Friday, November 29, 2019

Public Policy Essay Example

Public Policy Essay Final Paper Brittany Baity PPA603: Government Budgeting (MBQ 1118A) Instructor:   Chiji Ohayia June 06, 2011 Public policy is the study of policy making by governments. A governments public policy is the set of policies (laws, plans, actions, behaviors) that it chooses. (Lee, Johnson, Joyce, 2008) Since governments claim authority and responsibility (to varying degrees) over a large group of individuals, they see fit to establish plans and methods of action that will govern that society. I will discuss the possible funding options for reducing Georgia’s sex offender rate, evaluate how public policy decisions affect the receipt of revenues, and develop a revenue policy that aligns with community values. It is a parent’s nightmare: a son or daughter is abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered by a predator that had been lurking, undetected, in their community. In 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which mandated the maintenance of a national registry of sex offenders, greatly expanded the legal definition of sex offenses and sex offenders, and established Project Safe Childhood program within the U. S. Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood includes grants to states to help combat Internet predators as well as to help fund civil commitments, and aims to coordinate federal, state and local efforts to vigorously investigate and prosecute crimes against children, including sexual assault, child pornography, and kidnapping. Brown, 2009) Since the mid 1990’s, sex offenders policy in Georgia has become increasingly more punitive and restrictive. (Williams, 2011) Anyone convicted of a sex crime is required to register as a sex offender. This person will have his or her personal details and crimes committed listed on Web-based notification sites for the remainder of his or her life, and will have restrictions on where he or she can live and will be recommended to a treatment center following release from prison. The core assumption that most children are sexually assaulted by strangers who are repeat offenders has not been supported by research. We will write a custom essay sample on Public Policy specifically for you for only $16.38 $13.9/page Order now We will write a custom essay sample on Public Policy specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer We will write a custom essay sample on Public Policy specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer A statistical report published by the Georgia Department of Justice in 2000 revealed that only seven percent of offenders who sexually assaulted juveniles aged 0 to 17 were strangers to their victims; the vast majority of juveniles were assaulted by an acquaintance e. g. family friend, babysitter, neighbor, teacher, coach, or religious leader. This report also included that sexual assault of children ages twelve and under has been characterized by subjective assessments or typical high profile crimes for too long. Brown, 2009) Those who argue that current policies are based on inaccurate assumptions about the perpetrators or sexual assaults against children are often quickly silenced by those who point to the horrific crimes committed by a few sadistic repeat offenders. Many experts agree that current sex offender policies—including registration, community notification, mandatory sentencing, civil commitment, and GPS tracking aimed at convicted sex offenders—do nothing to protect children from the individuals who are most likely to sexually assault them. Studies show that there are more than 500,000 registered sex offenders in the United States, and there are an estimated 100,000 sex offenders who are missing from the system. (Brown, 2009) Loopholes in this current system have allowed some sexual predators to evade law enforcement and place our children at risk. Some may wonder why there is such a focus on sex offenders. Why is there such a focus on pedophiles and sex offenders and rapists? The reason is, if Georgian’s look at the statistics it has the highest recidivist offender rate of any crime, even higher than murderers and armed robbery. As a society, people must share revulsion for what these criminals do to our children. The crimes are so terrible, that people are uncomfortable talking about them, but if people are to make real progress such as organizing community meetings, law enforcement become more aggressive and also create more victim groups. The Government created a Project Safe Childhood which is a program to protect children from rapist and sex offenders. The Project Safe Childhood will make a ground for a national zero-tolerance culture. The Project Safe Childhood program is a strong three-legged stool: one leg is the federal contributions led by the United States Attorneys around the country, another is state and local law enforcement, including the Internet Crimes Against Children task forces funded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs and the third is non-governmental organizations, like the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. [NCMEC] (Geffner, 2008) Under the Project Safe Childhood structure, state, local and federal partners are seeking the toughest sentences possible. The Government has made half a million dollars available for the Project Safe Childhood program. This program intends to bring state and local law enforcem ent together with federal prosecutors from their regions. Cooperative law-enforcement work on the registry has already led to some great stories of success. The first case brought under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act involved a fugitive who was arrested by the Social Security Administration for allegedly using a false name and another man’s Social Security number as he tried to set up a new identity for himself. It turns out that this individual was convicted for assaulting a police officer and possession of sexually exploitive material in Idaho in 2003 and he was wanted on a probation violation