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McNeil Island - facility for dangerous sex offenders -- Oprah April 12 2010 -- response to a request by Sablirab

Updated on September 7, 2010

You asked for my opinion

First: a basket full of qualifiers

This hub is in response to a request for my opinion on the recent Oprah show, Dangerous Sex Offenders Confined on an Island. I am honored to be asked, but as many of you may know my thirty-year history as an outreach worker, a first-responder for abused children has colored my views. I am not the most unbiased of people when it comes to this issue.

I have little patience while listening to those who say treatment is the answer for the predatory child molester, that we live in an age of grace and should believe people can change. I say too bad, too little, too late and these monsters are not entitled to that second chance. The dangerous predatory sex offender who targets the innocent and helpless child is, in my mind, subhuman. There are some crimes for which I find forgiveness impossible, and if that makes me less of a human being in the eyes of those committed to universal brotherly love and compassion, then I’ll await God’s judgment on the question.

Allow me to be even more specific. Spend a few moments in the highlights of my experience before you argue my compassion should encompass these self-centered, conscienceless, self-important and sick-minded individuals, those who believe their orgasm is more important than another’s life. Have you ever held the hand of a three-year-old undergoing a pelvic exam, where the doctors find her tiny vagina so badly torn, her undeveloped cervix so mashed, her uterus so damaged that reconstructive surgery is planned in stages, over the course of years? Have you ever seen a video of two men holding down an eighteen-month girl while they insert a number of objects into her vagina, and known that law-enforcement cannot name or find the child? What words of comfort would you offer to an eleven year old girl raped over a thousand times in a year and a half, rescued from a child molesting pimp who advertised her on Craigslist, or negotiated her rental in chartrooms? How about listening to the audio version only of a video made of the rape/torture of a thirteen year old, because the video portion is deemed too shocking to present as evidence? Would you like to work with a fourteen year old girl, helping her get ready to testify in court against her own father who beat, raped, and sodomized her for six long years? Do you feel like vomiting yet?

So, with that understanding in mind, let’s move on to fulfillment of this request.

What do I think of this documentary?

First, let me explain I did not watch this show. I rarely watch Oprah, or Dr. Phil or any shows of their ilk who purport to educate society and expose social ills. Trust me, they do not come close. Nor do I watch those dramas exploiting society’s prurient interest in these subjects like Law and Order, SVU – a show so divorced from reality it is ridiculous. In fact, I’ll go further – if I know a program is about child sex abuse, I avoid it. I don’t need my consciousness raised on this subject.

When I received this request, I went online and carefully read the write up of the documentary, and then searched for responses, and read many of the comments made by viewers.

That facility in question, McNeil Island is not a prison – officially -- but a mental health facility for Level 3 sex offenders.

We need to look at two definitions here:

  • Level 3 offenders: In the United States, each state has its own criminal code and classification of offenders, (unlike Canada for example, where criminal laws are federal and the same across the nation) so this example taken from one state may vary in some slight matters from state to state but is unlikely to differ in any major issues:

Level 1 - These offenders present the lowest possible risk to the community and their likelihood to re-offend is considered minimal. They normally have not exhibited predatory type characteristics and most have successfully participated or are participating in approved treatment programs. Many are first time offenders.

Level 2 - These offenders present a moderate risk to the community and they have a higher likelihood of re-offending than the Level 1 offenders. They are considered a higher risk to re-offend, because of the nature of their previous crime(s) and lifestyle (drug and alcohol abuse and other criminal activity). Some have refused to participate or failed to complete approved treatment programs.

Level 3 - These offenders pose a potential high risk to the community and are a threat to re-offend if provided the opportunity. Most have prior sex crime convictions as well as other criminal convictions. Their lifestyles and choices place them in this classification. Some have predatory characteristics and may seek out victims. They may have refused or failed to complete approved treatment programs.

  • Prison versus Mental Health facility While in practice the line between the two may seem blurred, and even legally, with the advent of the controversial civil commitment following prison terms, the distinction may seem moot, prison is meant as a punishment and the McNeil Island facility as a “treatment center.”

Those interred on McNeil island have served out their prison sentence, but authorities consider them too dangerous to allow these offenders to return to society. Therefore, they are civilly committed to a ‘mental health facility’ which is to all intents and purposes, a prison of a nicer nature.

Legally – there are those who view this as a violation of the offender’s civil rights – the offender has served his prison sentence and further incarceration is illegal.

