Guest Blogger MommaFargo: Sex Offender Island

Here is Part II of an opinion in response to a question posed by a Adoc2be:

What should be done to protect society from dangerous sex offenders?

About today's Guest Author:

MommaFargo describes herself as "a 40-something female police officer and mother workin in a 'big city' in the west..." For several years, she investigated sex crimes for her agency, and has graciously agreed to share some of her insights on sex offenders in the following post.

MommaFargo's blog writing offers plenty of adventure, wisdom, sarcasm, and humor--a combination that makes reading about life in law enforcement so very appealing.

Her home on the Internet can be found at: The Boogie Man is My Friend.

So, here goes...


What To Do With Sex Offenders

My solution? Sex Offender Island.

Think about it.

Over the years, I have debated this question in my mind over and over. I firmly believe they can never be rehabilitated. Professionals will tell you the same. At least the ones that are honest with you and not trying to give you political window dressing and rehab fluff.

Dr. Veronique Valliere is a professional I highly regard as one on top in her field…trying to deal with sex offenders while at the same time, sharing her knowledge to educate the public and law enforcement. If you ever have the opportunity to see her at a conference or share a few beers with her as I did, you will learn a whole library worth of information in just a few hours.

Like her…several sex offenders will tell you the same about themselves…they can’t be rehabilitated. I think, secretly, in their mind…they hope for that. But what tells us the most about whether our systems are successful in this battle…is history and the offender him- or herself.

No one single sex offender hit home more with reality than one I put away for over 20 years. He even said that wasn’t going to be long enough. His criminal career started out in the 80s when he was labeled the mysterious unsub on the west coast…The Columbia River Rapist. Stalking young children, raping and sodomizing them, and then beating them with shovels until almost dead…his MO. I read the case file. Even worse…he told me the story.

Once captured…he blamed police…for planting his DNA inside the children’s vaginal and anal cavities. That was his defense. He was sent to prison. Then he was released, changed his name legally, and moved to my town.

I first met him in 2004. 100 more children later…I took over the case that was long ignored by law enforcement and DFS…he had been reported over and over. No one could prove anything. My DFS partner and I worked his case for several months, traveling the globe.

Finally…arrest and search warrant day. We went toe to toe. Only he had grown wise to the system and was much harder to crack. He changed his MO to avoid capture. He befriended parents. He groomed children. He slipped into church and school functions. He took kids out of town. The violence still inside his mind plagued him…he took out his anger in private…avoiding the injuries to his victims, but instead displaced onto his wife and children. He sodomized his own sons. He beat his wife. He beat his kids.

Incredibly…he succeeded in his activities. He became several personalities. It worked….for over 15 years. That’s how they think. All of them. Some, worse than others.

The criminal mind fascinates me. Often when I get a confession, I delve into what drives them, what’s inside their mind? They are all the same. I could cut and paste their brain activity and thoughts and the next guy would say…“that’s me.”

So how do we fix them? We can’t. They cannot be rehabilitated. What they have told me is they can somewhat function in society with very high supervision and a tough monitoring system.

Another child molester told me what worked best for him was his weekly psychiatrist visits, monthly polygraph tests, ankle bracelet with GPS, and probation and parole home visits, and a work release job away from children. The address registration is just part of that. Then there is the flyer notifications to neighbors. That’s a lot of tax payer dollars. He has not had any reports, complaints, or victims come forward for 10 years.

Now, do I believe he has re-offended? Yes, at least in his mind. Over and over. And inside his mind he is planning the perfect opportunity. If it lands in his lap…so to speak…it will happen. He knows that. He told me he struggles to live everyday without bad thoughts and he can’t. He worries every day he will offend a child. And he will someday if the perfect opportunity comes his way.

Would you want to risk that being your child? Absolutely not.

Sex Offender Island. Sounding better all the time, isn’t it?

I’m a cynical and sarcastic cop…and wishful thinker. But it isn’t something that will happen unless Martial Law takes over the land.

So, in the meantime, while we are all waiting…LOL…the best things I can suggest is a very precise and detailed monitoring system for these offenders and at the same time trying to make them productive enough in society to pay for their own system. First and foremost…innocent people need to prevail over the criminal, for once.


Thanks again to MommaFargo for discussing a difficult subject as today's guest blogger.


Matthew Rush said...

Obviously an island isn't very realistic, but it sure would be nice.

When I was younger I used to say the child rapists should be stoned to death in the village square - by their peers.

That doesn't really make sense either. We need to incarcerate them so that we can learn from them. There may not be much to learn but if we can avoid even one future victimization it's worth it.

Just my two cents.

