April 17, 2009

"American taxpayers are funding a lavishly appointed hospital in which hundreds of child molesters and rapists can idle their days away."

Most of the individuals housed at Coalinga refuse treatment. They think that they committed a crime, served their sentence, and are entitled to freedom. Almost no one gets out via therapy anyway, so why try?
The men can vote, take tennis lessons, watch their porn videos, throw parties, have sex with other men at the hospital, play bass in a jazz combo. They just can't leave.

More states have signed up to the Coalinga model - including, recently, New York. If a lifelong country club-style internment is the price of keeping paedophiles off the streets, many appear to be willing to pay it.
We're paying $200,000 a year, per person.

127 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I'm not exactly sure of a good alternative. Work would be at the top of my list though. And more Spartan surroundings.

Skyler said...

If they're truly pedophiles, and not the 18 year old with the 16 year old girl friend, and they are incurable, then we should only be spending about $1.50 in electrical current for a few seconds.

TMink said...

"therapists at Coalinga agree that it can't really be cured."

I appreciate their honesty. Now they should quit calling themselves therapists.

And MadisonMan and I agree yet again. Work, lots of hard work, could be a big help to them.

Coddling is outrageous and asking for more of the same. Another example of California's use of taxpayer money. I am surprised that the facility has not been attacked.

Trey

TMink said...

Skyler, that distinction is hugely important. It is horrible that minor status offences are grouped together with dangerous predators.

Trey

PatCA said...

You could name the place "Institute for the Postmodern Legally and Morally Confused."

Synova said...

That's way too much money. How do they even manage to spend that much?

As an alternative the *idea* isn't a bad one, but there ought to be productive work available that earns money so that luxury or privileges can be paid for.

American Liberal Elite said...

If sentences aren't long enough, enact longer sentences. When sentences have been served, release the criminals.

traditionalguy said...

How much longer until the rights of child molesters are discovered in the the Constitution. They are pursuing happiness their way. What if a gene made them do it? Rules about sex are only Religious Constructs that the dumb fundamentalists use to hurt peoples feelings anyway.

MayBee said...

The name "Coalinga" sounds vaguely dirty.

zedzded said...

I like ALE's answer. Let me know where you live and we can release the predators in your 'hood. Got any children? All the better...

Cedarford said...

That's what you get under Rule of Law(yers). Things lawyers running our Ruling Elite find perfectly sensible, that the Founders would call flat-out crazy.

Salamandyr said...

I agree with ALE. Once a sentence is served, it should be done.

John Lynch said...

What's the alternative? More victims or longer prison terms? Or this? We're never going to execute that many people, so what exactly is California supposed to do if a prison term expires and a predator would otherwise go free?

Think of the good conditions as a way to avoid legal challenges that would let these men free.

I'm not sure what else the state can do to fulfill one its primary duties, which is protecting its citizens, especially children.

srfwotb said...

@Maybee Coalinga is cow town, home to a huge beef slaughterhouse iirc. If you are driving highway 5, you can smell it from miles down the highway. The stench can be incredible on a hot day.

Bissage said...

This national disgrace is a matter of national concern that must be dealt with at the VERY HIGHEST LEVEL.

If Philippine prisoners can re-enact “THRILLER,” then these American pedophiles should earn their keep by performing “Boys, Boys, Boys.”

Mr. President, we must not allow a viral video gap!

John Lynch said...

Another way of looking at it: $200000 a year to keep my son safe-- cheap at the price.

The whole "prisons cost too much" argument doesn't impress me much considering the cost of the alternative.

Lawgiver said...

There is evidence to suggest that a sexual attraction to children may be an "orientation" and no easier to reprogramme in a person than, say, heterosexuality.Interesting.

Peter V. Bella said...

Life in prison is too short and execution is perfect, but we have bleeding hearts in society so those will not happen. On the other hand putting them up in luxury is beyond the pale.

I find it amazing that the bleeding hearts are all for the children. They draw the line at severe punishment for those who commit crimes against the children.

Grumpy said...

This concept is ridiculous! If these people are accurately characterized as "sexually violent predators", they should be incarcerated for life in appropriate penal institutions not because it punishes them, but because it protects the rest of us.

The remedy is to change the law or change the judges to make it happen.

This Coalinga crap is just so California.

TreeJoe said...

This is really interesting on a number of fronts. In many people's minds, the whole "Sexual orientation is biologically determined" has already been settled.

If this goes beyond homo/heterosexuality into sexual predators, how far down the road do you go?

If there are genetic markers that determine someone will be a pedo, do you identify that person at birth?

Does the same apply to other behavioral patterns, such as sociopathy? Should these behavioral patterns be identified at birth? Should action be taken?

The model elucidated by this article states that individuals who function at a normal level, but who have an illegal sexual desire, are receiving a life sentence for not complying with their behavioral therapy, because people with such desires repeat their crime about 99% of the time.

Are they criminals? Or are they just people that have (legally) paid for their crimes but are so likely to repeat that they abrogate their freedom?

Since the population is known to be repeat offenders, even when going through "treatment", then should not alternative treatment options be offered?

I.e. They can go free, but they must be castrated. Or they can stay in this nice bubble, with their entire anatomy.

I think there have also been experiments with taking hormonal therapy....perhaps that could be combined with a daily finger-prick blood test to confirm acceptable hormonal levels?

Hmm

Joe

Lawgiver said...

I like ALE's answer. Let me know where you live and we can release the predators in your 'hood. Got any children? All the better...Send them all to Texas, pay us $150,000 per man per year and we'll find a way to take care of them for you.

Lem said...

Guantanamo on US soil?

Now That’s hope and change!

See people.. you just need to give Obama a chance. Give him a chance.

John Lynch said...

The problem with harsh conditions for people not convicted of a crime is that they will be freed by the courts. Think about that.

They're not treated nice because they are nice people, but because they are awful people who would otherwise go free.

The result, which is awful people behind walls forever, is the the important thing.

Freeman Hunt said...

We're paying $200,000 a year, per person.Those are some expensive cages. I bet most of that goes to interest payments on the liberal guilt.

Grumpy said...

I should have said, "They should be incarcerated for life in the showers of appropriate penal institutions."

TosaGuy said...

Is there not a balance between Cool Hand Luke and this place?