Morally – there are those who believe the offenders are victims themselves of some form of mental illness, that their lack of moral inhibitions or control of their impulses is not their fault, but the result of a ‘disease.’ Therefore we owe to them to try and ‘cure’ them, or should that prove impossible, place them in a highly supervised and controlled environment.

Ms. Ling states, “I believe the only way to be able to treat this issue is if we understand the behavior.”

What is my opinion? – that is what I’m asked for here.

There is no power on heaven or earth can move me to feel pity, sympathy, empathy or compassion for a sexual offender who targets helpless and innocent children, using them as a utensil to gratify their twisted libidos. Further, I can find no inkling of consideration for the violent predator who stalks, rapes, tortures or kills a victim of any age to satisfy their lust for rage, power, blood or distorted sexuality, and even less concern for the welfare of those who enslave and exploit others for profit in the bustling sex slave trade.

As far as I am concerned, they may be consigned to the tender mercies of hell, and we have no need to keep them comfortable while we wait for them to get there. In fact, perhaps we should help them on their way.

Florida has the right idea. In this state, anyone found guilty of sexual battery of a victim younger than twelve gets an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole – thus rendering the problem of what to do with these human beasts when they’ve served their sentence a non-issue.

Have I stated my personal opinion clearly enough?

And may God forgive me for my inability to extend that compassion. I must leave that up to Him.

About McNeil Island

I read in this article that while confined to the island, residents roam the 5 acre “campus” freely, but are required to follow the rules: No sex with other inmates. Phone calls and internet use are strictly monitored. No magazines or catalogues – anything with images of children that may allow residents to “Tear out the pictures of the little kids in their underwear and use them for deviant fantasies.”-- Kelly Cunningham, superintendent of the facility.

Those residents (not inmates) who enter the sexual predator treatment program, attend therapy sessions and meet with counselors, will be re-evaluated and may have the option of leaving the facility. So far, since 1990 four residents have left unconditionally and sixteen under the condition of supervision. (See my hub, Incarceration, Castration, Execution (linked to the upper right) for details on supervision of sex offenders and see how comforted you feel.)

What truly strikes my thoughts is this: the facility cost $60 million to build and each resident costs the taxpayer $165,000 per year to maintain in this facility.

And how much of this nation’s budget goes to pay for counseling, medical treatment or other aid to their victims?

"I guess I want to live in a world where we believe in grace and [believe] people can change. Knowing that treatment can work for sex offenders is one way of living that." Dr. Carey Sturgeon --clinical director for McNeil Island's special treatment program

For those who believe predatory sex offenders are helpless before their own urges, victims of an illness, I suppose Dr. Sturgeon’s words offer comfort.

For those of us who work with the victims, whose personal experience is with the horrendous suffering these criminals have caused, and whose exposure to the perpetrators found them refusing to take responsibility for their actions, unrepentant of the damage they’ve done to an innocent, and full of self-pity, such statements only fuel our inner feelings of rage. This expensive facility built to house these people who have committed terrible crimes against the weakest, most helpless in our society while we work with the victims for low-pay to no-pay and have to beg, scrounge and apply to every charity out there to fund our programs for the survivors, is a slap in the face, a farce, as though society taunts us with strange priorities.

"If you are able to get off this island, do you think you'll ever be able to be around children?" – Lisa Ling asks one resident.

"Realistically? Probably not. Not in the sense of having interpersonal relationships. I never offended against my children. They're adults now. But to be around say, my grandkids? No. My nephews? Nieces? No. No. That's not an option, and that's a tough one to take." --
Brent, a man who has multiple convictions against both boys and girls.

What some viewers have to say:

Here are some responses to this program from various sites.

"I am a past employee who worked at the Special Commitment Center, here in Washington state. I know what goes on in that place and i was very disgusted with these people. They got the very best treatment, as though, they were deserving. They got computers, tv's in their rooms, special ordered meals, always suing somebody/state for something and most of the time they would win. I hated at times to have conversations with them, cause they showed no remorse for what they did and felt the people they committed crime against, they asked for it. In my mind and by working with these people, it is a sickness/disease. I see no way they can be rehabilitated. This is why they are called predators, they search out their prey, then strick quickly. Recently, about 20 of them have gone back into the prison system for possessing children porno on their computers. Some of those guys, i knew them and was not surprised. that so called couselling they get, it is a joke. I resigned there a few years ago, due to lots of things going on. these predators also have a way to reel in staff, to make them do things for them. Some staff brought in cell phones to them, drugs, you name it. a lot of staff have been fired due to falling prey to them. I feel castration should come into play for these people. It is getting so bad now, that our children can not grow up without them killing them or molesting them."

