killing of Sarah Payne. It was less than six years before killing Sarah Payne, the renown- predator, Roy Whiting carried out an almost the same attack. At that time the victim survived despite suffering appalling abuse. The statements of the psychiatrist who assessed Whiting for the court reported that he was not a paedophile and the criminal prosecution allowing him a "plea bargain". It was on this, Whiting was sentenced to just four years for the kidnap and abuse of the girl. In less than two and half years of his sentence, he was release to the public. The court having had the knowledge and the warnings that he was still dangerous the authorities did nothing to stop him killing Sarah (H.Arkell and J.Sturgis, 2001)
However, there are theories, policy, practices and research that explain issues on sexual offenders or sexual violent predators. The theories simply explain why the so called "dangerous" act in such manners, the policy demonstrate what is in place to stop their unusual behaviour, and the practice justify the action of the probation or police to manage them. The issue about the cause or causes of sex offending behaviour or sexual predatory act has been a lingering issue for researchers and other professionals involved in sex offender management for decades. Focusing on this section, there are theories of etiology or ideas about why sex offenders do what they do.
Although there are too many different theories, each of these theories are too numerous and typically very complex. However, this essay will look into the three main multifactorial theories of sexual offending.
Delving into the theory aspects and the achievements in relating to sexual offending have been significant, this have made the researchers to have formulated large numbers of rich and perceptive accounts of sexual offending (Ward, Polaschek, & Beech, 2006) These theories have been broadly focused on and have included biological, psychological, and social / cultural levels of analysis. The theoretical work has taken a very vital and important process which satisfactory demonstrates that sexual abuse is likely to be multifactorial in nature and in other to allow for a diversity of etiological pathways leading to the start and maintenance of sexual offending (D.R Law, W.T. O'Donohue, 2008) In explaining the kinds of causes canvassed in the research literature, it include genetic predispositions and adverse developmental experiences which involves, abuse, rejection, attachment difficulties(Siegert & Ward,2003); the psychological dispositions / trait factors such as deviant sexual preferences, attitudes supportive of sexual assault, emotional skill deficits, empathy deficits and interpersonal problems (Thornton 2002); social and cultural, structures, processes and contextual factors such as intoxication and severe stress (Cossins 2000, Hanson& Harris, 2001).
In the integrated theory of sexual offending (T.Ward & A. Beech, 2006) explains that sexual abuse and sex offending happens as an outcome of causal factors which are biological factors (evolution, generic variations, and neurobiology); ecological variables (social and cultural environment, personal circumstances, physical environment); and core neuropsychological systems. However, there have been three main multifactorial theories of sexual offending: Finkelhor's (1984) precondition theory, Marshall and Barbaree's (1990) integrated theory, and Hall and Hirschman's (1992) quadripartite model of child molestation. Even though these theories are the major and relevant ones, there have also been critiques on them in other to develop a comprehensive sexual offending theory that will include the strongest element of each of the theories (Ward et al, 2001)
In Finkelhor's precondition theory (1984), there are four essential factors that have been used to elucidate occurrence of child sexual abuse. There are claims in which these theories are centred on. It is viewed that sex with children is emotionally satisfying to the offender (emotional congruence); men who offend are sexually aroused by a child (sexual arousal); inability of men to meet their sexual needs in a socially appropriate ways lured them to children (blockage); and it finally disinhibited them and creates a behaviour which is contrary to their normal behaviour. Finkelhor argues that the first three factors shows the reason why some individuals develop keen sexual interest in children, and the fourth is why this interest in children manifest itself as a sexual deviance (D.R Law, W.T. O'Donohue, 2008)
The theory states that all these preconditions must be fulfilled before the sexual abuse of a child occurs. The theory is being hypothesizes that all these preconditions take place in a temporal cycle with each as a determinant for the next to occur. The preconditions model, which was one of the first comprehensive theories on sexual abuse of children stressed that child molestation is a multifaceted phenomenon integrating both psychological and sociological variables, having pointed out the significant contribution of sexual motivation to the occurrence of child abuse. Finkelhor further suggested that different offenders are motivated by different combinations of needs and proposed that the model gives a typology of child molesters (Ward &Hudson, 2001).