in another state for failing to register as a sex offender. He had done so at his first address, but did not re-register when he moved and then fled the state. Deputy U. S. Marshals working with the Social Security Administration and the local U. S. Attorney’s office built a case against the man and he was charged via criminal complaint for failing to register as a sex offender. The charges were brought in October 2006, making this the first case charged under the new act. (Geffner, 2008) The importance of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King said that â€Å"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. † (Schuster, 2010)As a community we must seed our communities with our knowledge and our passion. Remember that this communication starts with each other, the Project Safe Childhood partners. U. S. Attorney’s offices need to be calling their state and local partners constantly. When working together several of these problems will begin to cease. Politicians, child advocates, and journalists denounce current sex offender laws as ineffective and flawed, yet are rarely able to articulate exactly why new laws are needed. Instead, they cite each news story about a kidnapped child or web predator as proof that more laws are needed, as if sex crimes would cease if only the penalties were harsher, or enough people were monitored. The fact that rare crimes continue to be committed does not necessarily imply that current laws against those crimes are inadequate. By that standard, any law is ineffective if someone violates that law. (Geffner, 2008) Nearly all of the sex offender policy issues currently debated including registration, community notification, residency restrictions, civil commitment, classification of juveniles as sex offenders, mandatory sentencing, the death penalty, and castration all involve achieving an effective balance of public safety, maintaining individual civil liberties, and a just and efficient allocation of resources. Those who participate in the public discourse on sex offender policy share a desire to protect children and reduce sexual assault but differ greatly in their opinions about the rights of offenders and their assessment of just and effective punishment and management of sex offenders. Many lawmakers and political pundits argue that sex offenders’ rights are forfeited when they commit crimes against children. They support their arguments by citing cases in which repeat offenders have assaulted and murdered children after they have been released from prison; for such offenders, these commentators argue, no punishment is too harsh and no price is too high. On the other side of the debate, civil libertarians and victims’ rights advocates, mental health professionals, defense attorneys, and members of the law enforcement community assert that there are too many restrictions place on too many offenders. Furthermore, opponents of stricter policies argue that such measures result in unfairly harsh penalties for individuals including juveniles, teens who engaged in consensual sex, and those arrested for public urination and indecent exposure. These individuals are labeled as sex offenders but pose no threat of violence to their communities. Public safety and federal, state, and local budgets would be better served, by targeting only those sex offenders who commit forcible sex crimes or demonstrate a tendency toward violence. A case which illustrates the complexities of the debate over whether current sex offender policies are just and effective is that of Genarlow Wilson, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison without possibility of parole in 2005 after he was videotaped having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl at a 2003 New Years Eve party in Georgia. Oral sex between teens constituted aggravated child molestation and carried a mandatory sentence under a Georgia state law in effect in 2003. The Georgia law was changed in 2006, and now consensual oral sex between teens is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year behind bars with no requirement to register as a sex offender. (Williams, 2011) Mandy of the most thoughtful commentators on the prevention of sexual violence urge a public health approach to the problem of sexual violence. Sexual violence, like the classic infectious diseases, smallpox, measles, has widespread negative effects on our society. The public health approach, a systematic application of scientific learning aimed at understanding and addressing root causes, could help effectively reduce sexual violence in the same way that it has controlled many infectious diseases. The public health approach entails a systematic method of analysis, a way of seeing the problem in a larger, more contextualized framework. It divides interventions into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary prevention efforts focus on stopping sexually abusive behaviors before it starts. The public health approach is aimed at changing the conditions that produce the problem. Secondary programs focus on those at high risk for offending as well as stopping recent sexual offenders from re-offending. Tertiary prevention involves trying to stop future violence by those who have a history of offending behaviors. (Brown, 2009) The public health approach uses systematic and empirically based information for deciding how best to attack a public health problem like sexual violence. It consciously looks beyond individual characteristics or offenders to identify causes that exist at a societal of community level. These classic steps that enabled public health to conquer infectious disease aim to address violence comprehensively. The first step is ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data on the incidence, prevalence, and risk factors. The second step is identifying causes through research, and the third step is the development and evaluation of programs. Finally, the public health model engages in dissemination and implementation communicating which preventive programs work