"I want to comment on the show concerning the treatment center on the island for sexual offenders. I think that even the doctors there are completely ignorant!!! As long as those people are breathing and have a brain in their scull they will always reoffend!!! How can anyone think that they can rehabilitate these people? It starts with something as simple as a thought in their head and then feeding on that thought. I don't agree with taxpayers money being used for this, but I do wish there were more of these places to get these people out of society and away from children. I am not meaning to sound so harsh, but I believe we need to be much more aware of this happening in this world and fight back with a vengeance to protect our children."

"I watched for the second time and just like the first time i had to turn off my TV and walk away upset due to the thought of the details given on your show today! ( The Most Dengerous child Sex Offenders In America) I mean it is great that you are trying to make parents aware and giving an eyeopener of awareness on sex offenders that live all around us. ( family, friend, and foe) BUT!!! To interview a sex offender and let them in detail descride what they do or did to a child on TV is really SICK!!!! ( Lets not think about the victoms out there and how they get to relive there pain and for some there shame every time you do an interview) I mean don't you think that all those other offenders who haven't been caught and even thoses in prison and jail who watch your show are( and excuse me for this) getting off on hearing what these other offenders are saying in detail on your show, on live TV that is broadcasted all around the world!!!! Tisk! Tisk! Oprah, don't let the ratings of this show fool you! Who do you really think is watching TV and making your ratings go up on a topic like this! I think you have lost sight of the message and meaning your tring to send out to parents...... It's supposed to be an awareness not a how too!!!"

"I appreciate this issue being covered [yet again] by Oprah. Speaking from a victim/survivor standpoint, I believe it needs to be common-talk in every household if we are ever to end this epidemic of childhood sexual abuse. My father, who was also my childhood molester, moved to a small ocean-side village in Mexico so he could live his last years molesting the innocent village children. When I received word he had died, therefore finally knew where he'd been hiding out, I was not surprised to learn that his trailer was always filled with children, and often the mothers, aunts or caretakers of his victims who would be compensated with clothes, food and money. It took the help of the Department of Homeland Security to retrieve his computer hard drives from this remote island village, and to transport them to the U.S. for forensic investigation. The non-contraband files were sent to me on disk, and through them I learned that my father had been a very busy molester, yet managed to find the time to cross into the U.S. to undergo penile implant surgery. The lengths these predators will go to is astounding. We all need to know and remember this."

"It is amazing to me that taxpayers pay for luxury living for abusers, when elderly people who have never abused have horrid living conditions."

A few more thoughts

I want it known my remarks are directed at dangerous, predatory, violent offenders and those guilty of child molestation and is not intended to apply to all who deservedly or undeservedly bear the label of sex offender due to a mistake in judgment, or through a lure and arrest program. I have recently been made aware of the injustices incurred by many caught up in our zealous attempts to combat this evil.

I'd like to re-iterate one more time the true extent of child sex abuse. Official statistics can only portray known and substantiated cases. World wide child protection workers estimate the incidence of sex crimes against children as 7 out of 10 girls and 4 out of 10 boys under the age of sixteen.

I hope I have adequately filled this request.


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    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Tell you what rpayne, work with the victims of these predators before you talk about foregoing vengeance. You do understand these are dangerous, violent, repeat-offence predators we are talking about, not just some guy who "made a mistake?"

      Also, I AM Canadian and after working in child protection in that country for a couple of decades, I can honestly say you are speaking through a fog of ignorance. (Freer thinkers, my ass!)

      If you are going to present yourself as an atheist, I suggest you learn to spell it. I make no reference to God, myself, but then God as presented by the Old Testament was never above a certain vengeful attitude himself.

      So how about laying off the superior, better-than-thou attitude. Your poorly written comment tells us all we need to know about you. You have no understanding of these issues, nor the type of offenders we are speaking of in this article, what they have done, or what they are capable of doing.

    • profile image

      rpayne 6 years ago

      I live in Canada where we are free er thinkers and have not turned into a revengeful country. all of the comments I read seam to think no sex offenders can be rehabilitated, your wrong: I know 3 who are now leading productive lives. what do you blood thirsty people think of murders who get out of prison after serving part sentences and there repetition rate is one of the highest,I see no registry or notification for them.

