I'm not at all surprised that this rehabilitation didn't stick since a significant number of sex offenders are manipulators and commit their crimes for pleasure. They can conform to prison rules and parole restrictions when they want to do so because their crimes are not related to any lack of control.
Seven months is a mere tease of freedom after spending 25-years in prison. But if police have it their way, that taste is all 48-year old Michael Lindsey will get. Officials believe he abducted a 19-year old woman last week in Mishawaka [Indiana] and tried abducting three other women as well.
Lindsey’s parole officer said he did everything he was supposed to and was in good standing with the parole office. He worked at Bender Plastic in Mishawaka and went to rehabilitation. Tuesday night, Lindsey didn’t show up for a meeting, so his parole officer called local police departments to notify them a registered sex offender was missing. Investigators in Mishawaka started putting the pieces together.
Lindsey was released from prison in July 2008 after serving 25-years behind bars for rape (two counts) and molesting a child. While in prison, Lindsey took classes and received his associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. That took time off his sentence.
In the story about this case a detective talks about this man's offenses as if they come from an illness, but I disagree. In fact, this view is dangerous because it allows those who want to behave in this way to view themselves as not the cause of the crimes they choose to commit. There may be a rare case where sexual offending is linked to some sort of cogitative illness, but when that happens there will be no effort to hide the crimes or to hide those impulses.
Psychopaths are unlikely to change, but much of that has to do with rational issues. Many psychopaths cope by refusing to connect their actions to the harm they have already done to other people.
If they stop viewing others as less than fully human they will have to let in the trauma they have caused. And that will be painful. But it is a needed pain for any genuine progress in changing dangerous patterns of thinking when an opportunity to reoffend arises.
This is true of non-violent offenders who set up investment schemes or fraudulent claims that bilk others of their life savings. Those offenders can sleep easy as long as they don't connect the harm they do to themselves. They can blame their victims for making a bad investment or for not doing their research. And the psychopathic sex offender can do the same shift of blame so that their victims are the ones responsible for the crimes committed against them.
Unfortunately, sexual psychopaths get a lot of positive reinforcement in our society. Rape victims are blamed on a regular basis and told repeatedly that it is their responsibility to prevent sexual violence. In many causes rape victims are said to create the impulse to rape by what they wear or what they do so that male sex offenders become mindless animals not responsible for their subsequent actions.
All the information and insight that is given in sex offender treatment can be drowned out quickly by friends, family and acquaintances who still believe and repeat dangerous attitudes related to sexual boundaries.
Pastors can also reinforce dangerous attitudes in the way they talk about sexual boundaries. Too many of them misuse the story of Adam and Eve as a way to shift sexual responsibility away from men. This sexist view is justified as coming from God when it really comes from men.
This is one of the reasons that some states such as Minnesota have intense supervision programs. It is also the reason for programs that create a strong support and accountability system for released sex offenders.
Until our society becomes far less sexually toxic many sex offenders will offend whenever they get an opportunity.