Is there not a cost between $1.50 and $200K? Make them work 40 hours a week doing something in order to use up their time and to defray their cost.

All these strawmen arguments designed to get people worked up and not find some common sense solutions are getting tiresome.

Peter V. Bella said...

Since we are shipping the terrorists out of Gitmo and resetting them here, we could ship the predators there.

DBrooks17 said...

"The men can vote, take tennis lessons, watch their porn videos, throw parties, have sex with other men at the hospital, play bass in a jazz combo. They just can't leave."

If they let them leave, it sounds very similar to Congress.

Eric said...

I hate to admit it, but I agree (strongly) with ALE. These people have already served their time. I'm completely against giving some government bureaucrat the power to imprison people for something they might do. We have judges to make those kinds of determinations.

And I don't know where the idea that child molesters have 100% recidivism rates comes from. It isn't true. The real rate? 5.3%. I'm unwilling to support the summary imprisonment of the 94.7% who will never re-offend.

BJK said...

The name "Coalinga" sounds vaguely dirty.Are you suggesting they perform 'Coalingus' at Coalinga? (All of which reminds me of the SNL "Colonel Angus" sketch of a few years back.)


Regardless, I feel that the resident population of Coalinga need a proper name: Coalinguests. Doesn't that sound nicer than "child molesters and rapists?"

traditionalguy said...

These folks are incurable because they enjoy that part of their personalities that hunts for and the steals of other people's children for sport and the thrill of conquest. The death penalty is a natural to be applied here. But that is "cruel to use on men who have not killed" say the Philosopher Kings on the Supreme Court. Only a foetus gets a death sentence that is always pre-approved in their reading of the same Constitution that prohibits a death penalty here, say these 5+ Philosopher Kings. So Thank God when your son gets born and is not stolen by a molester, but do not thank the Supreme Court which does not care enough to think straight.

huntz0r said...

@Eric

Recidivism rates vary depending on the type of crime committed (see notes 44-48 here). They are not always trivial, and in any case, they certainly aren't trivial to the victims. I would be willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the penal system in assigning the worst of the worst to a facility such as this -- repeat offenders for example -- and if it's not done that way, it would be a good idea.

The fact is some offenders will continue to be a danger if released. Unless you are willing to give them life without parole, or kill them (neither of which I think are justifiable), you need a Plan B.

And sex offender registries are not the answer... at least, not until states stop clogging them up with peeping toms, flashers, and horny teenagers.

buster said...

"The name "Coalinga" sounds vaguely dirty."

Coalinga is a very small town whose original name was Coaling A. That referred to coaling station established by the Union Pacific Railroad to supply locomotives. There was a village where the railroad employees lived. When the village was incorporated, the citizens chose the name Coalinga

TosaGuy said...

"The name "Coalinga" sounds vaguely dirty.Are you suggesting they perform 'Coalingus' at Coalinga? (All of which reminds me of the SNL "Colonel Angus" sketch of a few years back.)"

Or this SNL Celebrity Jeopardy Nugget: Sean Connery: "I take The Rapist for $100, Alex."

Alex Trebek: "That's 'therapist'"

bloodstar said...

All of you who want to have civil commitment after prison and parole, are you SURE you want to go down that road? because once it's declared constitutional for people you despise and abhor, it's now perfectly constitutional to do so for other things.

let me restate this again.

You're missing the point, this is a Civil confinement being forced upon people who have completed their sentence, You can decry that the sentence was too light, but to create 'hospitals' like these is an affront to the entire concept of Justice and Law.

Yes, the crime is horrific, that doesn't justify warping our judicial system beyond recognition.

"Think of the children" is the root password to the constitution. and you all happily give it away because you haven't had your sense of outrage satisfied.

Good job people *sarcastic Applause*

Maxine Weiss said...

Have you seen property values in Coalinga? Small single family homes start at 1 million.

It's a ritzy area.

bloodstar said...

Further Thoughts:

What is needed is a comprehensive 2 or 3 strikes and you're done policy. To hell with the anecdotal evidence that people keep throwing out at you look at it this way, if someone isn't likely to commit a crime and they can be productive members of society, then let's give that a chance, sure you could say that we shouldn't risk 'the children' but by the same token you have higher rates of rearrest for assault and robbery than you do Rape and Molestation. Should we lock away everyone who's ever been charged with felony assault for life as well? No, that'd be insane.

But once a person has been convicted again on a charge that happened after the rerelease, then I would agree. no more chances, not on Assault, Attempted Murder, Rape, etc.

But this Civil Confinement is a perversion of the Legal System (no pun intended).

rhhardin said...

Where were all these people before 1970, when the sexual abuse crisis got media legs.

As a kid I remember no epidemic of sex crimes against children, or even any cases at all. Not one.

So I'd say the extravagance is payment for entertainment of the hysterics, just based on the odds.

Who will do the behavior of crowds study on this eventually, and when.

I heard the other day that nothing, nothing! of the facts widely known about the Columbine shooters were correct, and the lessons of Columbine are universally false. Is that true? How could it happen? The latter is my real question.

MadisonMan said...

Make them work 40 hours a week doing something in order to use up their time and to defray their cost.And watch a businessman complain about having to compete against a state-run Industry.

I do think this could be a place for the Catholic Church to step in and put them to work -- I mean, isn't there a priest shortage? (ba-dump)

No, seriously (if you can take me seriously after that), a ministry that works these maladjusted so that some good emerges would be great. The problem is there's little incentive to leave the country club they're in.

DBrooks17 at 1:29 PM wins the thread.

pduggie said...

I like the way the article decides to compare the possibility that pedophilia is an orientation, and then as hard to change as "say, heterosexuality".

Like there is any kind of movement of people who are making a concerted effort to try to change people from hetero to homo. We may have scientific evidence that its hard to make gays straight, but do we really *know* that it's hard to change straights to gay?

What does the prison/boy's school population tell us?

TMink said...

John wrote: "The whole "prisons cost too much" argument doesn't impress me much considering the cost of the alternative."

John, I hear you on one level. The other part of me says "Yeah but a round of 9mm ammunition is only 30 cents."

It would be different it predators were treatable.

Trey

Lem said...

Have you seen property values in Coalinga? Small single family homes start at 1 million.We have to meet first Maxine..

At least that's how it went with Althouse and Meade.

