Malaysia has a successful rehabilitation programme for convicted sexual offenders who do not repeat their crimes, criminologist Geshina Ayu Mat Saat said today.
Geshina Ayu, who had helped provide training a decade ago to those running the rehab programme, said none of those sexual offenders have been found to recommit the offences.
“Since 2008 — the first batch of sexual offenders that graduated until today, zero recidivism.
“Every year, plus minus, we got 1,000 sexual offenders in prison being released into society. So 8,000 sexual offenders have been released, provided they have gone through this programme, not a single one has reoffended,” she said at a seminar here.
She explained that the 8,000 figure is an estimate as the number of sexual offender convicts changes every year and not all complete the minimum two-year rehabilitation programme as they may have shorter jail terms, or were released earlier.
“That means at least 8,000 potential victims are no longer victims, they have been saved from being targeted,” she later told reporters when met at the sidelines of the seminar.
Earlier in the seminar, Geshina Ayu said a holistic rehab programme for sexual offenders is required, adding that it should not be seen as a cure but continuous caring and self-monitoring by the offender to prevent themselves from reoffending.
A successful rehabilitation would see a sexual offender changing their mindset from viewing their condition as a “disease” to be blamed, and instead see them believing that they can control their own behaviour.
Geshina Ayu also said that setting up a sexual offender registry may backfire, as those who have been successfully rehabilitated may find themselves targeted in the future whenever a sexual crime occurs.
Earlier on, the head of the federal police’s Sexual Investigation Unit (D11) DSP Tan Gee Soon had noted that a sexual offender — Aris Mohamed — had managed to move from Perak where he was charged to Kuala Lumpur to commit further sexual crimes, before being apprehended in Negri Sembilan and subsequently sentenced to prison until 2031.
This situation was due to the lack of a monitoring system as Malaysia does not have a law for sexual offender registry, she said.
Both Tan and Geshina Ayu were among the four speakers at the third series of the Prevention of Sexual Crimes Seminar organised by the police together with the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation.
On November 1, local daily theSun reported Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim as saying that a registry of child sexual offenders is being compiled and should be ready for use by December.
Rohani reportedly said the registry — which will contain details on the convicted offenders and their victims — will be kept confidential to protect the latter.
The registry will be used to vet potential employees for sectors involving children such as schools and childcare centres, with only the Social Welfare Department authorised to approve requests to screen individuals, she reportedly said.
Source : IDA LIM@The Malay Mail Online