Prosecuting online sexual offenders
Few other types of crimes are the focus of as much attention and scrutiny as sex offenses, particularly with respect to the prosecution and ultimate disposition of these cases.
Increasingly over the past several years—and largely as a function of heightened media attention—the public, victims and their families, and other key stakeholders are demanding increased accountability measures for sex offenders as a means of promoting public safety.
Included among these expectations are longer sentences, harsher punishments, tighter supervision restrictions and, perhaps to a lesser degree, rehabilitative services for the individuals who commit these crimes.
Unfortunately, the handling of adult– and juvenile–perpetrated sex offense cases is not always informed by current research and accurate information, whether about victims, offenders, or effective management strategies.
Because misinformation, myths, and biases can impact the ways in which sex offense cases progress through the system, specialized education is critical for all stakeholders involved in offender management efforts to ensure that policies and practices throughout the system are well–informed (English, Pullen, Jones, & Krauth, 1996; Holmgren, 1999).