Risk of sex crime recurrence underestimated: human trafficking rapporteur
The risk of a sex crime convict committing a sex crime again is not well estimated in the Netherlands, Corinne Dettmeijer, the Netherlands' National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence Against Children, said based on a report published on Sunday. According to her, there is a proper international method available to assess the risk of recurrence, and the Netherlands should consider implementing it, ANP reports.
This method is used in the United States and Great Britain, among others. It consists of a scientifically substantiated questionnaire, in which behavioral experts answer questions about the convict's behavior, background and personal circumstances. A major advantage to this method, is that the convict does not have to cooperate for a reliable estimate of his or her danger to society to be made.
Because the Netherlands does not use the correct method to estimate the risk of recurrence, it is also hard to prescribe the right treatment, Dettmeijer said. This increases the risk of over- or under treatment. A sex crime convict that receives too little treatment, is at greater risk of again committing a sex crime. The same is true for a sex crime convict receiving more treatment than he or she actually needs, according to the Rapporteur. "No one wants sex crime convicts to make victims again. And yet, in the Netherlands we are not using everything that is available to minimize that chance", Dettmeijer said, according to the news wire.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Security and Justice said that the report contains "interesting pointers for policy". "Predicting human behavior is extremely complicated, so any contribution is welcome", the spokesperson said, according to ANP. The new government will give a further response, he added.
Dettmeijer's report was published at a time filled with critical questions about the treatment of Michael P., the suspect in 25-year-old Anne Faber's murder. He was transferred to an Altrecht psychiatric clinic in Den Dolder as the final stage of a long prison sentence - preparing him for a gradual return to society. He had a lot of freedom at the clinic. P. was serving a 12 year long prison sentence for raping two teenage girls. He was not sentenced to institutionalized psychiatric treatment, because he refused to cooperate in a psychiatric examination during his trial.