Al­ter­na­tives to a child-sex regis­ter worth con­sid­er­ing

The Courier-Mail - - LETTERS -

UN­TIL now, I must con­fess to hav­ing had a “hang ’em high” men­tal­ity to the is­sue of se­rial child-sex of­fend­ers.

How­ever, Denise Cullen’s col­umn ( C-M, Jan 14) was a rev­e­la­tion, par­tic­u­larly for those of us who do not want vig­i­lan­tism and vengeance to trump gen­uine re­form and clemency.

If the Cir­cles of Sup­port and Sus­tain­abil­ity groups have a proven track record in other coun­tries, why won’t Aus­tralians look at a small pi­lot study?

If it doesn’t work here, roll it back. If it does, ex­tend the sys­tem a bit at a time.

I would not want to dump some­thing like this on a scep­ti­cal pop­u­la­tion all at once.

Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Peter Dut­ton (pic­tured) is in deep po­lit­i­cal trou­ble with more than one Aus­tralian putting the col­lapse of the Turn­bull ad­min­is­tra­tion clearly on his shoul­ders.

His pitch­fork ap­proach to sex of­fend­ers was sup­posed to make him look like a man of sub­stance.

With Cullen’s piece, we see that Dut­ton clearly has not read a re­port or study into the sit­u­a­tion and has gone full bore into the sit­u­a­tion to demon­strate how tough he is.

I will lis­ten to an ex­pert over a pumped-up politi­cian any day. Shani Doig, Coor­pa­roo

DENISE Cullen’s col­umn ex­am­ined some of the is­sues of re­cidi­vism re­lated to child-sex of­fend­ers.

It is good to read the views of some­one who works in the sys­tem and has ex­pe­ri­ence with this kind of of­fender.

Many of the so­lu­tions of­fered by the com­mu­nity in re­gard to these of­fend­ers do not ad­dress re­al­ity and show lit­tle un­der­stand­ing of the lim­its of the jus­tice sys­tem once of­fend­ers have served their time.

Our dis­taste for these in­di­vid­u­als is nat­u­ral enough.

How­ever, we must be care­ful not to cre­ate a sys­tem where we in­crease the like­li­hood of re­of­fend­ing.

I be­lieve a pub­licly ac­ces­si­ble regis­ter, as pro­posed, could do just this.

Cullen’s con­tri­bu­tion made for rare pos­i­tive read­ing in a de­press­ing and usu­ally dis­cour­ag­ing field.

I found her de­scrip­tion of in­ter­ven­tions else­where, which are achiev­ing favourable out­comes, en­cour­ag­ing.

Of course no in­ter­ven­tion made some­where else can just be trans­ferred to an­other ju­ris­dic­tion.

How­ever, with adap­ta­tion to lo­cal cir­cum­stances, many have been suc­cess­fully ap­plied to other lo­ca­tions.

There have been many ex­am­ples where we in Aus­tralia have learned from the ex­pe­ri­ence of other coun­tries, and have used this to our ad­van­tage and de­vel­oped a so­lu­tion for us. Al­lan Head, Ever­ton Hills I BE­LIEVE the pro­posed child-sex of­fender regis­ter is well over­due.

As Peter Dut­ton pointed out, the regis­ter would “not in­clude street ad­dresses or oc­cu­pa­tions” and, while I can imag­ine the civil lib­er­tar­i­ans go­ing on about the ab­ro­ga­tion of these peo­ple’s civil rights and how they have served their time, what about the rights of the chil­dren liv­ing nearby?

What about the rights of the women and men whose lives they have de­stroyed?

There are vic­tims of child abuse who are so trau­ma­tised they take their own lives. For oth­ers, the course of their lives is changed ir­re­vo­ca­bly.

Would a child-sex of­fender regis­ter put an end to pe­dophilia?

Sadly not. But it’s a damn sight bet­ter than do­ing noth­ing. Carol da Costa-Roque, An­ner­ley

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.