A Mother’s Cry: This Is So Foreign to Us

originally posted 8/8/2008

There are days when I don’t even know where to start with all of this, then there are others where I seem to find a good deal of information.

Many sex offenders must take a test in our state called a plesmograph, which measures sexual arousal. My young son and the others here face the possibility of having to take his test at any time, along with polygraphs. The results of a plesmograph are useless as researchers have found that many “normal” people would react physically when viewing erotic material as well, so what is the point?

My son pled on in April, and though he is required to attend “sex offender classes” and pay $35 for them once a week, there have been no treatment providers. The ones they had before both quit because of the way these guys are treated. So, instead, they give them a fill-in-the-blank form — and my apologies here —
“How many times did you masturbate this week?”
“How may deviant sexual fantasies have you had? Explain.”
The form is handed to the probation officer, and that’s the extent of the class. My first reaction when I accidentally happened upon my son’s form was that this process is just forcing them to think about this all the time! Initially, when my son left some of these blank, they threatened to send him to prison because he’s “in denial.” ! One of the others pulled him aside after class and told him he’d better start making something up to appease the powers that be. So, if one is working on concocting a story about a deviant sexual fantasy, I suppose that’s closely akin to actually having one. It’s all absurd….
I do know of another man here — 29 years old or so — who had a consensual relationship, no intercourse, when he was 15 and the girl was 13. He became a juvenile offender and had to drop out of high school in order to get a job and pay for the sex offender classes. For some reason, and I believe this was a legal error, when he became an adult, the charge was reclassified as an adult offense, and though he attended sex offender classes here for five years, he never received a certificate of completion. He is fighting to be able to see his daughter, who is now 8 or 9, I believe, but he cannot.

So if we do the math, $35/week x 52 weeks x5 years = $9100, give or take, all for naught.

When I spoke to the the probation officer, I was discouraged about finding my son a living situation, so I’m stumped right now.
(Note -prisoners must find a living situation that is approved before they can get out, even when they are entitled to, based on their sentence – and of course, sex offenders have a very hard time finding housing anyway.)
We’ll see what we can figure out. He’s certainly floundering here, and I still don’t believe he’ll ever make it through the five years still ahead of him, if he doesn’t get out somehow. I really don’t think he’ll make it one year. You see these guys in and out of jail constantly until, finally, they send them on to prison. That’s another thing that irks me — when someone is arrested here — not convicted, just arrested, innocent until proven guilty — their picture, DOB, and all their charges are online on a jail roster for all to see. My son was in for six months with 16 charges sitting there, the most horrible one can get aside from murder, and though he pled only to two class C felonies and did that even after passing the polygraphs just so he could come home, some people who saw him online now harass him. He actually got “jumped,” I guess I’ll say, outside a friend’s house last night, but was able to hold his own and get away. The guys actually told him they were going to rape him! I would consider my family to be upstanding in this community, at least middle class, maybe a bit on the upper side, with a good reputation and family history here dating back to the early 1900s. I don’t think my son;s ever been in a fight before. This kind of thing is so foreign and frightening to all of us.

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