The purpose of this website is to explore ethical issues associated with the assessment and treatment of sex offenders. Where applicable, examples will compare policies in the U.S. to those in the Czech Republic, which has perhaps the most distinct approach to handling sex offenders among Western states.
In the Czech Republic, sexual offenders diagnosed with a paraphilic disorder (such as pedophilic disorder or exhibitionistic disorder) are deemed unable to control their sexual behaviors (i.e., to lack rational or volitional control; Weiss, 1999) and hence less morally responsible for them. As such, they are treated much more gently by the judicial system than offenders without a paraphilia, such as those with antisocial tendencies. In fact, the focus of the judicial process for paraphilic offenders is on behavioral rehabilitation and community reintegration, whereas the focus for non-paraphilic offenders is on confinement.
In the U.S. and most other Western countries, the legal system does not make this distinction between paraphilic and non-paraphilic sexual offenders (Salah & Guidry, 2003). Consequences for convicted offenders almost always include imprisonment, typically for long durations.
As you read through the sections of this site, pause to consider your own reactions to and reflections on the case studies and policy issues presented.