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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 156125 Find in a Library
Title: Sexual Violence, Victim Advocacy, and Republican Criminology: Washington State's Community Protection Act
Journal: Law and Society Review  Volume:28  Issue:4  Dated:(1994)  Pages:729-763
Author(s): S A Scheingold; J Pershing; T Olson
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 35
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article focuses on the Community Protection Act (CPA), Washington State's legislative effort to control sexual violence and on the victim advocacy groups that played a prominent role in support for this legislation.
Abstract: Three elements of the Community Protection Act stimulated controversy, but most of the debate was generated by its "sexual predator" provisions. Penalties for crimes of sexual violence are increased by the legislation; sexual offenders who are released from custody after serving their terms are required to register with the police, and the communities in which these offenders choose to reside may be notified of their presence if it is concluded that the individuals are dangerous and likely to reoffend. Offenders who have been "convicted of a sexually violent offense" and have served their terms may be subjected to a civil action in which a "court or jury" determines whether they are "sexually violent predators." If so, they are to be incarcerated until such time as it is concluded, in a subsequent civil action, that they are no longer dangerous. Republican criminology has been recently formulated by John Braithwaite and Philip Pettit. At the heart of republican criminology is the search for dominion. Republicans believe that dominion can be enhanced by honoring the concerns and encouraging the participation of victims while minimizing the role of the State in criminal sanctions. Others argue that victim advocacy tends to promote punitive policies that empower the State, jeopardize constitutional rights, and divert attention from causes to symptoms. The evidence obtained in this research lends credence to the critics of republican criminology. Victim advocates were not reliable carriers of republican values in their strenuous support of the CPA, the central provisions of which reduce civil liberties and promote exclusion rather than reintegration of offenders. 2 tables and 48 references
Main Term(s): Sexual assault victims
Index Term(s): Crime specific countermeasures; Crime specific law reform; Sex offenders; State laws; Washington
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