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Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Dr. Donald Rhodd, has suggested a mandatory rehabilitative programme for certain categories of sex offenders.
These include persons who commit sexual assaults, attempted rape, assault with intent to rape, and child sex offences, such as maintaining sexual relationships with a child and incest.
Dr. Rhodd made the recommendation during his contribution to the debate on the Sexual Offences Act (2008) in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (Feb. 10).
He argued that releasing young men, without affording them the opportunity to rehabilitate, could be a recipe for disaster.
“We don’t know whether many of these acts being perpetrated on our children and women, are not being done by repeat offenders. But, inasmuch as we have the power to do something about it, we must. We cannot release potential paedophiles and rapists on society without seeking to assist them,” he said.
He said that not all sex offenders could be kept in prison for life, and in assisting them, the system would also be assisting potential victims.
“The loophole which currently exist, allows the release of unrehabilitated offenders. It is a recipe that puts every family at risk. Our most vulnerable people, women and children, deserve protection from persons who are likely to be paedophiles and rapists,” he stated.
He also urged the Government to move swiftly to implement electronic monitoring of sexual offenders released or on parole.
“This technology has been used successfully in other jurisdictions, as a deterrent to sexual offences by convicted inmates. It has also been used to monitor parolees, who have reached a certain stage in their rehabilitative process,” he noted.
The Sexual Offences Act 2008, seeks to combine the various laws relating to rape, incest and other sexual offences. It repeals the Incest (Punishment) Act and several provisions of the Offences Against the Person Act relating to rape and other sex crimes. The debate will continue at the next sitting of the House.