Collateral Damage in America’s War on Sex Crimes

This is from a recent post on LIFE ON THE LIST

Victims Don’t Support Sex Offender Registries Either!

Scholarly research on out-of-the way topics often suffers the fate of the talented actor stuck on a Shakespearean stage in London—the attention the public pays bears no relationship to the quality of the product.

Last year’s book compilation of studies on sex crime policy Sex Offender Laws: Failed Policies, New Directions belongs in that category. Each chapter is written by a leading researcher in the field under the editorship of Richard Wright, who chairs Bridgewater State University’s Department of Criminal Justice.

The book has gotten no mention in the press. You might dismiss this as just another case of research that lacked a lapel-grabbing angle for editors. But that’s wrong: if nothing else, it deserves attention for a startling chapter that should change our assumptions about whom our harsh sex crime policies benefit.

In that piece, Simpson College researcher Rachel Kate Bandy describes a study unlike anything done before—she asked victims and their advocates what they think of current sex crime policies. Specifically, she interviewed 21 sexual assault and sexual abuse victims and the heads of five state sexual assault coalitions, who work to treat current victims and prevent future sexual violence.

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