There are rules about this sort of thing ;)

TMink said...

Eric wrote: "And I don't know where the idea that child molesters have 100% recidivism rates comes from. It isn't true. The real rate? 5.3%."

It is crucial to know that the 5.3% is the figure of people who are caught and succesfully prosecuted. The recidivism rate is immaterial in that sense.

But, I completely agree with you that once the sentence is served, they should be free to go. This is still America, and it is not right to hold someone past their sentence.

The important research about the topic was done in the 80s. Incarcerated pedophiles were interviewed and admitted to 1.2 perpetrations. Then they were strapped to a lie detector. The number went up a bit to 134.

134.

Trey

TMink said...

My approach, and the legislation I am working for in Tennessee, is that if more than one child is molested, or the perp is arrested a second time, you lock them up for good. Given those conditions, you know the person has a taste for it and you put them away for good. Problem solved.

Trey

Sofa King said...

Is chemical castration still off the table?

Trooper York said...

How much does a bullet cost?

Eric said...

The fact is some offenders will continue to be a danger if released. Unless you are willing to give them life without parole, or kill them (neither of which I think are justifiable), you need a Plan B.We already have a system that's supposed to take recidivism into account. I'm okay with this kind of facility as long as your stay there is mandated by the sentencing judge.

What's happened in California is people like this reach the end of their sentence, it hits the papers and the state simply extends their sentence indefinitely by calling it "care". When they started doing it they didn't even get the law changed - they just used the existing laws allowing involuntary commitment of schizophrenics and the like.

It's nothing less than imprisonment by popular demand. Not only is it unfair to the ex-con, it's dangerous to everyone. A system that allows indefinite exta-judicial imprisonment is begging to be abused. It's a very small step from the old Soviet practice of dealing with political dissidents by putting them in mental institutions.

AJ Lynch said...

Last I hear California is broke right?

PatCA said...

If they did work, I would be pretty much okay with this set up. You know they're never going to get the death penalty or long sentences, so you might as well get real and keep them off the streets.

You know that civil rights people are now going to glom onto this and file suits to get them released.

Cedarford said...

"AJ Lynch said...
Last I hear California is broke right?"

Yes, from foolish squandering of funds like 200K per gay pedophile per year in a luxury prison.

jimbino said...

I think it great that the Amerikan fascist chickens are coming home to roost. I can't begin to imagine the suffering of an innocent but convicted "sex offender" in being forced to undergo some 12-step "rehabilitation" program that he's bound to fail.

Amerikans will pay dearly for all the tears and lost contributions of "sex offenders." The sooner the better.

Peter V. Bella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

OT..
75 % OF TEXANS WOULD VOTE TO STAY IN US.

Reads a blearing Drudge headline.

But of course they do.. They just barely got here from Mexico and you asking them if they want to leave?
What do you expect?

Peter V. Bella said...

If any of you are interested in in this issue and want to get involved go to Protect

Pete the Streak said...

From the link:
"..and a form of sexual test called a plethysmograph. This is a device which is put around the subject's penis to measure his sexual arousal as he's shown a variety of images".

Make it a competition! Enzyte sales would skyrocket.

TMink: "The other part of me says "Yeah but a round of 9mm ammunition is only 30 cents."

Have you purchased (or attempted to) any 9mm lately? It's double that now, if you can even locate it.

Big Mike said...

It's a tough problem, and as insane as this solution seems, it may be the only one.

(1) There is no public support for extending the death penalty. I'm guessing that most people are like me -- supportive of the death penalty but concerned that it is probably overused already.

(2) The offenders have served their sentences, but if released back into the community will only commit the same offences on more children.

So what else do you do?

BTW, the $200K is sort of bogus. It surely includes the cost of paying off the bonds used to build the facility, the cost of guards, the cost of administrators, and the cost of therapists, and not just the cost of feeding and clothing the "individuals." One might note that the rooms are described as "light and airy," but the room in the picture already is pretty Spartan. I suppose you could paint the walls a more drab color, but why bother? The "mall" is nothing much, either.

The only thing I'd be worried about is whether you accidentally let go of any real problem "individuals" slipping out the cracks.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Rounds of 9mm ammunition are very inexpensive. Surgical castration costs a bit more, but a lot less than one year's incarceration.

Either is a better alternative than Club Perv. And a better deterrent as well.

Isn't a prison sentence supposed to be a deterrent? Make the conditions such that no one would want to commit the crime in the first place.

Chip Ahoy said...

sniff sniff sniff

* processes *

Smells like Minority Report.

Pogo said...

Hasn't anyone here ever read A Clockwork Orange?

rhhardin said...

The reason you want old people (old is today's middle aged of course) is that they remember what it was like before the current hysterias, and so are not easily fooled.

I'd say give these sex offenders jobs as teachers. They're able to sustain an interest in young children, which most adults cannot.

I'd even suspect that's where the sex offenders used to be, back when there weren't sex offenders.

It's a solution by domestication.

If you pull up a Megan's law map of sex offenders for your area, Holy Shit! they're all over.

That just can't be. We have a clue here.

Where did that inclination used to go? Would the solution by domestication in fact be a redomestication, and they used to be teachers?

Well, say they were in fact teachers. Then you have not only a domestication of an interest but useful output. And a lot more male teachers than you have today.
And some role models of that very domestication. Perhaps that interest in kids gave an evolutionary advantage in male instruction of the young.

Yesterday on KFI (Los Angeles) there was a story of a sunday school teacher who had killed a popular 3yo girl. The teacher was female. Ho! staggering of the news audience at that.

She and the child lived in a trailer park, and I can't help thinking that if education degrees were made more easily available to the poor, this tragedy could have been avoided.

Eric said...

Isn't a prison sentence supposed to be a deterrent? Make the conditions such that no one would want to commit the crime in the first place.

That's the problem, from my point of view. It isn't prison. These are people who have already served their prison sentences.

srfwotb said...

Or they could build guarded luxury camps/ boarding schools and put the children in them - for "free".

@John Lynch - the problem people are having with it isn't the kids - it is that a lot of perfectly innocent, hardworking etc. people don't have it that good - and their "freedom" is effectively curtailed by lack of money. They don't get to sit around their luxury school and have sex and go to music class all day. And certainly a lot of senior centers that people pay up the wazoo for aren't that well appointed- they also are restricted due to physical ailments from availing themselves of their "freedom".

