Wednesday, March 01, 2006

False Security

The members of the California legislature are rushing to pass some bills which are designed to make penalties for crimes against children more draconian.

Protection of children is certainly a high priority, but this facet of protection is probably not very effective. Establishing harsh penalties has not ever had much of a deterrant effect on any other crime. There is not much evidence that it will be any more effective in preventing crimes against children.

This is yet another way of lawmakers responding emotionally to a problem. We should be trying to figure out how to prevent these crimes, not how to punish more severely.

Until programs designed to deal with whatever makes an individual feel driven to commit a crime against a child, no parent should feel the safety of the child is guaranteed.

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