Let There be Justice for Children’s Sake

Millions of children are neglected and mistreated everyday, and there is no reason for them to endure such a disgusting treatment. When their perpetrators are finally caught, it is evident that they should be punished harshly. Yet they are not. Most child abusers walk away with an average of four months in prison, and a maximum five year probation period.

These monsters need to be punished severely, so that the next time they acquire an urge to abuse innocents again, they will think twice about doing so. Today, there needs to be harsh retribution. The commercial sexual exploitation and abuse of children is nothing less than a form of terrorism – one whose wanton destruction of young lives and futures must not be tolerated for another minute.

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According to the Administration for Children and Families of the United States Department of Health and Human Service Child Maltreatment 2005 report, approximately three and a half million allegations of child abuse and neglect, including six million children, were made to Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies and about sixty two percent of those allegations reached the report stage, and were either investigated or received an alternative response. Sadly, it is estimated that the rate of child abuse is about three times greater than reported.

An estimated 899,000 children are victims of abuse and neglect every year, and the rate of victimization is nearly “twelve children per one thousand children” (News). Children from birth to the age of three are the most likely to experience abuse (News). They are victimized at a rate of almost sixteen per thousand (Gaudiosi 25). Fifteen hundred children die every year from child abuse and disregard (Gaudiosi 25). Who does this and why? Most perpetrators of child maltreatment are parents (Gaudiosi 27).

During Federal fiscal year 2005 nearly eighty percent of perpetrators were parents of the victim; more than one-half of perpetrators neglected children; and more or less fifty eight percent of perpetrators were women and forty two percent were men. More than eighty three percent of victims were abused by a parent acting alone or with another person. Approximately forty percent of child victims were maltreated by their mothers acting alone; another eighteen percent were maltreated by their fathers acting alone; more or less, seventeen percent were abused by both parents (Gaudiosi 27).

Victims abused by non-parental perpetrators accounted for about eleven percent. A non-parental perpetrator is defined as a caregiver who is not a parent and can include foster parent, child daycare staff, unmarried partner of parent, legal guardian, and residential facility staff. The data for victims of specific maltreatment types were analyzed in terms of perpetrator relationship to the victim. Of the victims who experienced neglect, eighty seven percent were neglected by a parent.

Of the victims who were sexually abused, twenty nine percent were abused by a relative other than a parent (Gaudiosi 29). As for the answer to why, most child abusers were ill-treated themselves. One-third of mistreated and neglected children will eventually victimize their own children (News). As child abuse finally begins to get the publicity it deserves, there is now a question of what to do with child abusers. Child molesters who have a high probability of repeating the offense should get a mandatory life sentence with no possibility of parole.

Level three offenders, the most likely to molest again, only receive “an average of four months in jail and five years probation” (Poitras). The sentence given to every child molester differs greatly. While some might get ten years in prison, others only get a few months. The reprobates are arrested, sentenced, and, after serving their time, released back into the community as registered offenders. Some of these people fade into obscurity; however, “others commit the same crimes, again, with worse results” (Poitras).

They seem to have learned nothing from their internment. After considerable research, a possible solution for punishment and assistance for the victims of the abusers could be as follows. The first phase of the offender’s punishment (male or female) would be spent in solitary confinement, in a maximum security prison, for whatever amount of time the judge decides. Once the time is served, the prisoner is not paroled back to public life, he moves on to another phase of punishment.

The prisoner is immediately paroled to work in a hospital for the criminally insane. He or she would be assigned such jobs as patient attendants, or feeders, but no clerical positions, or work in transportation, nor any positions of authority. He or she is allowed to earn a wage which is immediately placed in a fund for the families of victims. If the prisoner has a family, it receives one-third of the earnings. At the end of the sentence, the prisoner returns to solitary confinement in a minimum security prison.

After twenty years of work, prisoners may retire to a minimum security prison, where they are allowed to mingle among themselves, for the remainder of their lives. To ensure the safety of not only our future, but ourselves from the horrific acts that take place among us, we must bring justice to the cause. Any person threatening that cause should be punished in such a way that he/she never thinks to ill-treat another child again, for those that are not punished severely will think it safe to commit the crime repeatedly.

Some might say that life in prison for a child molester is cruel and unusual punishment; prison is supposed to be an institution that keeps criminals who are a threat to society locked up to protect the innocent. Knowing that child predators will likely molest again, we have an obligation to protect our children, and safeguard our future. I have read and understood the guidelines set forth in the Code of Student Life for maintaining WTAMU’s academic integrity, and I attest that the enclosed work adheres to those guidelines.

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