U.S. Spends Billions Each Year to Jail Child Sex Offenders

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connecticut criminal defense lawyerNearly everyone agrees that sex crimes are a serious issue that should be addressed by the criminal justice system. Sexual offenses committed against children can be especially horrific, and around one out of every four girls and one out of every 13 boys experience some form of sexual abuse while they are under the age of 18. However, people may disagree about the best ways to address these issues and protect children against harm. A recent study indicates that the resources the United States puts toward addressing child sexual offenses are more focused on punishing offenders than actually preventing these types of crimes from occurring.

Money Spent on Incarceration Vastly Outweighs Child Sex Crime Prevention Efforts

The criminal justice system spends a significant amount of money to address child sex offenses, but nearly all of these funds go toward “reactive” efforts that take place after crimes have already been committed. There are currently more than 144,000 people incarcerated in state or federal prisons who have been convicted of sex crimes against children. Most of these offenders are required to serve sentences of at least eight years, and they are also subject to restrictions after being released, such as the requirement to register as sex offenders. 

While incarceration and other penalties may be seen as appropriate responses for crimes committed against children, studies have found that they are not an effective way to prevent future crimes from taking place. 82 percent of people convicted of sex crimes do not commit additional offenses, and only 5 percent of all sex crimes are committed by those who have previously been convicted of sexual offenses. In fact, some studies have indicated that incarceration in harsh prison environments may increase the likelihood that those who have been convicted of sex crimes will commit additional offenses after being released.

The United States currently spends around $5.4 billion each year just on incarceration of child sex offenders. This does not include other related costs, such as the investigation and prosecution of crimes or post-release supervision and sex offender registration. In contrast, a minuscule amount of spending goes toward addressing the prevention of these types of crimes. For example, the federal budget for 2021 added just $1.5 million in new funding for child sex abuse prevention. Rather than spending massive amounts of money on punishment, many advocates believe that the United States could benefit by working to put stronger prevention efforts in place to help stop these types of crimes from occurring in the first place.

Contact Our Connecticut Sex Crime Defense Attorney

Because the United States puts so much effort toward prosecuting alleged sexual offenders, those who are accused of committing sex crimes against children will often struggle to defend against these charges. In these cases, it is crucial for a person to have representation from an attorney who has experience defending clients against sexual offenses. At Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we can help you determine the most effective defense strategy, and we will work to ensure that your rights will be protected throughout the legal process. To get legal help and representation in your criminal case, contact our Hartford child sex crimes lawyer at 860-290-8690 and arrange a free consultation today.

Sources:

https://thecrimereport.org/2022/03/25/u-s-spends-5-4b-yearly-on-incarcerating-adults-for-sex-crimes-against-children-study/

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/10790632221078305

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