      As far as all the references to GOD I ask you which one? there are many. I am an ashiest but find myself more compassionate and forgiving than all you god fearing people with no compassion.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hi Ryan -- if you say so. Personally, I think retribution an excellent idea -- payback in double spades -- but then I worked with their victims for thirty years.

      An act is not an enemy -- it does not exist. Separation of act and perpetrator is one of those highly liberal ideas that peaked in popularity in the eighties as though a person is not the sum total of all his actions. The enemy is the person who commits such an act.

      Sexual deviation and child abuse is as old as humanity --- and we've had ample opportunity to study and examine it and such studies have not yielded much in the way of benefits.

      Punishment is not vengeance, nor does it make society worse than the criminal. Hardly. I don't think you'd be all sweets and roses about it if you'd either 1) talked to the victims or 2) talked to the perpetrators (hint: they are not otherwise good people who did a bad thing.)

      The detached liberalism of those who've never been involved in the act or its aftermath has always amazed me.

    • profile image

      ryan cameron 7 years ago

      I agree, there is little worse than a person who would take advantage of the innocent for their own personal gain at their expense.

      That said, I think its important to remember the priority of prevention of more abuse over "vengeance" against the perpetrators. If by keeping these people alive and studying them we can determine a way to more easily recognize the problem or even come up with a cure for it, we might be able to eradicate the true enemy here, the act of abusing children.

      Vengeance on the other hand, only makes us as bad or in many cases worse than the criminal. Its a backward medieval religious concept that has resulted in orders like the catholic priesthood and really does no good for society in practice.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      When you do, will you tell me? Thanks.

    • profile image

      TheSablirab 8 years ago

      Immartin, it is a travisty that when it comes to the victims, it takes more to get the money; I often wonder why this happens, and the thought process that goes into this. I still don't quite understand, but hopefully one day I will.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      I still think it an irony (for want of a better word) that all this money is spent to maintain these offenders, and victims advocacy and treatment goes begging door to door for funds. Thanks Raven 1001 for your comment.

    • Raven1001 profile image

      Raven1001 8 years ago from Washington

      I have never read an article that so closely matched my own feelings. Right now, this seems to be the best solution . I don't care how much it costs to keep them there, I would accept a tax hike with a smile on my face if this became standard practice. My own thoughts about what should be done with these people are best not written in a public forum, but I too have experiences that have shaped my feelings on the subject. Bless you for the strength to continue with this work.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thanks RebekahElle for your thoughts on this subject. I agree with you; compassion for such as these is misplaced.

    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 8 years ago from Tampa Bay

      I just read that legislation was passed by the House and Senate in Florida to remove the statue of limitations for sexual offenders which often protected them because victims would be afraid to report the abuse. now they will no longer have this limited time period. I think it only applies to victims between the ages of 12-15? something more needs to be done. But yes, I did hear on the news the other day about the lifetime prison sentence with no chance of parole and someone had just received this sentence.

      there can be no compassion for these offenders/predators in the true sense of what compassion means. within the true meaning, compassion involves interconnectedness with the feeling, the offense, the pain. how does a human being have compassion for nonhuman behavior? great article, thanks for speaking up.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hi Pollyannalan: I agree with your main issue -- we need to find a better way to protect our children. Will we ever eradicate this evil? I doubt it. Child molesters have been around since the beginning of humanity. It is nothing new, only hearing about it is new. I will not accept this is the result of an "illness" and the perpetrators are not responsible for what they do. If it were up to me, we'd line them up and shoot them. Thanks for sharing your views and come back to comment whenever you want.

      Thank you hubpageswriter (what a mysterious avatar!) for coming by and leaving a comment.

    • profile image

      hubpageswriter 8 years ago

      Very interesting read and hub.

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 8 years ago from US

      Well no I wasn't talking chemical but as I said why can't they at least experiment with this, like on the 100 year old guy who says he will not quit and he got sent home because the judge didn't think he would live that long, well he started molesting and raping when his daughter was a small child and her friends and dozens or more, he didn't even get charged for those.he only got put in jail about 8years ago!Let his life be worth something, try it on him, why not? Something just has to be done I don't know how many time a day I think right now this is happening to some sweet little innocent child and it really casues me problems know nothing will ever be done.Who's to say these sexual urges dont cause a lot of the rage, they can try to find out.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      You'll get no argument from me. Here in Florida they do keep them in jail for life with no chance of parole. But in others, not so. Are you calling for chemical castration? (Which is easily reversed) or physical castration (as they are considering in some states -- but does not deal with many of the problems for those whose abuse is not due to sexual desire, but rage, control and aggression motives can still and are still achieved through hormone replacement and rape by proxy (with a foreign object.) There truly are no easy answers. Don't we wish?

