Study: Sex Offenders Who Complete Program Don't Reoffend

Study: Sex Offenders Who Complete Program Don't Reoffend

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Alex Cabrero reportingA man on Utah's sex offender registry says despite the bad name sex offenders have, he's changed, thanks to a state program.

Many states are looking to tighten their sex-offender laws in light of the Joseph Duncan case in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.

One proposal, by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, would force offenders to wear tracking bracelets.

At least one man on the registry doesn't think it's right.

He admits he did something that there's just no excuse for. But he also says sex offenders on the registry who go through a treatment program don't re-offend. And Utah has the numbers to back it up.

Seeing your children laugh and play is one of the joys of being a parent.

So when someone takes their innocence, naturally, we want that person put away.

"Jeremy"/ Utah Registered Sex Offender: "Whatever I go through is only miniscule to what I've put my own victim through."

"Jeremy" is a registered sex offender in Utah. He did something terrible to a child.

"Jeremy": "For me, I was looking for love. But the way I learned it growing up was through sex."

He spent 12 years in prison, went through the state's treatment program, and learned how to take responsibility for what he did.

Now, he's getting his life back on track. But cases like Joseph Duncan in Coeur D'Alene makes him cringe. Immediately, states want to pass tougher sex offender laws. But would they prevent crimes, and are they necessary?

Jack Ford/ Utah Dept. of Corrections: "According to our stats, if you complete the treatment program, you're not going to reoffend."

Utah did a 13-year study of the 400 sex offenders who completed the treatment program. Of those 400, only nine ever went back to prison. And of those nine, only two were for new sex offenses. That's only half of one percent-- not exactly the public perception of sex offenders.

"Jeremy": "Public opinion is being shaped that sex offenders are dangerous, and that they shouldn't be allowed back out into society."

Of course, it's natural for us to protect our children and not let them near someone who did something so bad.

But the numbers just aren't there, to lump all sexual offenders into the same group as Duncan.

"Jeremy": "I will always keep after that goal of not having another victim."

"Jeremy" understands why people don't trust him right away. But he also felt it was important to tell the other side of the story, that not all sexual offenders are out looking to do it again.

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