Sex offender faces challenges for productive life

Published 7:05 am Friday, December 24, 2010

To the Editor:

There is an urgent matter that the state of Virginia, the Department of Corrections and Probation and Parole are neglecting. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that sex offenders are not treated as other minorities. They are singled out to be hung by the noose.

The state of Virginia has a system to control the most dangerous offenders; they can be civilly committed to a mental hospital until deemed fit to be released. I’m writing you with my concern about the lack of help that sex offenders receive when trying to seek help due to drug problems, housing and equal opportunity.

The system in a whole lacks the resources to help and programs that may help others on probation, and parole denies sex offenders the same help due to the fact that some re-offend. Due to the liability that may come with helping sex offenders, which some may re-offend, programs are scared to take on that responsibility.

Not all sex offenders are pedophiles or repetitive rapists who kill and mutilate bodies. Each year, the laws are made harsher for sex offenders to live a productive life. The outcome of the matter is that a sex offender can’t get the proper help that’s needed.

The probation and parole rules for sex offenders offer them no outlet but to violate their probation and be sent back to prison because of a lack of programs. This is biased. All convicted felons should be awarded the same rights.

I am a sex offender with hopes of living a productive life, but the challenges that lie ahead of me shatter my dreams. The state of Virginia can set aside money to build institutions to house sex offenders. Why not set aside money to help establish programs because not all sex offenders re-offend?

Some just lack the life skills to live a happier life wanting not to be judged. Help is greatly needed to fix a system which is failing.

Adrian C. Cook