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 8 years ago from US

      We know they are not going to keep them in jail and as of now they have lost 100,000 repeat offenders,this is a fact so if they can't keep up with them how many hundreds or thousands are being raped or killed right now? That only leaves one solution as I see it. When they and if they ever catch them kill them or fix them. I am not for murder but that is the only ckoice if they can't take away their desire, I even think many may volunteer who really don't want to be the way they are. As I said in one of my hubs, cancer patients have this done, its not like chopping off their penis's like many people think.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Oh -- Your comment read as though you thought this island was my solution. I don't have a solution; I'm afraid. If I did, I'd be more than happy to share. I do know that this warehouse on an island is not the answer. Perhaps life in prison -- real prison, which means an overhaul of the laws setting sentences. What is your idea?

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 8 years ago from US

      I only asked what you see the solution as being, I don't even know what solution you thought I meant.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      I do not profess to be an expert, simply someone with experience in this field. The experts are those that designed and built this island.

      Do I agree that many workers in the field of child protection, women's crisis centres and other such are victims of the same crimes themselves? -- without a doubt. Who other than previous victims would feel such empathy? The experts, however, believe this is not a good thing -- that a worker's knowledge should be of the text book variety to avoid over-identification with the victim and a professional distance. I personally think such a view is full of s**t, and victims helping victims is by far the best arrangement. What do you think?

    • MordechaiZoltan profile image

      MordechaiZoltan 8 years ago

      I read recently that when people are abused, sexually or otherwise by their parents or other adults, they are more likely to commit there lives to helping those that were similarly treated. Particularly if their parents told them they were ugly and would not amount to anything. Seeing as you profess to be an expert, what are your thoughts?

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      My solution? Certainly not. Whatever gave you the idea this was my solution or that I agreed with it?

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 8 years ago from US

      It seems we have the same hatred for these degenerates that we know will not change and know the judicial system has proved they cannot solve,and have no answers, with a puzzling why not?I know the problem but somehow I am not understanding your solution, with so many years involvement and experience.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hi deGreek, and thank you for your comment. I agree with you that in order to rehabilitate an offender must recognize the scope of his transgressions. In order to do that, he must understand that other people exist for reasons beyond his own needs of them. Most perpetrators I've encountered are incapable of doing so. Others exist only to gratify him. So the rest is moot.

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 8 years ago from UK

      I am against the death penalty, butt it is a touch and go thing with animals who molest children. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that these creatures should NOT be given a “second chance” and should be be Isolated from society for LIFE!

      For those who believe in a second chance for people who “reform”, there is a simple test to ascertain whether someone has truly “reformed”. The formula for ascertaining this, goes as follows:

      1. In order for someone to reform, that someone must comprehend the MEASURE of the damage he has caused.

      2. If one TRULY comprehends the true measure of the damage he has perpetrated on an innocent child, then that person will feel DEVASTATED, to an extent that it becomes unbearable.

      3. If the child molester does not feel this devastation, he does not deserve and should not by any means be released, as he poses a continuing threat to children.

      4. Any person who truly feels this devastation, will not be able to live with himself and cannot fail but to commit suicide at the damage he has caused and at the realisation of what an animal he was.

      So for me, if a child molester can live with himself after what he has done, he cannot possibly have ay regrets, therefore he is a continuing danger to children and should be incarcerated for life.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hello Mr. Bebop, I'm also at a loss -- why someone who has served their sentence is considered so dangerous they cannot be freed and this new mechanism comes into play -- civil commitment. I find this disturbing on several accounts: first the human rights angle -- if you've served the time sentenced for your crime, how can you be interred for the same crime all over again -- and the precedent it sets. Two: if the time served is not adequate to the crime convicted, surely then we have a bigger problem in the legal mechanics. Three: someone is such a danger to society we owe them a lifetime of free room and board, television, computer, 5 acres to roam around in and the company of like minds.

      Again, the laws are different in different jurisdictions, but in Canada we have the dangerous offender act, which states that if the courts find you are too much of a danger to society (no matter what your chosen brand of crime) you are then incarcerated for life.) Is there no such means to control dangerous offenders in most states? Why this pretense at treatment as an excuse to keep them off the streets? I know you have no more answers than I do, only sharing the questions.

