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rebbel's avatar

Would you volunteer to form a Circle around a sex offender?

Asked by rebbel (23522 points ) July 28th, 2011

In the Netherlands they found a new (based on similar initiatives in Canada and the UK) organisation which basic goal it is to form a social circle around a convicted sex offender (in the Netherlands mainly pedophiles I believe).
Read a little info here.
Would you consider to volunteer for this ‘job’?
It it supposedly working, I read in a Dutch newspapers recently (recidivism shows lower).
For some, I assume, it would be too close be even in the vicinity of said person.
But one could also think it is a preventive system, so less people/children would fall victims to these persons.
What do you think?

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16 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

No.
I will not babysit an adult.

Blackberry's avatar

Sounds like a great idea, although I imagine the circle would be small, because too many people are freaked out and patently biased against pedos. But if there’s a dedicated group of people willing to dedicate their time to that, good for them.

Would I do it? No, because I have better things to do, like having sex with actual adults, haha.

ucme's avatar

The thought doesn’t appeal to me at all, not in the slightest.
I can see where they’re coming from with this & for that they are to be applauded, but it’s not for me.

intrepidium's avatar

It depends – I would if I can be assured of the necessary training, an understanding of the risks and other support systems involved, and a better sense of how the Circle works i.e. who are the other volunteers. There’s also the time commitment factor…

rebbel's avatar

For me too, in first instance, it would be too revulsive, too confrontational, to give my help to such person, but it made me think, that article, whether I have to rethink my opinions and be possibly of use, both to the offender, but more specifically to potential victims.
I am not sure.
Could be though that even if I would volunteer, my mental condition (I am not crazy) would be considered too unstable for this kind of task.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I understand how it might work, but I would never be able to be around a person who had been so terrible. I think they deserve to be punished, not coddled.

Blueroses's avatar

It looks rather like the role of sponsors in addiction programs. Keeping regular support and motivation not to act on impulses works in those situations too.

I would hope that I would make a decision to better society by volunteering for this, but I’d really need to know the nature of the crime before making a commitment. It would just be impossible to resist shooting some people in the face.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I wouldn’t volunteer for it, but I’ve known people that would. I can see it working through accountability.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Blackberry's avatar

@Amara There are nice ones who can also lust after little children…..

TexasDude's avatar

Fuck that.

blueiiznh's avatar

NO. IMHO it does nothing to resolve the issue. The fact that someone is going to check on them periodically is not going to stop the issue. They will go deeper underground with their sickness. It may even enable them to find more ways to act out and NEVER get caught.
Stay as much away from befriending someone with a sick mind like that.

Spend your time helping a physically sick friend or neighbor in need.

Go voluneteer to help the child that they harmed as opposed to the person that harmed!

Bellatrix's avatar

We need to find better ways to manage paedophiles who have been identified and perhaps released from gaol after serving their sentences. Here, there have been incidences of convicted child molesters being released into the community (with restrictions about where they can go/live) who have then been hounded out of that place when people found out they were there. They are then moved again and so the cycle continues. I am not sure if they are ever given new identities here but that certainly happened in the case of the James Bulger murder.

Communities don’t want sex offenders housed there (and I can absolutely understand why) and governments have to find places to house sex offenders. I seem to recall reading that the more disengaged sex offenders are from the community, from support networks, the more likely it is that they will reoffend (I can’t quickly find that research but if I have time I will look later). In Brisbane they are apparently trialling putting offenders into a shared housing complex (about 30 of them). I don’t feel good about this. Thirty known sex offenders, sharing housing, sharing ideas, making contact with each other. Feels worrying to me.

We do have to find some sort of solution though. Sex offenders and child molesters exist. They are out there in are communities and if they have been identified and served their time in gaol, we have to house them somewhere. If this program helps, I think it’s a good thing. We need to try different ways to keep these people from offending. Could I do it myself, probably not. I have no desire to work with sex offenders but there are people who would want to. It is worth investigating.

intrepidium's avatar

@Bellatrix Exactly right! They are released into the community and from the way I see it, if I want to minimize the chances of their offending again, we need better social and community monitoring systems in place. The Circles idea makes sense and I could see myself doing it – not because I personally “desire” to make their acquaintance etc. but because a community need for safeguards is not being adequately met by enough people stepping up – and I absolutely understand and respect their possible reasons and constraints. I would only do so however provided* there’s proper training and a well-thought-out system in place for volunteers along with thorough profiles of the person/s we’re talking about.

As to how they are being jointly housed in a complex in Brisbane, here in upstate NY we have a building close to downtown that houses over 20 known sex offenders – and it is troubling to think of what the dynamics would be between them. I recall reading somewhere that prisons could be breeding grounds and schools for even more hardened criminals when they get released, simply because of the opportunities to associate and exchange favors and leads etc. with other criminals. Maybe that’s true for sex offenders are housed together too…

snowberry's avatar

I’d volunteer to help them. I’d like to see them be required to continue to be held accountable probably for the rest of their life, but I’d sign up to help them.

I’ve also worked with and will continue to help rape victims.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I agree with you @snowberry

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