Marshall and Barbaree's (1990) integrated theory were of the opinion that sexual abuse take place as a result of several relating distal and proximal factors. This theory basically proposes that there is possibility for any individuals going through a growing unpleasant event (e.g. Physical and sexual abuse, poor parenting and harsh discipline) to show evidence of indistinct internal workings models of relationships, mainly with respect to sex and aggression, resulting in poor social and self-regulation skills from an early age. This theory opine that an individual from an adverse background with already shaped or predisposed antisocial manner, the puberty discharge of hormones may serve to combine sex and aggression with abusive tendencies. Transition to adolescence is always a significant period for such individual as they are most receptive to achieving enduring sexual scripts, preferences, attitudes and interest. Since sex and aggression is derived from the same neural substrates and these are thought to bring about qualitatively similar experience.
It is to be noted that this integrated theory of sexual offending is a dynamic model which takes account of biological, societal, individual and situational factors as causal factors of sexual abuse by sex offenders. It suggests that developmental adversity to a very large extent contributes to sexual offending (A. Beech & T. Ward, 2004) Furthermore, Marshall(1999) shifted the balance from the factors above that is from a developmental perspective, which brought about development of therapeutic strategies to improve intimacy skills in offenders. It propose that sex offending can be found in a perpetrators childhood relationships with his primary care givers, pointing to lack of support, rejection, emotional coldness, disruptive experiences, physical and emotional abuse.
Hall and Hirschman's (1992) quadripartite theory of child molestation which is the third main multifactorial theory of sexual offending is centred on four mechanism: physiological sexual arousal, inaccurate cognitions that justify sexual aggression, affective discontrol, and personality problems. Hall and Hirschman categorized the very first three components or factors to be primary and situation dependent (state factors), while the last factor which is the personality problems depicts enduring vulnerability factors (trait factors).
This quadripartite theory simply states that deficit in personality are the basis of vulnerabilities to sexually abuse children, which are triggered in definite contexts and opportunities, which came into deviant arousal, indistinct thinking, and affective disturbance. It is expedient to note that the intriguing tip about this model is that as the highlighted factors serves as the motivational precursors that raise the probability of offending, by and large there is a single factor that is recognized for each child molester which constitutes their primary motive (A. Beech & T. Ward, 2003) Furthermore, the diverse combinations of the factors already mentioned are hypothesized to describe a specific type of child molester with different treatment needs.
However, the quest of having an effective policy to organize and manage dangerous sex offenders has been a thing of long history. The pressing issue of whether sex offenders should be differentiated from other criminals has to a reasonable extent answered by numbers of legislatures. The different settings in the political forces have made policy makers to craft legislation designating sex offenders as a separate grouping, authorizing procedures outside both criminal law and civil commitment process.
Delving into the UK in the research published and supported by the Home Office it was discovered that in 1993 over 100,000 individuals in the population had convictions for sexual offences against children (P. Marshall, 1997). The tabloid newspaper campaigns reside on the risks posed to children by unconvicted and post release paedophile offenders in the community. It is barely amazing that corrective responses to sex offenders command public support (Hough 1996, Tonry, 2003)
Revealing this position in UK, which pointed out the potential size of the problem of child sexual abuse, raised difficult issues in relation to the most appropriate ways in which sex offenders should be managed by the criminal justice system in terms of policing strategies, disposal options, and supervision. In this regard, the growth of a strong sentencing framework to deal with the so called dangerous sex offenders or sexual predators requires little justification. This issue have long been a centre of fear and opprobrium, and not without good reason as this issue of sex crime has been the only offence that involves primarily child victims, and the harmful long term physical and psychological effects of sexual violence are well documented (Harris & Grace, 1999; Tonry, 2003)
The increase in the awareness of risk posed by the sex predators and lack of reputable and articulate strategies made it imperative for the drastic steps taking in 1990s. The prison service embarked on a new programme for sex offenders in the year 1991 with the national prison Sex Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP) in replacement of the existing incongruent, erratic quality and unproven sex offenders programme. It is a tightly planned, carefully monitored programme which centred on the procedures for assessment and treatment, having based on effective demonstrated principles. (Grubin & Thornton, 1994) The probation to reasonable extent, also experienced changes in the probation services having recruits dedicated teams to deal with sex offenders in preference to field officers with no virtual training as was previously common. The year 1991 saw a new legislation, specifically the Criminal Justice Act which increases the period of spending on licence by sex offenders after release from prison.
