Consequences of Being a Convicted Sexual Offender

Sexual Crimes in the U.S.

According to a Center for Sex Offender Management publication in 2007, around 150,000 of the approximately 1.5 million criminals housed in federal and state prisons in the U.S. were convicted of sex-related crimes. Around 40 percent of these offenses included rape, while the other 60 percent consisted of other sexual acts, such as indecent exposure, fondling and lewdness with children. At any given time, convicted sexual predators may make up to 30 percent of prison populations across the nation. Once sexual offenders are released, however, the real challenges and threats begin.

Consequences to Face

The general public’s opinion about sex offenders living in residential neighborhoods is negative, to say the least. There are various assumptions that people make about sex offenders, like there is no treatment for sexual predators and it is highly likely they will commit similar crimes after their release from prison. Due to this, there are numerous consequences that come with a conviction, including:

  • Limits on where a sex offender can live, work or travel in their city or neighborhoods.
  • Restricted access to websites and social media.
  • No participation in activities that involve children, even if it’s related to religion.
  • Required registration as a sex offender.
  • Activities may be monitored by law enforcement.

These punishments will also vary with sex offender or sexual predator charges, but all of these create additional problems among sex offenders, like homelessness and unemployment, which makes it even more challenging to rehabilitate themselves.

Beyond the Label

Those who have completed their sentences have a hard enough time trying to fit back into their communities and regain the rights and opportunities that the rest of society enjoys. If the label of “sex offender” is added to the mix, especially if people can be located on national sex offender registries, finding a sense of normalcy and moving beyond their labels may pose a unique difficulty. As the Center for Sex Offender Management suggests, people convicted of sex-related crimes need help and support, both from prison staff and from others in the criminal justice system, from the beginning of their incarceration. This will prepare them for smoother reentry into their communities and hopefully keep them from relapsing into sexual crimes.

Correcting Perceptions

It is understandable that victims of sexual crimes, as well as the communities in which they live, would find it difficult to know that a registered sex offender lives among them. While it is not surprising that many people have these feelings, once they are released from incarceration, further punishment or persecution is illegal.

Sex offenders are still owed the rights guaranteed by the Constitution once they have served their prison sentences, as long as they do not reoffend. There are consequences when people harm others and violate laws, but when the vigilantism leads to murdering an innocent person because of false allegations, all people need to reevaluate where negative public opinions about certain groups leads society.

Being charged with a crime involving sexual offenses? Call us at (407)228-3838 and we can go over your case for free today.

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