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Where Now for the Sex Offender?

This is the third and final part of our series on sex offenders. The first two installements ("Them Today, Us Tomorrow" and "We Are All Prisoners") were critical of non-sex offenders for discriminating against people on the basis of offense. In today's article we will put the shoe on the other foot. We will criticize the manner in which many sex offenders elect to do their time, and we will offer some comradely suggestions for improvement. (Also read "In Defense Of The Struggle Against Sexism" on the next page.)

It has been this writer's experience that rapists and others convicted of sex crimes against women and children generally tend to adopt a two-pronged strategy for doing their time and getting out of prison. Firstly, they try to do their time through the process of denial. They deny they are sex offenders or, when that isn't possible, they tell people it wa all just a simple misunderstanding. "She was very mature and sexually aggressive," confided one sex offender about his seven year old victim.

The second prong of that stragey, getting out of prison, almost always involves massive participation in institutional programming activities, and in maintaining a clear conduct record while confined. It wa through these tried and true methods that the sex offender has traditionally sought to demonstrate his rehabilitation to his captors. This approach to currying the administration's favor (often called ass kissing) is preferred by sex offenders inasmuch as they frequently identify more closely with prison employees that they do their fellow prisoners. And this misidentification is in turn largely due to the harassment and other forms of discrimination inflicted upon them by so called regular prisoners.

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