How should communities deal with serious sex offenders – In the News

The Department of Corrections has moved a convicted sex offender from a Lower Hutt suburb after backlash from the community.

Suburban australian streetRadio NZ talked to University of Auckland’s Dr Gwenda Willis, a senior lecturer in clinical psychology and expert in the rehabilitation of sex offenders.

“I think one of the most important things to remember first is that most sexual abuse occurs between someone who knows the victim and the victim,” Dr Willis said. “So children are at much greater risk from people known to them and unknown to authorities than they are to people released from prison who have convictions for sexual offences.”

“I worry that what’s been happening with community notification is causing a lot of instability and we know that stability is so important when it comes to reducing the likelihood of reoffending. And by stability I mean having somewhere to live, having somewhere to work, having the opportunity to go about pursuing pro-social goals like the rest of us do, having people that you’re accountable to.”

“Without those things, we’re setting people up for failure.”

Listen to the interview.