As part of the wider government policy with the stated aim of protecting the public from sex offenders the British Parliament enacted the Sex Offender Act 1997 which requires offenders that have committed sexual offences against children to have their name registered with the police authorities throughout the United Kingdom. This brought about a great onus on the Home Office on developing guidelines for disclosure of sex offender information to the public. The essence of the Act is the provision of information for the protection of children and vulnerable adults, within that context, disclosure of decision are based on risk assessment of the individual committing an offense and the vulnerability of a child or children, or other persons at risk. (Home Office Circular 1997, pp 6-7)
The general principle on the guidelines states that disclosure to the general public should happen only under exceptional conditions. The assessment is to check the nature and mould of previous offending, in accordance with the earlier sentences or court orders, the probability of committing further offenses, likelihood signs of any predatory behaviour of reoffending, effect of the harm, potential object of harm, possible effect of disclosure and potential effects of disclosure in the wider context of law and order (Tonry, 2003)
The Sex Offenders Act 1997 has been put in place and it necessitates all offenders which have been cautioned or convicted in related to an offence stated in Schedule 1 to the Act to inform the police of their address and any subsequent changes about them. This is well known as Sex offender registration, even though there is no provision for separate register in the Act, relevant offenders are marked on the police National Computer and on local police databases which is known as ViSOR; Violent and Sex Offender Register. This Act has encounter major criticisms on the basis that it was not retrospective which made it possible for thousands of offenders cautioned or convicted before the implementation of the Act fell outside the registration dictates. The issue on its inability to give direction to the police on how best to act after receiving information generated another criticism as it was not clear how to determine the nature of the harm the individual offenders would pose to the public (Thomas, 2000)
The law enforcement agency in related to Roy case has demonstrated to a reasonable extent laxity in watching over his details to know if he has changed his address.
The Home Office guidance pointed out the proactive nature of the registration process as against the critics that, the registration process is noting but compilation of list of names and address. The essence of the guidance focus on three major themes which has been an issue in the heart of the public and political debate, namely risk and management, community notification and collective working with other agencies(specifically the probation service). This situation creates informal working arrangements between the police, probation service, and other local agencies to measure and manage the risk posed by sex in their local areas.
Further measures and control are being put in place in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the Sex Offenders Order, in which this see to the provision of extension in the periods of post release supervision for sex offenders and also brought about the introduction of offenders orders which is proposed to render assistance to the police in managing the offenders in the community.
Sexual predator legislation is simply concerned with sex crimes involving strangers or recidivism. It is pertinent to note that these offenses has drawn much attention to the public and the political level which pushed some jurisdictions to enact variety and stricter sentencing laws in other to reduce the risk posed by sexual predators, including civil commitment, registration laws, and community notification requirements. The overarching goal is to create empirically informed and socially sensitive policy that concurrently protects public safety and uses state power prudently (Roxanne Lieb et al, 1998) It further explain that Legislation was drafted to remedy prior deficiencies in the law as this also contributed to the flaws in Whiting initial offence before the attempt on Sarah. The imposition of suitable criminal sanctions entails accurate charging decisions to ensure that offenders are convicted of serious crimes with lengthy penalties. It explains that pressures to resolve cases by plea bargains to create less serious, non sexual or nonviolent crimes generates a circumstance that lead to sensational failure and public outcry (Roxanne Lieb et al, 1998)
Sequel to Sarah Payne's case, a tabloid newspaper, The News of the World, took it upon themselves as a responsibility by publishing names and addresses of some fifty alleged paedophiles which is part of a crusade dedicated to the 'naming and shaming' of any known or suspected sex offenders. The action conducted by this media house led to a violent rash of vigilante attacks coupled with a campaign, again triggered by the tabloid press for public access to the Sex Offender Register. The United Kingdom government has steadily and uncharacteristically resisted populist on the poignant Sarah's Law campaign which was supported by Sarah Payne's parents on the calls for the widespread community notification statute.