If this became the norm, it's feasible that molesting a few kids could become a retirement plan.

Pogo said...

Send them all to Space Camp.

But in space.

And without any real camp.
If you get my drift.

Trooper York said...

RH you freak me out man. Seriously.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Send them all to Space CampLOL. Pogo, you just made my day.

rhhardin said...

I put it down to the disappearance of normal people from the 60s news audience, resulting in the skewing of the news business model to crazy and female, and thus the procession of new Public Problems and their interest groups.

Hearne's Law: Whenever there's a stink in the media about something, it's because some politician or charity wants a stink in the media about that something.

Beth said...

200K per gay pedophileC4 is slipping. I'm pretty sure they're all Jews, too.

It's fortunate that no adult men ever rape female children, eh? We'd be paying for them, too.

Seven Machos said...

Beth -- Good call. I can't think of anything witty to say.

campy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
campy said...

I can't think of anything witty to say.When I'm in that position, I usually say something half-witty.

David said...

How lovely to believe that the recidivism rate is "only" 5.3% based on a non peer reviewed "study" from New Zealand.

Here is what Mayo Clinic says about recidivism in pedophiles:

Just as the prevalence of pedophilia is not accurately known, the rate of recidivism against a child is also unknown. Recidivism is a term with many definitions, which affect reported rates of repeated offenses. For example, some studies look at additional arrests for any offense, others only look at arrests for sexual crimes, and some only look at convictions, whereas others analyze self-reported reoffenses. The data on recidivism underestimate its rate because many treatment studies do not include treatment dropout figures, cannot calculate the number of repeated offenses that are not reported, and do not use polygraphs to confirm self-reports. Another complicating factor is the period during which the data are collected. Some studies report low recidivism rates, but these numbers apply to individuals followed up during periods of active treatment only or for short periods after treatment is terminated (eg, 1-5 years).96,97

The published rates of recidivism are in the range of 10% to 50% for pedophiles depending on their grouping. Some studies have reported that certain classes of pedophiles (eg, homosexual, nonrelated) have the highest rate for repeated offending compared with other sex offenders. Generally, homosexual and bisexual pedophiles have higher recidivism rates than heterosexual pedophiles. Incest pedophiles generally have the lowest rate of reoffense. The more deviant the sexual practices of the offender, the younger the abused child; the more sociopathic or antisocial personality traits displayed, the greater the treatment noncompliance; and the greater the number of paraphilic interests reported by the offender, the higher the likelihood of reoffense.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

How lovely to believe that the recidivism rate is "only" 5.3% based on a non peer reviewed "study" from New Zealand.

I see. Because only the Mayo Clinic has that special "counting" technology required for this kind of work. We would export it to the New Zealanders, but it's dual use, and we wouldn't want them to teach counting to the Iranians.

But let's say the rate is 50%. Doesn't really change my argument - it still means these guys are being imprisoned indefinitely with no charge. And because some of them will re-offend, we're gonna keep them all in prison, even though they've already finished a sentence handed down by a judge who's taken that possibility into account.

dcm said...

The state sets a maximum period of confinement, the judge orders a legal sentence and the defendant serves that sentence, then if the state wishes to continue to confine the defendant, it must treat the defendant as much as possible as if he weren't confined. He is suffering a civil commitment, not a punitive one. the state has the choice of confining him with these "luxuries" or let him go. Which is cheaper in the long run?

David said...

Eric--

First of all, the Mayo study admits some uncertainty about the subject, something I am sure you would never do. Obviously recidivism of sex criminals is not easy to describe in general or to determine in specific cases.

Your glib solution to "let them go" even if the recidivism is 50% shows no regard whatsoever for the victims.

At one time we classified people who commit these types as crimes as evil. Now there is a tendency to see them as sick.

I don't really care how they are classified. But I know that a society who can not keep people like this from repeating their harmful actions against children is seriously misguided. The pedophiles have already committed one serious crime against an innocent child. In any weighing of the equity and fairness of protecting against future conduct, their past criminal act means that the balance should be tilted against the guilty, not the innocent.

Joe said...

I hear space is opening up in Guatanamo. Failing that, the Taliban may find a place for them.

Revenant said...

Doesn't really change my argument - it still means these guys are being imprisoned indefinitely with no charge.

No additional charge beyond the one they were convicted of, you mean.

Revenant said...

Incest pedophiles generally have the lowest rate of reoffense.

Doesn't that statement pretty much merit a "duh"? In order for an incest pedophile to reoffend after being released from prison, he'd have to (a) still have underage children that (b) he is allowed access to.

Considering that (a) the kids will be growing up while he's in prison and (b) their new guardian probably won't me leaving the pedophile alone with them, the opportunities for an incest pedophile to reoffend are likely to be all but nonexistent.

Eric said...

Your glib solution to "let them go" even if the recidivism is 50% shows no regard whatsoever for the victims.

When someone does his time, you let him go. That's how the system is supposed to work. Paying your debt to society and all that. We're not talking about people who got off on a technicality - these guys have already served hard time.

As to your other points, well, they're all valid. When the offender is sentenced.

Eric said...

No additional charge beyond the one they were convicted of, you mean.

Yes, of course. You would need a new charge to hold someone after his sentence is served. If you weren't, you know, "caring" for him.

Seriously, how long do you think it's gonna be before they start "caring" for political opponents?

Pogo said...

" Paying your debt to society and all that. "

The debt is not paid by doing prison time. Not even close.

If that were a straight up exchange, 10 years for a sexual assault, then one could do the time first and be allowed one assault.

Bullshit. The debt can never be fully repaid, not to the victim, nor to the community that has been injured.

David said...

Eric--the system is supposed to work to protect citizens from crime. You exalt the process of the system over its purpose.

I am confident that we can make the distinction between pedophiles and persons engaged in political speech, and refrain from prosecuting and imprisoning the latter.

TMink said...

Recidivism equals getting caught and convicted.

That is not the same as perpetrating again, the numbers are not even close.

But I agree with Eric that we are supposed to be a nation of laws, and we must uphold those laws.

So let's change em.

Trey

JAL said...

rh states: She and the child lived in a trailer park, and I can't help thinking that if education degrees were made more easily available to the poor, this tragedy could have been avoided.The news did not say they were poor and uneducated. The news reports they lived in the same trailer park.

