Saturday, January 25, 2014

AUSTRALIA - LNP Government in push for indefinite jail time for sexual crimes

Jarrod Bleijie
Jarrod Bleijie
Original Article

Isn't the government suppose to prove someone is dangerous instead of a person trying to prove they are not?


Every sex offender in the state faces being indefinitely held in jail unless they can convince psychiatrists they are unlikely to reoffend.

From serial rapists to perverts who like to film up girls' skirts - hundreds more predators are in the firing line as the State Government moves to overhaul sex offender laws.

Advisers informing the State Government's review of sex offenders laws want to widen the Dangerous Prisoners Sexual Offender (DPSO) Act to not only make it even tougher for the courts to release predators but also to include other sexual offenders.

Asked about their advice, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said he was "open to any ideas" and was consulting with relevant stakeholders.

"The brief is simple. We want to make these laws as tough as possible to ensure the worst of the worst stay behind bars," Mr Bleijie said.

"We are consulting with a range of relevant bodies, including the legal fraternity and child protection groups."

Looming reforms have, in part, been sparked by serial rapist _____, who successfully argued he should be released from his indefinite jail sentence.

Lawyers have already informed Mr Bleijie of shortcomings in the DPSO Act and the potential for it to be widened to include all sex offenders.

There are 96 offenders under the DPSO orders, which can attract an indefinite jail sentence, GPS tracking and tough community restrictions.

Unless an offender has committed a significantly violent offence, they cannot be dealt with as a DPSO.

It means even if a psychiatrist believes the predator will reoffend or escalate offending - such as a pervert who experts believe will eventually rape - they cannot be captured under the laws and they are released on parole.

And, those who try to meet children for sex online but are unknowingly trapped by an undercover police officer are also not to be captured under the DPSO legislation, even if doctors believe the offender will try to have sex with a child.

Bravehearts executive director Hetty Johnston said she first wanted the DPSO act tightened, and then widened to potentially capture the hundreds of other offenders.

She said she had advised Mr Bleijie that a sex offender should only be released into the community if three psychologists all agreed the offender was a low-risk of reoffending.
- Even if this is done, if one of them re-offends, then in the typical knee-jerk fashion, they will react again to further strengthen the laws.

"What we want is the legislation strengthened. This is not vigilantism," she said.

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