A few weeks ago Louis C.K. put SNL viewers through the most awkward monologue, guiding the audience through a joke about pedophilia. To say the least, it got mixed reviews. But despite whether you like his joke, the point he made (as I took it), and the way the listeners reacted compelled me to investigate. I knew I’d obviously turn up terrible statistics, but there was a lot of other compelling information I simply didn’t expect to find, from semi-legal “hospitals” to a potential cure.
I’m not excusing pedophiles for the crimes they’ve committed, I’m condemning the systems that are failing miserably at managing people who suffer from a mental disease. It stands to reason that putting away violent offenders in special hospitals and keeping non-violent offenders as far away from children and a computer as possible would start to reduce crimes involving child pornography and prostitution. But the exact opposite is happening.
“Child pornography is one of the fastest growing businesses online, with estimated annual revenue of $3 billion,” writes child advocate Dr. Mary Pulido, and, “Of P2P users arrested in 2009, 33 percent had photos of children age three or younger and 42 percent had images of children that showed sexual violence. ” It gets worse. On top of the 300,000 cases of sex abuse reported annually, at least 100,000 children are forced into prostitution every year, and if they get arrested they’re tried for prostitution crimes and treated like criminals.
After arrest a pedophile can end up in a couple of situations. Depending on whether or not the crime was violent, they’re released with a new set of life complications like finding a place to live from from kids, and mandatory GPS tracking–that’s if they stay alive through their sentence. If they committed a violent crime then they’re sent to “hospitals” commonly called civil commitment centers in a legal limbo, where they’ll likely spend the rest of their lives unless deemed safe for society.
There are 19 of these barely functioning pedophile islands, staffed by underpaid and unqualified employees throughout America. So, although it’s really upsetting that Arizona released 81 pedophiles, it’s not at all surprising that their records gave no reasons why. Many of the men in these institutions are old, or sick, and it costs $200,000 per year per “patient”. Civil commitment programs have been in place since 1990–a long with many other terrible prison reforms which helped turn it into the machine it is now.
It’s natural to hate anyone that would do harm to a child, and to be filled with so much disgust we forget that people, including pedophiles, don’t choose what they’re sexually attracted to, and some have undergone various forms of castration to stop the desire–it doesn’t work. But there is a pill called Lupron, and it has a great success rate, the problem is getting access to it.
Next in Part 2:
The Stigma of Mental Disease and Access to Medicine