Sex Offender Treatment in the United States: The Current Climate and an Unexpected Opportunity for Change

While sex-offender laws and policies have garnished unquestioning support from a sector of the population largely uneducated about the specifics of their implementation and effects, they have frequently been criticized by scholars, mental health professionals, and others familiar with the realities of contemporary sex-offender treatment. This Comment explores many of these criticisms, from widespread societal implications and efficacy concerns to the frequently disproportional practical difficulties faced by individual offenders and their families. This Comment recognizes that because of the general population's lack of awareness about these issues, lawmakers who would otherwise support sensible and necessary modification of the existing system are often unable to do so without risking political suicide. As a result, this Comment suggests that legislators seize the opportunity presented by the current economic crisis and use the umbrella of budgetary constraints to restructure sex-offender laws and policies in order to inject into the system maximum financial economy, functionality, and justice.