The term community notification which is commonly termed "Naming and Shaming" was a furore caused by a particular Newspaper in the United Kingdom. The campaign is likening to the Meagan law in the USA, which makes provision for parent to have access to view names of sex offenders in their community from their personal computer. The focus of this notification is to sensitize the public to protect itself by warning potential victims against registered sex offenders nearby and also decreasing the incidence of recidivistic sexual offences (Tonry, 2003)
The notification suffers a lot of critics which has also contributed to the delay in passing it as a law. It suggests that, offenders will ignore registration and it will drive them to underground which placed children much at greater risk. It has reinforced fears that widespread notification would increase vigilantism and public chaos while decreasing compliance with registration. (Thomas, 2000)
In lieu of community notification, the government introduced some refinements to its existing registration arrangements and engaged in discussion about starting tougher sentences. Home Secretary David Blunkett put into consideration of enacting new laws under which paedophiles and serious sex offenders could strike once and they are put for life sentences to keep them off the streets after such first offence.
Delving into risk assessment, efforts to control sex predators have been unable to rely on scientific evaluation as a result of risk prediction being in its developmental stage. Although progress have been achieved in appraising the dangerousness of criminal offenders, including sex offenders. This is required in many jurisdictions for sentencing and release decisions, and for consideration of civil commitment. Risk assessment is most successful when most high risk and dangerous offenders are targeted. Actuarial assessments are more accurate compare to clinical judgements and other means of identifying highly dangerous people, but they are not perfect. In prediction of violent or sexual recidivism, actuarial instruments are able correctly in identifying substantial proportion of dangerous and repetitive individuals from among convicted offenders. (Roxanne Lieb et al, 1998)
It is pertinent that a comprehensive assessment of sexual re-offense risk should cover personal traits, historical variables, contextual antecedents, and also clinical factors in other to enable judgements about the likelihood, seriousness, and imminence of sexual harm occurring in the future. (Beech et al., 2003, D.R Law, W.T. O'Donohue, 2008)
In spite of the desertion of sexual psychopath laws, the treatment as a component of the criminal justice response is still relatively common and in which sex offenders' treatment programmes have propagated. There is a possibility of receiving a sentence which involve treatment instead of a legislatively mandated period of incarceration by sex offenders especially offenders against children.
In recent times, the treatment giving to sex offenders have changed modern treatment programs only contain component shaped to address characteristics of offenders associated with sexual offending. Sexually deviant preferences, cognitive distortions and low victim empathy are offense-specific problems identified in many sexual predators. (Lalumiere & Quinsey, 1994, Rice et al, 1994) Furthermore, treatment have demonstrated a reasonable extent of success in reducing deviant sexual interest, altering distortions and increasing empathy(Roxanne Lieb et al, 1998, Bradford,1990) In which, the overarching concept of relapse prevention were used by some programs to teach sex offenders to recognize and avert the chain of affective, cognitive, and behavioural events that precede sexual offending(Laws, 1989) Treatment approaches used mostly consist of standard psychological interventions adapted for use with sex offenders.
In evaluating the research on sex offender treatment, it has been noted that the treatment has not yet demonstrated meaningful reductions in recidivism. The degree to which treatment reduces sexual recidivism is question of considerable debate. In the influential review of Furby et al, 1989 concluded that there was no evidence that treatment reduced recidivism. Several review published after this report have concluded more optimistic.
In terms of practical application as related to various agencies pooling their diverse knowledge together in an effective realisation of managing and assessing of risk posed by high-risk sexual and violent offenders, Section 67 and 68 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 formalised the workings of multi-agency protection panels which places a combined statutory obligation on the police and probation services.
