It is understandable and necessary to protect children and the vulnerable, but the data show that our lawmakers, our justice system is failing badly but still moving at lightning speed to permanently punish and lock up anyone whose sexual interest is determined to be abnormal. For many in law enforcement, the intention was to protect children, but our ignorance of sexuality and the serious study of it led to the disaster we have now.
In a very telling presentation, Dr. James Gilligan, a psychiatrist and former director of mental health services for the Massachusetts prison system, did an experiment on violent offenders. He, with the help of volunteer faculty, gave 300 prisoners a college education. They received bachelor’s degrees. When the former violent offenders left prison, they tracked these men for 30 years. After 25 years, what was the recidivism rate? Keep in mind that the current recidivism rate in prisons is about 70 %. Keep in mind that 90% of all people will get out.
After 25 years, no one, not one person, went back to prison. After 30 years about 3%. Dr. Gilligan shared this great and promising news with the then Governor. The Governor’s first response was to shudder the program. The Governor said that if we give criminals an education then people will kill people in order to get a free education. Gilligan commented that maybe everyone should have a free education. Gilligan’s recommendation was based on evidence over 30 years. The Governor’s response was based on scare tactics with no evidence, one that is punitive and lacks a basic understanding of the prison population: many cannot even read