I know it is hard to comprehend, but "trailer park" in many areas of the country does not automatically equal "poor and uneducated." Depends on the park, the area of the country, and the housing market.

In a lot of cases in recent years, trailer parks residents were often people not suckered into buying something a house they could not afford.

Bottom line, this terrible tragedy appears to have nothing to do with poverty.

Peter V. Bella said...

Kids do not vote. That is why these freaks get away with their so called orientation or proclivity.

What if they were rapists. Recidivist rapists. People who preyed on adult women? Would all of you bleeding hearts and hand wringers feel the same way?

One of the responsibilities of a civilized society is to protect those who are the most vulnerable. If putting these freaks back into society is your answer, then we have failed.

mdulakthomson said...

Sorry to get in so late here -- pesky day job -- but I agree absolutely with Eric. Granted that criminal law is supposed to protect the public from criminals; still, I do draw the line at punishing people for crimes they haven't committed yet.

If we say that someone who's committed a particular crime will almost certainly do it again, we aren't treating that person as a free moral agent; we're saying that, in this respect at least, his will is not free. People who can't will the right thing may be guilty of what they've already done, but hardly already of what they might do, even if it's almost certain they will do it.

If we don't think we can safely let such people free, our only real option is to treat them as wards of the state, unfit to be allowed free but not serving a sentence once the sentence for what they actually did do has elapsed.

If we actually think pedophiles deserve life w/o parole (in prison, not in an asylum), or the death penalty, that's another matter. But we really mustn't punish people for crimes they haven't committed yet.

Has it occurred to some of you that the average burglar (or mugger, or carjacker, or holder-up of convenience stores and gas stations, or barroom brawler, or drug dealer, or scammer) is also very likely to re-offend? No doubt we could make life very much safer and pleasanter for the rest of us if everyone convicted of a felony was locked up indefinitely -- at least, until the room-and-board bills came due. Then again, were we to lock up everyone capable of committing a serious crime, there might be rather few of us at liberty to pay the bills.

I will say that $200K per patient per annum sounds awfully high. I thought the cost of housing a maximum-security prisoner was somewhere in the mid five figures.

amba said...

Does anyone know: does castration work?? (And if it were the penalty, would these people then go out and take testosterone?)

Serial killers are the only people I've unambivalently favored the death penalty for, because they seem incurably addicted to what they do, plus sociopathic. They can only be destroyed. Pedophile murderers would fit that category even if they'd only killed once.

What about the mild-mannered molesters who traumatize but don't murder?

(Yes, and confusing minor status violations with true pedophilia and abduction/rape/murder is horrendous.)

MayBee said...

srfwotb: Coalinga is cow town, home to a huge beef slaughterhouse iirc. If you are driving highway 5, you can smell it from miles down the highway. The stench can be incredible on a hot day.Hilarious. The minute you mentioned the cow stench, I realized we had passed just such an area last weekend on the way to SF. And sure enough upon checking the map, I see it was Coalinga.

That alone makes it definitely less diiirrty, but still pretty dirty.

TMink said...

Amba asked "What about the mild-mannered molesters who traumatize but don't murder?"

I appreciate your asking the question. People like me who work with people who were sexually abused USED to think that penetration was worse than fondeling, the use of a weapon was worse than no weapon, and a stranger was worse than someone the child knew.

Then we did the research.

It turns out that the amount of psychological harm has to do with relationships between the perpetrator, victim, and significant others in the victim's life. Imagine a triangle with those three groups at each angle.

The best scenario is if the victim can view the perpetrator as a pervert with no redeeming value or importance. Similarly, it is best when the victim sees important people around them treat the pervert like a pervert, shunning the person with considerable anger. Lastly, those significant others need to treat the victim with loving kindness, proud that the victim told on the pervert.

When those conditions are met, the trauma is easiest (a relative term, believe me) to work through and the victim has the best chance of recovery.

In contrast, if the victim had a loving or dependent relationship with the perpetrator, if the perp is a person of good standing and import in the community, and the victim is shamed and not believed, the victim has the most diffilcult recovery and has the worst prognosis.

So the perp getting time in jail shows the victim what we think of the pervert. This research also shows why incest is so damaging, as the perpetrator is someone who is supposed to protect and care for the victim.

The research shows that the easiest sexual abuse to get over is the stranger in the black trench coat and the most difficult is the beloved member of the family or community.

Trey

Revenant said...

Yes, of course. You would need a new charge to hold someone after his sentence is served. If you weren't, you know, "caring" for him.

Not if the law says that people convicted of sex crimes against children can be held indefinitely until cured.

The Constitution forbids imprisonment without due process of law. It does NOT, in any way, forbid further imprisonment after the original, punitive imprisonment has been served out. The due process requirement has already been met by the original trial.

Revenant said...

Seriously, how long do you think it's gonna be before they start "caring" for political opponents?

"First they came for the pedophiles, then they came for the opposition party"? Color me extremely skeptical. You'd need quite a few steps in between those two points.

Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Not if the law says that people convicted of sex crimes against children can be held indefinitely until cured.

It doesn't. They're being held under the far more subjective mental health standard of "danger to self or others". And notice the article says nobody bothers to go to therapy because the powers that be have already determined they can't be cured. I'm pretty sure that's more of a political decision than a medical one.

Look, I have no problem with harsher prison sentences, up to and including life without parole. But if that's the way we want to go as a society the legislature needs to codify it into the legal code. This backdoor shit just stinks from a "rule of law" perspective.

The due process requirement has already been met by the original trial.

I see. Once you've been convicted of something you're forever subject to arbitrary imprisonment. This is your idea of "due process"?

Eric said...

"First they came for the pedophiles, then they came for the opposition party"? Color me extremely skeptical. You'd need quite a few steps in between those two points.

True. How about, you know, gun nuts and militia members? People distrustful of the federal government? Returning veterans? Canadians? I dunno why (ahem), but these things just sprint to mind.

Eric said...

What if they were rapists. Recidivist rapists. People who preyed on adult women? Would all of you bleeding hearts and hand wringers feel the same way?

Heh heh. Peter, I think that's the first time in my life anyone has identified me as one of the "bleeding hearts and hand wringers".