The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements came into existence through the implementation of The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, having started effects on 1 April 2000. This Act made a statutory provision (sec.67), a requirement that assigned duty on the Police and the probation officers as responsible authorities, to make arrangements for assessing and managing the risk posed by sexual, violent and any other offenders who may be seen to cause serious harm to the public. It develops into the MAPPA process, with a formal obligation to produce an annual report (Nash M, 2006: 204) It later includes HM Prison Service into the responsible authority by the provision of The criminal Justice Act 2003, which also appoints lay advisers to sit on Strategic Members Board (SMB) who has a tactical oversight on MAPPA and compelling numerous of agencies to cooperate (Terry Thomas 2005:169)
It is evident that sex offenders should be managed perfectly in the community and both the police and probation services were the responsible authorities saddled with the obligation to make it happen as it will generate a high critical situation in the public if it is not realize. The predominant reason of criminal justice system having connection with risk labelled individuals and making an arrangement such like MAPPA is based on a straightforward motive, which is instituting measures to avoid any further harm which may involve another person falling victim of them in the future. This position made it relative for MAPPA to have a stated duties encompassed into the reason for their creation and consistence check on how effective are they performing their roles in the society.
The Offender Assessment System (OASys) which is the introduction of a sound reliable system given to the probation services for immediate implementation. Although, particularly designed for the probation services, it is also used by Her Majesty's Prison Service as a tool to measure the risks and needs of the criminal offenders under their supervision. It improves the quality of assessment by introducing a structured, research-based approach to assessing an offender's probability of reconviction, the criminogenic factors associated with offending, and the risk of harm he or she presents. (Nash M, 2006)
Structured to make an accurately trained and suitable person mostly a Probation Officer to:
assess the possibility of any offender to be re-convicted
distinguish offending related needs with the inclusion of essential personality characteristics and rational behavioural problems
assess risk to serious harm, to individual and other related risks
assist with the management risk of harm
relates the assessment to the supervision or sentence plan
point out the need for further specialist assessment
determine change during the period of supervision / sentence
In order to manage sex offenders most effectively in the community, it is expedient that a very active co-operation between police, prison, probation, health and social services must be in place. In other to monitor the effectiveness of this co-operation and uniformity more details are needed about sex offending patterns on a regional level, and management strategies must be evaluated. From the point of view of the police, there needs to be a consistent national strategy of how sex offenders of all levels of risk are to be managed (Grubin, 1998)
There are forensic tools used at every stages of a criminal justice process in realizing an effective result. However, delving into the DNA expansion programme and criminal investigation as one of the vital tools used in criminal justice process in apprehending an offender, this is to a reasonable extent reliable. DNA evidence is a powerful tool, which is able to incriminate and as well as exculpate. The increasingly common portrayals of DNA may overstate the degree to which DNA currently assists in criminal investigations despite its ability in solving crimes instantaneously, beyond any doubt even from "beyond the grave" (Carole McCartney, 2005). It is to be noted that, DNA evidence still remain marginal as related to assisting with overall criminal detections, which to a considerable ground made expert to suggest that the massive National DNA Database expansion has not showed any improvement in the detection rates which has been originally anticipated. The Forensic Integration Strategy from the Home Office aim to achieve a bit change in the effect and impact of forensic science on police performance as a result of having effective contributions to reduction of crime and closure of justice gap (Home Office 2004a:18)
However, despite the little shortcoming about DNA evidence not meeting its original plan, in relating it to the arresting of Whiting in Sarah Payne's murder the reverse was the case, as it was the 'last straw that broke the camels back'. In one of the caption of BBC News (December, 2001) by Peter Gould, it was revealed to be the "Damning Evidence that caught a killer". It was a crucial piece of evidence, and a picture of Whiting's guilt began to emerge as the DNA profiling proved beyond doubt that the hair discover on his sweatshirt must have come from Sarah. It is the latest example of how this scientific technique has revolutionised the art of detection. Scientists extracted DNA from the root of the hair and matched it to a similar sample taken from a tooth recently lost by the eight-year-old and left underneath her pillow.
As a matter of fact and to a considerable extent, one could say sex offending is not a disease, and it does not provide itself to a cure. In spite of the control systems and treatment programmes that are in place to deal with those who have sexually offended against children, it is purely not possible to prevent or stop all high risk individuals from sexually re-offending. However, there is possibility of one reducing the risk of such re-offending significantly in some individuals, and lessen the frequency of offending in others, in both cases reducing the number of future victims. Explicit recognition of this is sometimes referred to as "harm reduction", a model popular in the treatment of alcohol and drug addictions but just recently applied to sex offending (Laws, 1996, D. Grubin, 1998).
