Any story that concerns he sexual abuse of a child is tragic in its composition, regardless of the perpetrator or their number of youthful victims. However, there are cases which push the limits of human comprehension, especially those where the perpetrator was in a position of trust or respectability. This issue epitomises the importance of regulating these criminals when they are active within society, as they are naturally drawn to jobs or occupations where they are able to interact with children and minors.

With this in mind, it is something of a surprise that many former priests accused of child abuse are able to live unmonitored across the states of the US, despite the fact that many have admitted to their crimes at various junctures in time. The reason for this is that their crimes have either remained unproven in law or were conducted so long ago that the statute of limitations had expired long before the victims cam forward and shared their stories. Subsequently, these offenders are allowed to live without restrictions or supervision, regardless of the potential dangers to society.

Serving the Interests of Society

Those who are seeking justice and their legal representatives are looking to see information on these priests and their whereabouts enter the public domain, in the interests of public safety and well being. However, the church are set to fight this campaign, looking to impose limits and sanctions on the release of related files or data on those accused of perpetrating abuse. This debate is set to rage, with neither party keen to afford any ground to the other, as private investigators work alongside prosecutors to locate the exact whereabouts or circumstances of the 233 accused.

The concepts of crime and punishment have been well versed and discussed for generations. In civilized society, the purpose of implementing penal sentences for criminal acts is to rehabilitate the offender, educating them through various programs that aim to modify their behavioral trends. This is opposed to the primal and less evolved attitudes towards prison, which focus solely on punishing the perpetrators of crime and attempting to deter them through the severity of consequence.

It is widely accepted that the former is the most conducive towards reducing crime over a period of time, as well as creating the best environment to change attitudes rather than hardening a prevalent criminal ethos. However, this methodology of attempting to correct behavior rather than punish it is vulnerable to several criticisms, most notably that it is open to abuse from career criminals who observe captivity as an occupational hazard and one that can be endured for financial reward.

Serving Time and Rehabilitation

Opposed to this, there is also criticism from those who deem aspects of criminal law to restrictive in a democratic environment. This observation applies to legislation that continues to restricts the movements and activity of individuals after they have been released from their sentence, and therefore regulates behaviour for far longer than their original punishment. While this may be necessary for specific and compulsive natures of crime, it is not entirely appropriate or ethical for others.

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