And yeah, I would feel the same way. I'm not what you would call a card-carrying ACLU member, but I think if you're gonna put people in jail you need to do it the right way, with judge and jury.

Eric said...

...but these things just sprint to mind.

Sprint, spring, whatever.

Pogo said...

"...with judge and jury."

The judges around here tend to nullify the juries, and send people out after a minimal sentence.

It's Minnesota, I suppose, but all the people who become judges eventually turn into social workers.

So when the courts refuse to do their job, citizens are forced invent a workaround. Wouldn't need to if judges didn't all try to be therapists.

mrs whatsit said...

OK, forgive me in advance for going on at length please, but this is a subject I know something about, so . . .

rhhardin, I wish I could agree with you that the Megan's Law maps showing sex offenders all over the place "just can't be". But they can. I'm a lawyer who has been working in the court system and in children's law for a lot of years and I have been gobsmacked by the prevalence of sexual offenses against children. My experience is anecdotal, to be sure, but at this point it's pretty extensive. Isn't there some horror movie with the catchphrase "They're Out There"? I'm telling you, they are.

I'm old enough to remember the difference between then and now. I believe the difference is 1) awareness -- people are more open about these things, and 2) (the biggie) opportunity -- family breakdowns have put many, many more unrelated adults in households with children.

Maybe it's reassuring, or maybe not, that the huge majority of these cases, around here, at least, happen within the family. (From what Trey says, clearly it's not). Cedarford will possibly be startled to hear that they seem to me, at least, to be virtually ALL heterosexual. In my experience in this community I can't remember a gay pedophile case. I recall several with women as the predators, but they all went after boys. The huge, huge majority are some woman's live-in boyfriend or second husband preying on her daughter.

Eric, I have the same qualms you do about the fundamental justice of keeping people locked up after they've served their sentences. But in New York, at least, the process is nowhere near as automatic or draconian as you suggest. It's due process up one side and down the other. New York's civil commitment law (called Article 10 around here) is fairly new. Felony sex offenders nearing release with particularly worrying histories get screened by the state's Office of Mental Health. About 10% of those screened are recommended for further review -- the other 90% go free when their sentences are complete. Those who are recommended go through an exhaustive process, including a probable cause determination by a judge and a full-blowntwo-stage jury trial to determine whether, by clear and convincing evidence with a unanimous jury, they are dangerous sex offenders suffering from a mental abnormality. If the jury decides they meet that test, a judge will then decide what level of supervision is required, from confinement to community placement with strict supervision. After that, there's a review every two years.

Not everybody goes to trial -- most of them, so far, have stipulated to some kind of settlement. Out of 33 who did go to trial in a recent 12-month period, the juries found 10 who met the test of mental abnormality plus dangerousness. 3 of those were released into the community under strict probation-style conditions. Seven were actually confined. (Very rough figures. Don't quote me. Look here for mind-numbing detail:
http://tinyurl.com/csp5xm )

In the one Article 10 case that I followed from start to finish, believe you me, you do not want that guy loose in the community. His initial offense was too horrifying to recount (live-in boyfriend, preschooler, worst imaginable results.) While briefly released on parole he had shown every sign of proclivity to re-offend. After his several-day-long jury trial, he ended up with SIST ( community release with strict conditions.) I would have locked him up and mailed the key to Tasmania.

Of course it's not perfect. But we can't do anything perfectly in this world. The attempt is to identify the most dangerous offenders who are most likely to reoffend and to protect the community from them with the least restrictive controls possible. I don't think that's so unreasonable or so very remote from our basic ideas of justice.

TMink said...

Mrs Whatsit, thanks for being one of the good gals that are on the right side of this issue.

I think that the internet and easy access to child porn has also escalated the problem. It used to be more difficult to get that stuff, now there are private sections on flickr where perverts trade and display the trash.

The porno (child porno) feeds the flame and disinhibits the perverts. They act out more, and that infects more people.

Interestingly, I have worked with a lot of people who were perpetrated by a same sex pervert. Maybe most of them, but it is not hte kind of thing I keep track of. You are happy to let the details slip from memory, but a LOT were harmed by same sex perpetrators.

I will not use the H word because my gay friends are not interested in kids and I would not sully them with any type of association with the monsters.

Trey

geoffgo said...

Eric,

Your arguments take no account of the victims. It's just your unwillingness to punish the offenders sufficient to cause them to not re-offend.

It's ludicrous to imagine millions of unemployed US citizens and perhaps 30 million illegals standing in soup lines, while these scumbags enjoy such lavish digs and complete medical care.

Can't last. Things will change dramatically when there's not unlimited taxpayer money to support such idiotic thinking and all the lawyers defending it. Methinks the fix for recidivists will become more permanent. .22 Long Rifle cal is cheaper than .9mm. Then, a whole lot fewer will be recidivizing.

Eric said...

Your arguments take no account of the victims. It's just your unwillingness to punish the offenders sufficient to cause them to not re-offend.

This follows no train of logic I can identify. Did you read any of the comments on this thread?

Methinks the fix for recidivists will become more permanent. .22 Long Rifle cal is cheaper than .9mm. Then, a whole lot fewer will be recidivizing.

What a great idea! We'll bypass the entire justice system and just kill the people we don't like! Did you think this up all by yourself?

Eric said...

Mrs Whatsit, thank you for sharing your experience. I do have a question about the Article 10 process you mentioned. When the judge and jury look into the case, what evidence are they using to make their determination? Is it the circumstances of the original crime or from some sort of interview battery?

The reason I ask is this: If they're using the circumstances of the original crime doesn't it amount to second-guessing the determination of the sentencing judge?

And if not, what compels the guy to participate in the interviews? Is it some kind of threat along the lines of "if you don't play ball we'll just lock you up"? How useful could the product of those interviews be?

mrs whatsit said...

Eric, you're asking exactly the right questions. As far as evidence, at the probable cause and jury trial stages, the evidence has to be more than the original crime, for exactly the reason you mention. I honestly can't remember if the circumstances of the original crime are even allowed to be considered -- but to find that somebody is dangerous enough to be restricted after completing their sentence, there must definitely be more than just whatever they did in the first place.