It is a vital truth that, human being is not actual science that you can really decipher the possibility of any particular re-offending by an offender. The chance of a sex offender re-offending will vary over time, depending on his mental state, social circumstances and general well being; many benefits from having the knowledge that there are explicit external controls around them. This situation will generate the need to have a continuous reassessment of risk, observable monitoring, and appropriate intervention at times of increased risk. Authorities saddled with the responsibility of managing sex offenders will have to put it upon themselves of having the knowledge of risk evaluation and how to intervene to reduce it. (Grubin & Prentky, 1993, Grubin, 1998)
In using the report forwarded by the Home Office on policy that need to be improved upon in managing the risk posed by sexual offenders and protecting the children from the so named "dangerous". It became apparent that, sex offences have silently penetrated into the society with an alarming rate margin and it has resulted into creation of harm, damage and fear in the home of victims. The society saw the need in proffering radical reduction, if not total extinction of the treat caused by any sex offenders in the society.
The aftermath of the death of Sarah Payne serve as an eye opener to the society and much more to the government that there is need to create a protective measure for the children and creating policies that will to the maximum extent reduced the risk posed by sex offenders. This is seen in the persistent changes and reviews on policies overtime, and an unlimited proposal from the Home Office as there are only few crimes that are more detrimental, emotive and more sensitive than sexual offence against children. The Home Office Secretary, Dr John Reid, pointed out in the proposals set in the "Review of The Protection of Children from Sex Offenders" on what that has been done, what needs to be done and what needs to be improved upon. The review concerns are being highlighted below.
Greater right and more revealing of information to the general public on how sex offenders are managed.
Aim to strengthen multi-agency system that deals with the management of offenders and steady application of good practice.
Assigned duty on MAPPA authorities to put into consideration offenders information disclosure in every case.
Piloting a new process in which certain people can register with the police their child protection interest in a named individual.
Effecting changes in law to mandate registered offender to notify police of their foreign travels in other to check if any under 18 is living near them.
Maximisation and effectiveness of number of offenders treated and their treatment.
Optimising the usage of new technology in offender's management, which include using of mandatory polygraph tests (lie detectors), and review of electronic satellite tagging and tracking.
Development of national standards for MAPPA and ensuring strong central co-ordination and administration in each area.
Compulsory programmes of activity for offenders residing at approved premises and a standard core rules of residence attached to it.
The Home Secretary concluded that in as much the society needs a complete removal of the enormous anxiety and trauma caused created by the presence of an offender, the need to manage offenders effectively and be alert to the risks is expedient.
Looking into ethical issues and how ethical considerations may have a bearing on the practical aspects of crime reduction in the society, it is important to understand that various views have been raised. As the issue of fear and revulsion generated by the presence of sex offenders who are perceived as dangerous by the public is being noted, also corresponding to that is the issue of offenders' right being violated (Nash, 2006, James Vess, 2009).
It become challenging for bodies in forensic practice to act in a proper way to safeguard these rights, especially when these rights are viewed to be having a competing ground with the community's right to safety from potentially dangerous offenders. The pressure of not to get it wrong by producing false negative, when an offender identified safe goes out to commit another sexual offence (James Vess, 2009). Registration and community notifications might appear to be the least evident curtailment of an offender's right in the approach to public safety. In a situation of releasing the offender after serving the prison sentence and not being subjected to extended periods of active community supervision.
Understanding ethical issues posed by laws, the need to have a clearly articulated framework for understanding human rights is relevant. Having discussed human rights in correctional clinical practice and application of the model particularly to sex offenders treatment, it was observed that the essence of human right is the provision of protective functions in other to make individuals pursue their own intentions in creating meaningful lives (Freeden, 1991, Ward and Birgden, 2007). Freedom entails the capacity to act on the basis of one's particular intentions, and well-being involves conditions that support fundamental levels of physical and mental functioning, as well as access to necessary social, material, and psychological resources. The structure of human rights begins with these broad, intangible core values and moves toward more specific human rights objects, as formulated by Orend, 2002
The argument on the issue that, the laws itself raised important concern about human rights. Even if such laws are more effective for increasing public safety than less restrictive approaches, there are some questions raised whether they are morally or legally justifiable (Nash, 2006).