Chris Uggen's Blog: human rights watch report on sex offender laws

Saturday, September 15, 2007

human rights watch report on sex offender laws

it takes guts to defend the rights of those convicted of sex crimes, but human rights watch has never been short on guts. their new report, no easy answers: sex offender laws in the u.s., offers a timely appraisal of these laws and their consequences for individuals and communities.

2 Comments:

At 4:28 AM, Blogger eszter said...

I think your comment would be right on (about what it takes to defend such people) if it weren't for the incredibly broad ways in which some of these laws get implemented in the US. I didn't read the report, but I suspect that's some of what it tries to address.

Some of the "sex offender" cases one hears about are downright frightening, not because of the sex offender aspect, but because of what acts get classified as such. Take, for example, this case of a man who grabbed the arm of a 14-yr-old girl who'd jumped in front of his vehicle with the intention of explaining to her why her action was so careless and dangerous. Given the circumstances, it seems very plausible that the man had no other intentions. He was convicted of "unlawful restraint of a minor – a sex offense under Illinois law."

When I started learning about cases like this (it's not the only one), I realized how diluted the concept of sex offenders has become in this country. It's scary, because it trivializes matters that are otherwise extremely important.

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger christopher uggen said...

right, eszter. few recognize the diversity of circumstances that give rise to a sex offender designation. there is great heterogeneity within this category, but hyperstigmatization for all with the label.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home