They try to be as objective as they can. The state uses a battery of tests in the original screening. Then once it gets to the trial stage, both sides use psychological experts who conduct more testing and extensive evaluations. If the person has had any liberty as an adult, what he did during that time will be carefully scrutinized. With the fellow I mentioned, his behavior while out on parole (bending and/or breaking every condition he could, striking up relationships with women who had children of the same age as his victim, etc.) was what really sank him, in the eyes of the jury.

In New York, the offenders are represented by appointed attorneys from the state's Mental Hygiene Legal Services -- devoted lawyers with specialized skills and a real commitment to due process. The prosecution is handled by the state Attorney General's office. In the one case I saw in detail, both sides did superb work.

As far as the offenders' honesty with the evaluators, they do want to cooperate because otherwise it will look bad. But they have every incentive to lie and shade the truth and try to make themselves look angelic. Some of the questions asked by the evaluators in the case I followed seemed really brain-dead to me ("What are your sexual fantasies?" Yeah right, sure he'll tell the truth in answering that one!) Of course, if they are caught in any lies, that will also go against them.

But it's a muddy, subjective, and highly imperfect process. Until we learn to read minds, we won't be able to do too much better.

geoffgo said...

Eric,

I agree with you about the corruption of the law and its ambiguity in interpretation, making the link between imprisoning sexual deviants and political opponents shorter.

However to be clear, the police will arrest and prosecute and incarcerate child molesters. The kapos at ACORN, OFA and Americorps will be delegated to deal with the opposition.

Chill out! In no way did I suggest that we "bypass the entire justice system," or "just kill the people we don't like." YOU MADE THAT UP ALL BY YOURSELF.

What I did say is the current penal system will be unsustainable in a depression where millions of law-abiding US citizens are going hungry. Other means and other laws will come into play.

By 2011, our financial crisis will require cutting the operating budgets at the local, state and federal government levels by 50%, or go into national default.

With half of ALL expenditures to be eliminated, I'm sure the resort facilities will have to be downgraded to simple prison status, or closed. And yes, many of the recidivist molesters will be released to their fate in a society where the gov't can no longer pretend to protect the innocent. Good intentions have never gone far in a lawless environment.

The innocent man wants justice. The guity man needs mercy.

Oligonicella said...

TMink --

"The porno (child porno) feeds the flame and disinhibits the perverts. They act out more, and that infects more people."

Trey, just because some mental disorders are called diseases doesn't mean they're contagious. You might rethink that phrasing.

I might not be understanding what you were getting at, but the word 'infects' would be why.

David said...

Thanks to Mrs. Whatsit for the facts, and Eric for the lefty paranoia. Which analytical model do you think works best for the victims, actual and potential?

rhhardin said...

@mrswhatsit

rhhardin: ... I'm old enough to remember the difference between then and now. I believe the difference is 1) awareness -- people are more open about these things, and 2) (the biggie) opportunity -- family breakdowns have put many, many more unrelated adults in households with children.

``Then'' to me, however, seems like a counterexample more than anything.

As to increased awareness, it could also be hysteria and the pedophile industry that has grown around it, could it not?

The other two hysterias that then-and-now comparisons have turned up for me are drunk driving and stray dog, which have their anti-hysteria heros in Joseph Gusfield and Vicki Hearne respectively.

Child abuse hysteria heros would be Ian Hacking and Guggenbuhl-Craig.

In all three cases an industry has grown up around the hysteria, which to say a political interest in continuing it.

Another thing that changed between then and now is the nature of the news media business model demographic.

People today very willing to discredit the media for certain things, but have not noticed others.

Old guys are not easy to fool, in any case, for a reason. They've seen another reality for themselves.

The interest is in accounting for the difference, something that does not occur for the young.

rhhardin said...

con't

One thing very often said is how kids used to be sent out to play and how little concern there was for their safety, unlike today where it would be unthinkable, absolutely unthinkable.

Well yes. And all those kids came home safely, too.

So the difference is noticed at least, but not drawn on for a conclusion that something's not right about all this crisis.

Eric said...

Mrs Whatsit, you've described what seems like a pretty reasonable system. If he gets a bit of freedom and starts throwing off red flags like that it's a whole different situation than just moving a guy from prison to, well, prison you're calling by another name.

Eric said...

rhhardin, I remember being sent out to play as well. There was another difference between then and now: every family on the block had three or four kids, and they were all ejected from their respective houses on a regular basis. So there was always a gang of us running around and doing kid stuff. There wasn't any opportunity for someone to come in and pick off a lone child.

When I was three or four some weirdo came to our neighborhood and started exposing himself to the local kids. My dad knew within minutes.

People don't have that many kids today, and they keep the kids they have inside when unsupervised. So if you sent your single child out to play he'd be much more vulnerable than the kids on my block were.

Eric said...

Thanks to Mrs. Whatsit for the facts, and Eric for the lefty paranoia. Which analytical model do you think works best for the victims, actual and potential?

Is there some kind of virus going around that causes people to lose fifty IQ points? When did an insistence on due process become "lefty" as opposed to "American"? You may think you're a conservative, but really you're just an idiot.

Revenant said...

the powers that be have already determined they can't be cured. I'm pretty sure that's more of a political decision than a medical one.

If you know of a reliable cure for pedophilia, I suggest you share it with the world and collect your Nobel Prize in Medicine. :)

But if that's the way we want to go as a society the legislature needs to codify it into the legal code.

The ability to commit people who are deemed a danger to themselves and others IS codified in the legal code. Sure, we could update the legal code to say "any pedophile has to be locked in a cell forever", but that would be unjust to those people convicted of offenses against children but who aren't really pedophiles. This way, at least they are being evaluated by medical professionals.

"The due process requirement has already been met by the original trial".

I see. Once you've been convicted of something you're forever subject to arbitrary imprisonment.

This isn't arbitrary imprisonment. This is imprisonment of a person who has been proven, in a court of law, to be a sexually deviant criminal, and who has been judged by doctors to be an ongoing threat to society.

This is your idea of "due process"?

After making the above corrections to your misunderstandings, yes.

True. How about, you know, gun nuts and militia members?

If a militia member was convicted of a violent crime and then judged by medical personnel to be an ongoing threat to society, I would have no problem with him being kept in a psychiatric hospital until he was cured.

I dunno why (ahem), but these things just sprint to mind.

