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  1. #1
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    Child Porn - Feds say that prosecutions are soaring

    This is kind of a "State of the Crime" article. It's worrisome on so many levels. The funding for a "tough on crime" stance is drying up, according to even the toughest crime fighters and legislators. We can't keep up. What happens when the rubber meets the road and we have no available cells?

    IMO, studies are going to have to be funded to figure out how to successfully treat this onerous addiction. As I posted the other day, this crime is unusually addictive, the victims are getting younger and the abuse is getting more brutal. It reminds me of the drug, meth. Once tried, it's hard to turn away. The brain just craves more and more.

    We simply can't lock up everybody forever. What are we going to do? So many ruined lives--the victims, the families, and the perps too. Shattered careers and reputations and out on the street again, too soon. That's a frightening mix. The registry is broken and lacks cohesion, state to state. The current treatment milieu often doesn't work. We MUST keep our children safe and fight this crime.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110205/...prosecutions_1

    Child porn prosecutions soaring

    ".....The number of federal child porn cases has exploded during the last 15 years as Congress passed mandatory five-year minimum sentences and federal authorities have declared such investigations a priority.

    The FBI has made more than 10,000 arrests since 1996 and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency reports a similar number of arrests since its creation in 2003. The U.S. Department of Justice says prosecutions are up 40 percent since 2006 resulting in roughly 9,000 cases. In 2009, 2,315 suspects were indicted...."

    more at link

  2. #2
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    I see this going the same way as the war on marijuana. In the beginning, most everyone agreed that it was an evil drug, and those found possessing it or selling it should immediately be jailed, with harsher penalties, and longer sentences. And there are still plenty of people that believe it is an evil drug, a gateway to much worse things...but even many of them have changed their attitudes after seeing how much it costs to prosecute these cases, how prevalent it is, and that we would literally have to build more jails to hold the offenders. Over time, it's become more accepted, not quite legal, but closer everyday.

    It seems that child porn is going the same direction. We all want the offenders locked up, as we know that therapy, community service, and monitoring just don't work. But when it comes time for a new millage vote, time for new land to be voted on to build the jail to hold them, time for all of us to lose a little in the way of freedom in order for monitoring to be used effectively, we all throw up our hands and scream "NIMBY!" (Not In My Back Yard.)

    This is not to say that we as a nation will ever legalize or accept child porn, but I can see us sliding back to where we used to be; don't ask, don't tell. If we pretend it doesn't exist, we don't have to pay to make it go away.
    JMO. Unless there's a link, I can't prove it.

  3. #3
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    Oh Captain, My Captain
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    Angry

    I read the same article but these are the portions that stood out to me:

    Defense attorneys, legal scholars and even some federal judges bemoan the prosecution and sentencing developments as draconian for failing to distinguish between hardcore producers of child pornography and hapless Web surfers with mental problems.

    "It's not pretty," said the attorney Michael Whelan, who represents Budziak. "There are exceptions, but generally speaking most prosecutions are of a sorry individual with a bad habit."

    This attorney's client is a mailman with thousands of images on his computer of child porn. He is apparently a sorry individual with a bad habit.

    To me a bad habit is overeating, chronic lateness, drinking too much on a week day...you get my point.

    Image after image of children being raped and abused is a "bad habit"?????


    Here is a very reasonable statement from a federal court of appeals in Atlanta which instituted the means of victims receiving restitution from those who view the images:

    "The end users of child pornography enable and support the continued production of child pornography," Judge Charles R. Wilson wrote for the unanimous three judge panel on Jan. 28. "They provide the economic incentive for the creation and distribution of the pornography, and the end users violate the child's privacy by possessing their image. All of these harms stem directly from an individual's possession of child abuse images."

    They support an industry that encourages thousands of people to rape children...a harm that happens because there is a market for it. A market that is driven by their BAD HABIT.

    My head is going to pop right off.
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  4. #4
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    Believe, I knew that you or Filly would notice the "habit" comment. ITA, bad habits don't ruin children's lives. I understand what I think the man was trying to say--that his client wasn't out abusing these children (we can hope) but we also know that he's at a far higher risk of abusing than people who are not looking at 6 month old babies being brutally raped.

    The article that was released last week about the victims getting younger and the acts more brutal totally prove to me that we've got a major problem. I study the mug shots and read the stories of these perps' lives. I really think that many many of them wish they could be rid of this "driving need" to view this horrid stuff. After all, the addiction is ruining their lives. When they get out after their 4 months or 4 years, they'll be RSOs and on the street. Their lives will be forever changed. Did they know this going in? Of course. But so does a heroin addict or an alcoholic know the risks and yet they still shoot up or drink, often ruining the lives of those around them. The very fact that perps are being caught with 10s and 100s of thousands of images on their computers is proof enough to me that it's an addiction.

