Rehabilitation necessary for all sex offenders

So a student has pleaded guilty to 17 charges of making and having in his possession videos of child pornography. What a shining example of the things that undergraduates at the University of York can achieve. He will face trial in December and is likely to spend longer than a year in jail.

You may think I’m being blunt, but we all know the story, there are many like it and I don’t intend to dwell very long on this one in particular.

The student was found with images rated at Level 4 on the Copine Scale, which categorises the severity of child pornography. Last week it was revealed that 50 year old Kevin Page of Beccles, Suffolk would not receive a jail sentence because Judge Rupert Overbury decided he needed help rather than punishment.

Page was found to have 85,772 images and videos, 5,174 of those at Level 4 and 281 at Level 5. This highest level is reserved for content that involves sadism or bestiality.

What I want to know is this: where is the line that our judicial system has drawn to dictate who needs help and who goes straight to jail? How many videos do you need to have watched to pick up the ‘get out of jail free’ card? I don’t think you can honestly say that anyone who has watched child pornography is not in need of help, but the real issue we must question is why that help is not offered to all.

it is hardly any wonder that the recidivism rates in the UK are so high

Peterhead Prison houses 300 of the country’s most dangerous and long-term predatory male sex offenders, and in the year 09/10 only 48 of these completed the programmes put in place for character reformation. It is hardly any wonder that the recidivism rates in the United Kingdom are so high.

The new sex offenders’ programme ‘Good Lives’ allows for prisoners to opt out of group therapy sessions if they find them too intrusive and pop pills as an alternative. Prescription drugs are being offered to prisoners as a means of lifting depression and cutting sex drives. But not to all prisoners.

While there is controversy over the definition of what is ‘normal’, there is certainly no debate over what is acceptable. There is something innate within us that tells us involvement in child porn, be it as a producer, hardcore fan or casual observer, is wrong.

To commit such a crime indicates psychological abnormality. I say we either need to extend a helping hand to all sex offenders and offer them rehabilitation, tackling the issue head on, or we need to lock them all away and throw away the proverbial key. This issue does not allow for shades of grey.

Furthermore, a 23 year old student is not beyond help, in fact he’s the very example of someone crying out for it.

13 comments

  1. “What a shining example of the things that undergraduates at the University of York can achieve.”

    think of how many students we have in our university, statistics say that at least 1 of them will end up murdered or raped or assaulted: murdering some one else, raping some one else. or getting terminal cancer, getting lung disease, getting hit by a van, getting charged for drunk driving, etc etc. and yes, up for charges on possession of child pornography. it’s the way of the world it’s completely unrelated to york university, york university’s student body, and our potential. it’s insulting to suggest otherwise. these people are MENTALLY ILL or just plain evil, they are in need of help because of who they are. not who the university have made them.

    btw when we read the news in 20 years, and we all read of a york uni student who has gone on a massacre i’m sure our first thoughts will be that york uni made him do it!

    Reply Report

  2. I hadn’t heard of the COPINE scale before, but a quick wikipedia search says that the COPINE scale goes from 1 to 10. Not 1 to 5.

    Reply Report

  3. @Anonymous
    You’re at uni now.. start using other sources than wikipedia – http://www.enotes.com/topic/Copine_scale

    Reply Report

  4. true that, PeppaPig, and it’s interesting that the front page story of this newspaper mistakenly described the pornography in question as being “four out of five on the COPINE Scale; deliberately posed pictures suggesting sexual interest.”

    which is untrue; that is the description of the number 4 rating on the unabridged scale, out of 10, as described in wiki. not the scale out of 5.

    in the COPINE scale out of 5, the fourth rating is actually “Penetrative sexual activity between child(ren) and adult(s)”.

    so the front page article is factually inaccurate and it seems likely that this inaccuracy arose from a bit of cheeky wiki-skimming. it’s not just anonymous who needs to branch out a bit with their sources of research.

    and who knows whether the truth of the matter is the 4/10 rating or the 4/5 rating. not anyone reading this newspaper.