      I believe you when you say many of these people are incorrigible and efforts at rehabilitation are useless. And I found in my own exposure to perpetrators of sex crimes, most do not want to change -- they like how the are. Many seem to feel superior to the rest of us and we represent only a sea of potential victims.

      Well, I'm getting too wordy here. Time to get off the soapbox before I write another hub.

      Hi Sablirab Well you asked for it, and there it is. I hope it meets with your approval. Thank you for honoring me with this request; fulfilling it was my pleasure.

      Hi itakins and thank you. Yes, five star accommodations for the perverts and dog kennels for those who cross the border looking for a chance at a better life. Yes, the world is a strange place. There will always be do-gooders tilting at windmills. Some things will never change -- like these sexual predators. Thanks again.

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 8 years ago from Irl

      Well done again Lynda on a superb article.I'm shocked to hear of this 'Hotel' for perverts ,and meanwhile in Texas there are Mexican families, who crossed the border illegally, incarcerated in a prison-mothers and babies separated at night!

      Yes ,these are evil,wretched people with too many 'do-gooders' supporting a lost cause.

    • profile image

      TheSablirab 8 years ago

      Thank you for writing this Hub, Lynda. I truly appriciate you taking the time, to read, research, and give us your opinion.

      I will have to read it again, so that I can think about it with a clearer head. Thank you again!

    • profile image

      Mr. Bepop 8 years ago

      My only question is if "authorities' have found these people to dangerous to be in society, why did they let them out of prison? I agree with the Florida law, life in prison. Life meaning the life of the inmate. Taxpayers are already supporting the prison system so why not keep these people in it.

      I assume the people we are talking about are violent child predators, inhumane criminals that prey on youth to satisfy their violent needs, with no regard for their lives or their feelings, or those of their victims loved ones. My opinion is these people are beyond reform. There is no rehabilitation in these peoples lives, in my opinion.

      I attend a sex offender group weekly. There is a person in the group that finished the court ordered program and is now under parole supervision in the local population.

      This person should be in jail, forever. I'm telling you like I see it, these people can not be reformed, they hide behind excuses and rationalizations, they are so conditioned to lying to others that they forgot they are lying to themselves.

      My Idea, close this facility, put all the people back in jail, take the money saved and distribute it to the members of hub pages so we all can further our knowledge of writing.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thank you for your comment JannyC. If you read the comment a couple above, you'll know what I think. I agree with you. Evil is not a mental illness, and some people are evil -- and I truly don't care why. The idea if we study them, learn what made them the way they are, then we can take steps to see more don't grow up to become like this -- well to my mind it is plain bunk. Ask anyone who's raised children. Why does one baby come out mad at the world, and the next -- same parents, same household -- is placid as can be. Why are some kids always in trouble, and it escalates and they come from good homes, while their siblings are different. Sometimes we are just born to be a certain way. Yes upbringing has much to do with what we do with our raw material. Many offenders were abused -- but many more were abused and did not become offenders ... Some people are evil. Anyone who can look at another human and see not a person with feelings and rights, but prey you can do what you wish to, is evil.

    • JannyC profile image

      JannyC 8 years ago

      Powerful hub and my mind races and my heart fills with fear for this world we live in. I am like just waiting for judgement day to come for all of us. I am just what what have we done each other? The insanity and mental sick plea I never understood that. No one is really in their right mind if they do those horrible acts and kill. So that excuse is does not seem right in my mind. They all hold jobs Im sure know how to hunt a child or lure and kidnap a child so they not that all mental to me.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thank you for your comments, Gus. Then you too know the rage that grows in you when you see such things. I am not sure things like that are more prevalent today; perhaps only more publicized. I know when I was young, you never heard of it, but all the same we knew those who were victims -- it was like an invisible bogeyman, no one spoke his name, but for sure he'd leap out of the closet or from under your bed once the light went out. Kind of a know-but-don't-know. You can relate to the hauntings that follow you all your life when you work with such cases. That makes it doubly hard to accept a place like McNeil Island. The only island these people deserve is one in the Arctic ocean with no facilities. Let them prey on each other. See -- there I go again.

      Hi Smireles, yes, I do believe we use the excuse of mentally ill to cover evil acts instead of recognizing what it is we're dealing with. I don't have the answers. The death penalty, as it stands is too expensive by the time it is carried out -- all those appeals and an average of 10 years keep before the sentenced are actually executed. I read somewhere that every execution costs the state a million and a half dollars. And the other side of the coin is this -- if a perpetrator knows he will get the death penalty anyway, is he not that much more likely to kill his victim trying to get away with it? We must think on that, too.