    We do NOT handle our RSOs correctly, IMO. We are either far too lax or far too heavy handed. Murderers who have done their time and have been released have a better chance of reintegrating with society and getting a job. There's no other crime--drunk driving, violent assault, domestic violence, heroin or meth distribution, and so on--where you are required to register for the rest of your life, be forbidden from rejoining your family, and be precluded from living and working in most places.

    Personally, I think we are going to have to completely redesign the sentencing guidelines, set up a graded list of charges (as the UK does), provide intense therapy while in prison, and put some funds into helping these people when they are released. There needs to be required group therapy for a long time after release. The one-size-fits-all system simply does not work, IMO.

    I say these things as I'm the mother of a life time register. The system is setting up failure for him--not success. That's not going to benefit anyone. A RSO living under a bush or a bridge with no job and no resources is not a safe guy, IMO.

    I am in no way minimizing my son's crime. Just after turning 18, he attempted to have sex with a 16 year old girl. Both have special needs and had grown up in the same special ed class. She invited him to her house and took off her clothes. He had to be told firmly three times that she didn't want to have sex, she just wanted to cuddle. He left and she called police. He was charged with attempted rape and pleaded guilty. He received ten years in state prison and is required to register for life. He is required to attend therapy, keep a masturbatory log, have weekly UAs, and call his PO every time he encounters a person under 18 for instructions. He has a 73 IQ and qualifies for DD services due to his prenatal substance exposure but is precluded from receiving them as there are no adult foster beds available right now for RSOs. He has no job and lives on the street. His life is going absolutely no where. Oh, and the victim? She got pregnant by a 15 year old two months later, after also accusing a school administrator and two other men of sexual assault. I have no idea why she wasn't charged. She has an IQ much higher than our son's and actually still contacts him as she doesn't understand why he's "mad at her". I try my best to be accepting and supportive of this system as I've sat on both sides of the table. I'm actually pleased that I'm getting to see the other side. But I don't like what I see.

    I've considered bringing up the argument of pot, NMK, but think it is a slightly flawed argument as the government falsely, IMO, demonized it and misled the public as to its dangers. Medical studies have been embargoed for decades. When it became known that it had pain killing and palliative uses and states began to legalize its use for those who are ill, the lines got fuzzier. Now, I know teachers, grandmothers, and 12 year old boys on chemo who use it to great success. That can't be said about child porn. No matter how we overlook it or minimize it, there's always going to be a victim. But ITA with your premise that things are going to change. Look at the recent studies which show that legalizing child porn actually cuts down on child sex abuse. It intrigues me but frightens me to the core.

    While googling child porn stories this morning, I found a study which seems to have been released and then pulled. Several papers show it on Google but it is missing on their sites. With a little searching, I found it. It's an empirical study on just "where we are". Very interesting:

    http://cfcoklahoma.org/New_Site/imag..._id1689507.pdf

  5. #5
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    MissIzzy, I agree that maybe it wasn't the best argument, but it was what came to mind, not so much because of the act itself, but because of the changing attitudes toward it over time. And what do you really compare child porn to? I couldn't find an adequate comparison, personally, I don't think there is one.

    I saw an article today, I'll go find the link in a minute, that details how they intend to remove some sex offenders from the lifetime registry in TX, after they have undergone a certain amount of therapy and time with no further troubles. The cost of keeping everyone on the registry is simply too high. The way that it is presented is that they intend to remove those that really did just make a bad decision, such as those that were 18 with a 16 year old girlfriend, but, if this passes, how long before that extends to other non-violent sex offenders, such as those that collect child porn, but can't be proven to be a molester? If TX saves money, probably not long.

    This is what scares me, this problem has become so large that it is nearly uncontrollable. If we throw more money at it, it will just be sucked up, with cases that might have been ignored, not prosecuted because they were too small to justify the cost, and then this gets right back to this situation, nothing changed, just delayed. Yes, we do need a better system of rating, ranking, seperating and treating sex offenders, as there are some cases that are just ridiculous, and have been caught under a type of "umbrella". But for the most part, we can't afford to keep prosecuting, and we can't afford to stop prosecuting.
    Where do we go from here? Any solution will take hard work and innovative thinking, and as history shows, those are often the issues that we choose to back down from, as a society.

    Link to the TX story, there are others that I think explains it better, but I can't find them.
    http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/...s-and-juliets/
    Last edited by not_my_kids; 02-07-2011 at 03:29 PM. Reason: forgot a word
    JMO. Unless there's a link, I can't prove it.



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