    Reply Report

  5. 26 Nov ’10 at 1:16 pm

    Child Abduction Is Not Funny

    “What a shining example of the things that undergraduates at the University of York can achieve” – Don’t see why you had to mention that. All sorts of people from different walks of life commit these crimes, no use singling out York.

    Also, the Crown Prosecution Service indicates that the range of the Copine Scale was initially 1-10, but they redcued it to 1-5. (under the heading, ‘Mode of Trial’): http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/h_to_k/indecent_photographs_of_children/

    Reply Report

  6. I should let go, but I’m glad to see reasoned comment on what can generally be such a divisive issue. The definition of paedophilia as a crime or an illness is pretty heavy stuff with a lot of inconsistencies (to illustrate, though you can be diagnosed as a ‘paedophile’ you can’t be diagnosed as a ‘rapist’, which seems a little odd). The second sentence might be regrettable (one sympathises) but the rest is top stuff. It’s moved me to a derivative missive: http://alexlacy.com/?p=278

    Reply Report

  7. What pointless comments to a fantastically written article.
    Very broad minded and superbly put across. Points raised in this article are that of great interest and, unfortunately, massively belittled by silly ‘nit picking’.

    Reply Report

  8. “While there is controversy over the definition of what is ‘normal’, there is certainly no debate over what is acceptable. There is something innate within us that tells us involvement in child porn, be it as a producer, hardcore fan or casual observer, is wrong.”

    What is wrong is relative to one’s culture:

    http://girlshrink.com/the-cultural-norms-around-pedophilia/

    It doesn’t seem that unreasonable for a society that openly talks about sex to view sex with children as being normal (never mind merely photographs), as long as they are not forced/abused. In fact, one could argue that if a child has been shown how to do something by a kind, knowledgeable adult, they are less likely to be scared of it in the future…

    Reply Report

  9. “In fact, one could argue that if a child has been shown how to do something by a kind, knowledgeable adult, they are less likely to be scared of it in the future…”

    you should read about ‘man boy love’ or the female equivelent. very scary stuff, and it argues the same point. can you not argue that it is abuse, as the adult does have power/knowledge that the child does not, and it just seems inherently wrong and exploitative to me.

    and the problem with approving the ‘kind’ sorta sexualisation of children (that they’re being guided through it by an adult) is that it creates blurry lines where it’s hard to guage what is actually right and wrong. surely it’s easier, and overall nicer, to just say no to it all together?!

    and i can’t see how introducing children to sex (penetrative of otherwise) at a young age is beneficial as they won’t be scared of it in the future. maybe introducing your children to spiders, frogs, worms, etc but ….sex. how many of us truly grew up petrified of sex, and would have appreciated an adult ‘teaching’ us from ages 8-12? i know it’d probably do more damage than good to me.

    Reply Report

  10. Please don’t write anymore pieces for Nouse. Terrible writing.

    Reply Report

  11. I’m a bit late to the party, but I want to point out that the second commenter was correct in questioning the use of the copine scale. Peppa pig got all smug about not using wikipedia in uni… then gave a link to a site that simply reprints (outdated) wikipedia articles. Amazing work.

    Reply Report

  12. @Alex
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/h_to_k/indecent_photographs_of_children/
    – the same link posted by ChildAbductionIsNotFunny..
    are you happy to trust the crown prosecution service over wikipedia?

    Reply Report

  13. @MichaelB

    “are you happy to trust the crown prosecution service over wikipedia?”

    The law the CPS cites there is outdated and no longer used. You’ve probably Googled this or something and copied+pasted the first thing you saw.

    Interesting article, but a bit pointless.

    Reply Report

Leave a comment



Please note our disclaimer relating to comments submitted. Please do not post pretending to be another person. Nouse is not responsible for user-submitted content.