The Challenges to the Reintegration and Rehabilitation of Sex Offenders My Experience as an Adult Probation Officer
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Criminal offender rehabilitation and reintegration have consistently taken a backseat to the United States’ default policy of punishment, criminalization, and control. This paper seeks to evaluate the American criminal justice system, specifically as it applies to alternative sentencing for sex offenders. Utilizing both existing research as well as my personal experience working as an intern for the Connecticut Judicial Branch, I plan to explore the numerous barriers this population faces upon their reentry to their respective communities. My individual exposure to American probation aligned greatly with what I found in the literature. My clients repeatedly expressed frustration with a counterproductive system that is supposedly designed to advocate for them, yet consistently hinders their successful contribution to society at the very same time. These challenges were only amplified for the sex offender population given the stigma and repulsion that exists among the public in response to their crimes. As I continued to work with and get to know my clients, their own experiences with violence, trauma, and victimization became apparent, reinforcing the need for effective interventions to break the perpetuation of these injurious cycles.