I'm sure they do. Notice how none of these people are being thrown into psychiatric hospitals? Strangely, the public is much less concerned for the well-being of child rapists than it is with the well-being of military veterans and Canadians.

rhhardin said...

Child abuse hysteria heros would be Ian Hacking and Guggenbuhl-Craig.

And the WSJ's Dorothy Rabinowitz.

Eric said...

Heh heh. Revenant, that last part about militia members, gun nuts and Canadians was a joke referencing the "report" from DHS that came out last week. Well, maybe not the Canadians.

On the other stuff we'll have to agree to disagree. The sentencing judge takes the possibility of re-offense into consideration when handing down the sentence. Moving a guy right from prison to a mental hospital on the say-so of a psychologist smacks of sentencing a guy twice for the same offense.

Eric said...

It occurs to me maybe David missed my joke as well. This is what I was goofing on. If that's what you meant about leftist paranoia, David, I apologize for calling you an idiot on account of my joke being unrecognizable if you hadn't read the article. If not, well, you're still an idiot.

David said...

Eric: Argument by insult went out in the 4th grade.

Since I was not the only one who did not get the "joke," maybe the joke was a bit obscure (or lame)?

As to due process, if you were able to absorb what Mrs. Whatsit is saying, you would see that there is due process in the confinement system. The New York system is not unique. It's present in one form or another everywhere such decisions are made. It's present because due process requires it.

My entire point, which your response underscores, is that you ignore the facts from people like Mrs. Whatsit, who actually know what they are talking about.

There is nothing lefty about due process. There is a lot lefty about thinking that due process requires a blind eye to the rights of victims.

Eric said...

David, I'm not sure what you're trying to say. The article wasn't about the system Mrs Whatsit is describing. The article is describing a facility in California. I'm okay with the system she's describing. I'm not okay with the system we have (or at least, had) in California.

And you're laboring under a misconception. Victims don't have any special rights in our system of jurisprudence except in very narrow circumstances. "Victim's rights" is a political slogan, not a term of art.

Of course the state's primary interest at the end of any felon's sentence is to prevent the creation of more victims. But to achieve that by just not letting them out of jail when their sentence is done is wrong, quite frankly, unless you have some information beyond what the sentencing judge had to work with that gives you a reason to believe they will re-offend.

Revenant said...

Heh heh. Revenant, that last part about militia members, gun nuts and Canadians was a joke referencing the "report" from DHS that came out last week.

I was aware of the reference, yes. It wasn't exactly subtle.

mrs whatsit said...

This thread is pretty well dead, but I want to say that I think people are being absurdly unfair to Eric. It isn't "lefty paranoia" to be concerned about due process or to be against locking people up based on statistics rather than evidence. Please consider what country we live in, and why we're glad we live here.

TMink said...

Olig wrote: "Trey, just because some mental disorders are called diseases doesn't mean they're contagious. You might rethink that phrasing."

Well thanks pal, I see what you mean. While I think the infection model applies, I have not read anything that suggests that pedophilia is a brian disorder or disease like schizophrenia, and it sure seems like I said that.

I was thinking of how porn disinhibits sexual behaviors. The sexual aspects of our brains are so strong, they can be overwhelming. Before widesperead access to child porn, I think pedophiles were more inhibited. They were more concerned about social sanctions, and maybe morality.

The repetitive act of orgasm to images and fantasies of underage children furthers the proclivity and reduces those concerns and tabboos. Thus, disinhibition occurs.

With more sexual acting out against children, more young kids have sexual matters foisted upon them. One of the things I talk to the kids I work with is how embarassing and weird it is to be five and know what oral sex is, what it must feel like to have repetitive sexual thoughts at 6, how weird and dirty that feels to the kids.

Without help, someone to talk to about what happened and what goes on in their head, and without someone to explain what happened and how what it means and how to reduce it, the thoughts linger and can become an obsession that leads to further acting out.

In that way, there is a kind of transmission through contact. That was what I was thinking, not that the problem is an actual disease, but that it can be transmitted like on.

Interestingly, the same thing can be said of empathy. I am not sure that empathy can be taught, but it certainly can be transmitted from one person to another. Maybe pedophilia is anti-empathy, the inability to place yourself in another's position, a horrid sexual narcissism.

Olig, thanks for taking the time to read and think about what I was saying. Thank you more for your critique, it helped me think this problem out more. I think it will help some kids in the long run.

Have a great weekend, I wish I could buy you a cold one.

Trey

TMink said...

Eric wrote: "Moving a guy right from prison to a mental hospital on the say-so of a psychologist smacks of sentencing a guy twice for the same offense."

I completely concur.

Eric, I think folks are missing you in that we are talking about such a horrid crime. As strongly as I agree with the need for protection and punishment from real sexual predators, your points about due process and following the law and constitution are spot on. Even in the case of heinous crime, we must remain a nation of laws.

Trey

sonicfrog said...

If there are genetic markers that determine someone will be a pedo, do you identify that person at birth?Not that simple. Many traits passed on through genetics rely on a combination of genes. No one has ever identified the exact gene that determines eye color. The only reason we know it's genetic is because it's a physical trait and is very easy to identify the pattern of recessiveness in blue eyed people. And look at all the variations in iris color. There is not just one color brown, or one color blue, there are countless permeations. Which brings me to the question - Exactly what color is hazel????

sonicfrog said...

Coalinga is also famous geologically. There was a 6.5 quake on May 2, 1983 near Coalinga. Did not cause any fatalities, but destroyed the entire downtown district. The quake established the existence of a previously unclassified type of seismic fault - the blind thrust fault. The 94 Northridge quake of 94 was also centered on a blind thrust fault.

sonicfrog said...

BTW. I lived in Lemoore CA, about 40 mi from Coalinga, when the 83 event occurred. I was under my moms car and the car started shaking. At first I thought mom was playing a joke on me, but I looked over and realized she was a few feet away. I quickly scooted myself out from under the car, probably never moved so fast in my life. Within moments, you could literally see the groundwaves from the 6.5'er as they traveled along the surface. It was WAY COOL!

zedzded said...

I was in Sunnyvale at the time of that quake - it was memorable, if less damaging, even that far away.

Nice rolling quake from my perspective. Lasted a long time, too.

sonicfrog said...

The 94 Northridge quake of 94 was also centered on a blind thrust fault.The 94 quake of 94????