chapter  9
22 Pages

Predicting Risk

Child molesters live in the community. They are sons and daughters of community members, relatives, parents, grandparents, and neighbors. They have friends who admire them, and are often respected employees or bosses. Even after they have been convicted for committing a sexual assault against a child, even after they have completed SSOSA treatment, even after they have served time in prison, they return to the community. Even those who are civilly committed eventually are expected to return to the community. When child molesters return back to the community, family, friends, neighbors, and employers need to know how to welcome them back into the community without endangering children. In other words, communities need to learn to be "vigilant without becoming vigilante" (Halliday-Sumner, 1997), which requires community education and successful collaboration.