Thanks for sharing Slam and MommaFargo (love that name).

Jayne said...

Oh I couldn't agree with you more. I've heard the top UK expert in this subject say that they *cannot* be rehabilitated so it beats me why they continue to be released back into society.

BTW, I saw a documentary about 18 month ago on Coalinga State Hospital in California - a facility to treat sex offenders. It is, in effect, a prison, the difference being that many of those inmates will *never* be released back into society - which successfully has the same effect as sending them to an island.

Lori E said...

It will have to be a pretty big island, sadly.
My sister worked in the psych department of a large university and once again the consensus there is that they can not be rehabilitated.

JennyMac said...

S.O Island (with a black smoke monster like on LOST) sounds better and better to me too. Great guest post!

Herding Cats said...

Very interesting read! And rather creepy, too. An island doesn't sound like a bad plan to me. Although I'm pretty sure it would be overcrowded. I also don't believe sex offenders can be rehabilitated. It's sad, but true.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

Ugh. Working for a judge and later, in family law, some of the stories are unreal. Right out of SVU. Cannot even put into words my level of disgust for such "offenders." Interesting read, as always, thanks for sharing.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Sex offenders. I'd think permanent castration of some sort.

The crazy Shaw Family said...

I totally agree! Send the bastards off to an island where they can torcher each other, instead of the innocent kids that they get ahold of here on the mainland.

J. J. in Phila said...

I can think of two graphic child sex crimes, one ending in murder, one that nearly killed a baby from the Cambria County area.

I don't have an answer, but isolation is a possibility.

T. Anne said...

I like your line of thinking. My husband has said forever we should put all inmates on one. That would be some island.

Big Mama Cass said...

Fan-freakin-tastic idea!!!

MONICA-LnP said...

I agree,let them do it to each other!

Ann T. said...

Dear Momma Fargo,
I agree with you about isolation, but if they never serve a full sentence, now, we can't think anyone's going to budget enough for no slip-ups. Same with the multi-step program for probation you outlined. One slip of one step, one tired, overworked, or lazy clerk or official, and there goes another child into the storm.

These S.O.'s are hunters, or at least obsessed or ambitious (w/a plan, and a constant study of opportunity) to do one thing and one alone.

They are only focussed on one thing and we are focussed on many things: Large caseloads. An entire family, our friends, keeping our job, planning a future. The focus does not compare.

Momma Fargo, I appreciate your insights.
Slamdunk, thanks for a great guest!
And perhaps the most worthy topic ever.

Ann T.

Dan said...

I can agree with most of the suggestions, but I suspect there are huge constitutional issues with the loitering idea. That was the reason most such laws were forcibly removed from the books long ago - especially on public lands.

beth said...

I approve. I *so* think this should be used.

Aphrodite's Mortal Friend (ME) said...

Did you ever see the movie, Escape from New York ... where they make the island of Manhat to a maximun prison and they drop all the super bad dudes there ... I think it's a fab idea- they all have to fend for themselves amongst all the other bad dudes ... Just don't make that island anywhere near MY Exile Island ( I know you read my post today;-) Thanks!

Confessions From A Working Mom said...

Isn't that what Australia used to be-- an island just for the bad guys (and girls)? More or less?

I think it's a good idea... but I think there should be rabid tigers there, too.


Michelle Pixie said...

I feel like I am going to vomit just thinking about these monsters. I think and island is a fantastic idea but I would have to agree with Elizabeth...there would definitely need to be some wild hungry animals {besides the sex offenders} on the island as well!

Rowe said...

I like the idea of a sex offenders island. It must be surrounded by sharks and crocodiles in case any feel like swimming to their escape. I suspected these type of people were unable to be rehabilitated. Here in Australia a man has just been released from prison for prior sex offences which involved murder. He became a she while in prison, that's right, he was given a sex change operation in prison in *hope* it would help to rehabilitate him slash her. Still has a male brain, though. God help us all when that kind of shit is allowed to happen for people who are incarcerated.

malone8 said...

These perverts have to stop being released back into society. Every state needs a "hospital" where they receive ongoing treatment for life.

Just my thoughts - Maxi

Delilah said...

Many of us have discussed this as the only solution to keeping them away from our children! So happy to see this in print and I totally agree....drop them off and let them fend for themselves.

Slamdunk said...

@ Dan: You raise an excellent issue that would need to be dealt with. I would add that the consitutionality of loitering laws was challenged in that they were usually vague (like giving police permission to arrest someone with "no visible means of support" and related).

The loitering laws for sex offenders could be written with specifics; as the housing statutes have been coded so that vaguness is not an issue.

@ Aphrodite...: Escape from NY--fun movie.