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      Sandra Mireles 8 years ago from Texas

      Hello lmmartin, Thank you for this emotionally exhausting hub. You said, " I don't think evil qualifies as mentally ill. We call them sick because we can't come to terms with what they do otherwise."

      I completely agree with you. For too long we fall back on mentally ill while ignoring the innocent victims of these evil people.

      I am a Christian and I do believe in forgiveness. However, the same Bible that teaches forgiveness also teaches that "what you sow you reap". People may be forgiven and still punished for their crimes in this life. Another point, I have not noticed these criminals asking for forgiveness. They are certainly NOT repentant! What I am trying to say is that it is not necessary to hate these people to believe they deserve the ultimate punishment for their crimes. It is justice. Period. I agree with Hello Hello that the death penalty is not too much punishment.

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      Gustave Kilthau 8 years ago from USA

      Lynda - As always, your article is superbly done. I cannot understand how or why some people could possibly commit such offenses against children, or for that matter, against adults, too. All too often I have had to assist in examining wee little ones such as those you described in your article. Sometimes it took days for me to be able to sleep at night thereafter. The first such child was the one brought to us, dead, by the FBI. Supposedly, the baby was 18 months old when it was killed. That time it was the father they arrested. The mother was hauled off to a mental hospital. I can see the picture right now as I keyboard this note, Lynda. That happened in 1954 - 56 years ago. I am right now next to 80 and the picture, the smell, the grim FBI faces and our weeping M.D. will never go away. Back then, this sort of thing was a lot less prevalent than it is today. Too much "treatment" and not enough rope!

      Gus :-O

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      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thank you Hello, hello -- I was one piece in a network of caring individuals, people from all over North America (and the world.) For those of you who write to me and ask what you can do -- there is always a need for volunteers to help. We don't get $60,000 million or $165,000 per victim per year and volunteers make the world go around. I'm sure you can find an organization in your area -- try contacting your local police and social services organizations for further information. Many run education courses for volunteers. Donations are always appreciated by these hard working groups, and by the crisis centres they operate.

      Thank you Billyaustindillon. You are right on all points. I appreciate your comment and support.

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      billyaustindillon 8 years ago

      Very well written hub that touches on so many important points. I find it appalling how people jump to aid of these repeat offenders and ignore the victims it is shocking how these victims cry out for help and so much money goes towards these people who destroy lives physically and mentally. History has shown how these people generally lake remorse and go back and do it again and again. About time the victim is shown compassion and respect.

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      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      It just shows that after 50 years he still was the same as Nan in her comment stated. No, I am not normally like that but with crimes like that NO WAY have I got any understanding whatsoever. To me it is the worst crime there is. Even murder, in my opinion is not as bad for the victem because they don't suffer anymore. I know it doesn't very nice and I don't mean to make it sound horrible. NO SORRY for me there is only one way to deal with something - I can't call them somebody - like that and it is the death penalty. I think it is a streak of sadism but this is not ment as an excuse. I admire you being able to do the work you have done, knowing the kind person you are. I thank for being able to be there in the worst moment. It must have been horrendous. I don't know what is the matter with people to treat them like that in spending money and giving these fascilities. Have them all gone off their mind. I mean look at the crime and no no no way will they change. I blame that stupid Human Rights which should be for the victem and not for the criminals.


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      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      I will not say I disagree with you, Hello, hello and I am normally a very liberal person. Thanks so much for your comment. Your support means a lot. C'ya later. Lynda

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      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      I fully agree with Lynda. I never had all those experiences like Lynda but the very thought. I think there should be a death penalty. Yes, a death penalty. Many years ago there was a case, and it just shows that they are nothing but self-centred, he conned his way out of prison after agreeing to have had an operation. When he went out, he had the operation reversed straighaway. That again shows to me that it is not only the urge but in the mind. He raped and killed. I hope these so-called phychiatrist had sleepless nights ever since - I doubt it. They are also a lot of idiots.

      Thank you Lynda, for a well written hub. Again there should be the death penalty and these days there is no mistake with all that DNA about. Since these Human Rights always keep on. Don't these children have first and most of all the right to Human Rights?

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      "Quill" 8 years ago

      Thank You Lynda for the comment and I will be seeking out your other writings on this subject as it is dear to me in many ways. So often the victims are unheard and I thank you and praise God for your dedication of service of becoming the voice for many.