based on evaluation of data and putting these programs into practice. The public health approach helps us understand the difference between thinking about a problem like sexual violence at the scale of individuals and thinking about it from the perspective of the population as a whole. The public health approach allows us to see that there is collective risk as well as individual risk, and that the worst of the worst account for only a fraction of the collective risk posed by sexual violence. The public health approach, by insisting on empirically based policies for reducing exual violence. Unlike the conventional narrow and politicized approach that values only punishment, public health advocates understand the need for a comprehensive approach addressing all levels of prevention: primary, secondary, and tertiary. (Schuster, 2010) The predator laws exemplify an approach that is 180 degrees from these public health principles. The predator laws were not based on research. They make no pretense of attacking the root causes of sexual violence or changing the conditions that produce it. Rather, they take a simple containment approach to those who are already identified as dangerous offenders. Far from being comprehensive, they focus only on a small part of the problem, a part that is far removed from the root causes or the experiences of most victims of sexual violence. There has been little research about the effectiveness of the predator law approaches and little reason to believe that they have reduced the scope of sexual violence in any meaningful way. The public health approach allows people to see what a focus on identified individual offender’s hides: the value and necessity of primary prevention, because most sexual violence does not show up in the criminal justice system, most will remain unaddressed by secondary and tertiary interventions. Primary prevention is proactive, while the secondary and tertiary methods are reactive. Primary prevention aims at addressing sexual violence before it happens. Secondary and tertiary approaches become applicable only after an offender has begun abusing victims. Although primary prevention programs are in their infancy, and their effectiveness is as yet unproven, they have a number of attractions. They are relatively cheap and can reach large numbers of people. They aim to change root causes of sexual violence by addressing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors and thus stop sexual violence before it begins. Secondary and tertiary approaches, in contrast, do not address new entrants into sexual offending, but confine their attention to those who have already offended. Another key advocate of public health approaches is Kathleen Basile, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basile states that â€Å"more attention should be given to primary prevention of sexual violence if real gains are to be made in decreasing this problem. † Basile argues that â€Å"national campaigns against sexual violence in the media could affect rates of sexual offending by gradually influencing societal norms that condone sexual aggression. † She cites campaigns regarding the use of utomobile seat belts, â€Å"largely because the norms about wearing seat belts have changed through public awareness combined with changes in laws. † Smoking cessation campaigns provide another example of the larger society getting involved in preventing a widespread problem. She also stated that â€Å"the same societal urgency needs to be established around decreasing sexual violence perpetration by involving the public in large-scale sexual viol ence preventive efforts. † (Brown, 2009) Primary prevention programs are largely in the developmental stage. Restorative justice approaches seek to facilitate offender reintegration while emphasizing the importance of accountability and community safety. The restorative justice movement argues that restorative approaches produce greater prospects of safety, because they place offenders within a web of relationships that helps ensure accountability is on redressing harm to the victim. These programs operate at both the internal and external levels, providing â€Å"opportunities for hop and recovery† and a feeling of acceptance, along with the kinds of family and community connections that enable the community to exert its normal forms or control. The key is the ability for these programs to accommodate and promotes both â€Å"accountability and understanding. † The laws have failed so miserably, reform of statutes of limitations is needed for all victims, past and present. The solution needs no task force or further study. It is clear: statutes of limitations for sexual abuse of children need to be abolished. Murder has no statute of limitations because the victim can never speak for himself or herself. Child abuse is a little different. It involves a heinous crime, a powerless and vulnerable victim incapable of speaking for himself or herself and the murder of the victim’s very childhood and soul. On July 20, 2005 the U. S. Department of Justice launched the National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR), a searchable Web site that links state and territory sex-offender public registries and allows users access to public information on sex offenders throughout the country. NSOPR, which currently links to 22 state registries, offers information on almost 200,000 registered sex offenders nationwide. America’s communities have long awaited a national site to search for sex offenders. NSOPR was built in partnership with federal, state, and private sector partners. (Brown, 2009) NSOPR allows states to maintain control over their own data. States are actively participating in this unprecedented public safety opportunity in large part because they retain control over their public sex-offender data, rather than submitting it to a costly or difficult-to-maintain national repository. By design, once a query has been entered, NSOPR simply delivers users to the state site hosting the information. NSOPR is cost-effective