Will van Engen, defence counsel with Bottos Law Group, spoke to the CBC about the proposed “Noah’s Law” which would impose mandatory minimum sentences on repeat sexual offenders and allow public access to the sexual offender registry. The law comes in response to the tragic killing of a mother and child in Hinton, Alberta, allegedly committed by a registered sex offender.
While mandatory minimum sentences can be enticing in the face of such an unspeakable tragedy, Will tells the CBC how these measures tend to be a “one size fits all” solution to a complex problem. Mandatory minimums may be appropriate for certain offenders, but for others it may be unjust and unfair. Also, focusing on punishment over rehabilitation can cause further offending.
As Will says to the CBC, the proposal to make the sex offender registry public also presents the serious risk that sex offenders will be unable to find housing or employment, further marginalizing them and making them more likely to re-offend. As Will puts it, if we truly want to stop these kinds of senseless acts from happening, we need to focus not only on punishment but on rehabilitation.
Read the full article here: CBC NEWS