      Blessings and Hugs

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      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thank you Nan. I'm sorry to say I disagree with you on one point. I do not believe child molesters to be sick, mentally or otherwise, and I find that one of the universe's great alibis. They are self centered, wicked people with no feelings for others. They see children as available bodies to gratify their desires, weak, helpless and unable to fight back. That I believe is the real allure -- their love of being in complete control and domination. I don't think evil qualifies as mentally ill. We call them sick because we can't come to terms with what they do otherwise. I've seen enough of them, and when they are caught they whine and whimper about "poor me," and seldom own up to responsibility for the suffering they cause. Some call them sociopaths, but that is a character defect not an illness.

      Thank you Quill, and I am gratified to know my writings have touched you. I hope you read the other articles I've posted on this subject. And of course, you are much closer to God than I, if you can even attempt to forgive. I cannot and given the chance, I would wreak the worst punishments I could on them, without a second thought. I know God says vengeance is His -- but just this once, please Lord, let me have a turn.

      I thank you for your comments and please forgive my anger. This is one reason why I no longer do first-responder outreach work, and will not watch documentaries on this subject. I limit myself to writing, public speaking at conferences and networking with agencies involved in education. I know of many churches highly involved in our network and thank them every day. Police officer often tell us how grateful they are our network exists to deal with the victims. Most of this work goes unpaid and we beg for funds from a steadily dwindling wallet.

      And still society sees fit to spend 60 million to build a 5 acre haven for these monsters, and $165,000 per year to care for them. Who can figure?

      Thank you Enlydia. It has been one of the great motivators of my life, and fuels my other passions -- my writing, my novels and my advocacy. It destroys my confidence in society when I see huge amounts of money spent on the perpetrators and so little on the victims. In fact, were it not for a legion of volunteers, little to nothing would be done for them at all. Thank you for reading this. Lynda

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      Enlydia Listener 8 years ago from trailer in the country

      Thankyou for being there for those children...I am not sure what is worse the actual torture, or the sense of abandonment by grownups who should have protected them.

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      "Quill" 8 years ago

      Morning I read what you have written about your experiences I get sicken to think of what man can do to children, yes we hear about it on the news and yes we are warned that yet another has been released and living in your area and yes we see them arrested again and again and again.

      Here in Canada several years ago a law was passed on Humane Rights. basically saying each has the same right, the issue at question I have is do those rights remain the same after you have molested a child. What of the rights of the child, the parents and all those who are left to dealt with the aftermath.

      Can we judge, we are not suppose too and yet are we simply to stand and say and do nothing as we deal with watching the lives destroyed while these people lounge out their years in incarceration, not likely is what I say.

      No matter what kind of man or animal can do these things has the knowledge this is wrong and they are protected over and over again. There needs to be consequences, severe enough to deter them. A prison on the west coast of Canada called a rehab centre, with a Golf Course I might add just released a rehabilitated child molester. He was three days before he was arrested again, freedom to offend again, after all hate to miss a tee time.

      It sickens me as I have sat through several ministry sessions in an attempt to give the victim peace over what has happened through the love of God. Like you I have seen the aftermath and like you I see them out in society again.

      Passionate about the consequences of the offender like you...can I forgive I struggle with that one...can I love the victim as Christ loves us...I do all I can.

      Thank you for the HUb and the information and the research you have put into it...excellent Hub as I again contemplate a series of campaign emails and phone calls to my government representatives...look out I have been stirred again...

      Blessings and Hugs as we stand together

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      Nan 8 years ago

      This an excellent article and has brought out many things that I did not know. Why are we giving them a special place to live. Recently in my home town a child molester, was let out after serving about 50 years to live in our community and we didn't know he was coming. He killed and molestered a 3 year girl. I don't think that he should have ever been let out of prison. The judge approved of him being released. There is a school a few blocks from his apartment, and nice apartments in the neighborhood. How does he rate. They tried to interview him on TV, and he looked insane. He is still insane. WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM AND SOCIETY. IF YOU ARE CRIMINALLY INSANE, YOU WILL PROBABLY NOT GET WELL. When will we understand that some people are born mentally ill. Oprah was raped and molestered by her family and friends, so she does know that it will affect you forever! I believe that if they truly go to church and seek forgiveness and to be saved from their sins they might be healed. But they have damaged so many children, that God is the only one that can forgive them, not man. Keep up the good writing.