for both citizens and states. Unlike some Web sites that claim to offer national sex-offender information, NSOPR does not require users to submit extensive personal information or to pay a fee to access the information they seek. Equally important, states bear no cost to link to the site, which has cost the Department of Justice and its partners just under $1 million to design and deliver. From a technology standpoint, NSOPR bandwidth, as well load capacity, will be added to enlarge the tunnel through which queries travel, allowing searches to reach state public sex-offender registries more quickly. NSOPR currently gives concerned citizens easy-to-use and free access to information on two out every live registered sex offenders in the United States. In the absence of an informed public debate on the re-entry of those who have been convicted of sex crimes, fear-based laws are being enacted across the country. Recent trends have made community re-entry across the country. Recent trends have made community re-entry the trigger point for society’s most venomous and simplistic responses toward people with a history of sexually offending. Ironically, the re-entry process also has the potential to become one of the best forums for creating the conditions for a safer community and preventing the sexual abuse of children. In many instances, the general public and policy-makers continue to hold beliefs that are not based on the current research. As a result, laws have several assumptions embedded in them that impact re-entry negatively and are not supported by the scientific evidence. As a culture, we have historically opted for silence and denial rather than to educate ourselves with accurate information about child sexual abuse or even about sexuality in general. The current vituperative and punitive tone evidenced in the media and policy discussions begs the question of whether or not those with sexual behavior problems feel they can come forward and seek help. Creating the conditions for openness about sexually disordered and sexually exploitive behavior includes addressing the need for factual information. The state-by-state sex offender registries were meant to assist law enforcement and probation and parole officers in the supervision of those who have been convicted of sex crimes, not to create conditions of greater danger to community members. The Georgia Legislature’s passage of harsh new restrictions on registered sex offenders prompted Stop It Now! Georgia’s public education is a critical first step in protecting children from child sexual abuse. In accordance with O. C. G. A.  §Ã‚  42-1-12, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is the central repository for Georgias Violent Sexual Offender Registry. Williams, 2011) The Georgia Bureau of Investigation makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the Georgia Sex Offender Registry is accurate. As the information is provided by other agencies and entities and is continuously changing, the GBI makes no promise or any express or implied guarantee concerning the accuracy of this information. The G eorgia Public Policy Foundation (GPPF) is a free-market think tank based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The President and Chief Executive Officer is Rogers Wade. Its board of directors currently includes twenty seven men and women from around the state. The foundation were established in the fall of 1991. The mission of the foundation is to be the most respected and influential source of public policy research, analysis and education in Georgia. The foundation states its belief that good public policy is based upon fact, an understanding of sound economic principles and the core principles of our free enterprise system economic freedom, limited government, personal responsibility, individual initiative, respect for private property and the rule of law. In 2004, the foundation was ranked in the November-December issue of James Magazine for being No. 1 for highest integrity and No. 3 for most knowledgeable among business organizations or state associations. (Williams, 2011) At its best, community re-entry becomes a cooperative process with a role for all of use to play in preventing future sexual assaults, whether as a private citizen, a publi c official, or agency professional. True primary prevention demands that each of us be accountable for educating ourselves with a clear understanding of the facts, so we as American citizens can take the necessary actions in our personal and professional lives to prevent the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children. To conclude, Public policy is policies making by governments. A governments public policy is the set of policies (laws, plans, actions, behaviors) that it chooses. Since governments claim authority and responsibility (to varying degrees) over a arge group of individuals, they see fit to establish plans and methods of action that will govern that society. Georgia has several different programs that benefit victims and their families after being victimized. The federal government funds these programs and makes them available to everyone in the community. People have to become more aware of sexual offenders in our community. This is a crime that continues to rise if the Public does not take action to i t immediately. Reference Page: Brown, Mark 2009. Dangerous Offenders: Punishment and Social Order. New York: NY Geffner, Robert 2008 Identifying and Treating Sex Offenders: Current Approaches, Research, and Techniques. Binghamton, NY; The Haworth Maltreatment ; Trauma Press Lee, R. D. , Johnson, R. W. , ; Joyce, P. G. (2008) Public budgeting systems (8th ed. ). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Schuster II, W. Michael 2010 For the Greater Good: The Use of Public Policy Considerations in Confirming Plans of Reorganization New York: LFB Scholarly Publishing, LLC Williams, Cathy The Georgia Public Policy foundation retrieved from http://www. gppf. org/ on June 5, 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.