I have been thinking a lot about Jaycee Lee Dugard, and her eighteen year hiatus from her family. As a mother, this is extremely horrifying. I look at my sons and wonder what sports they will play, or what kind of girl they will take to the prom. To have all of that time taken from me and from them by a sick piece of crap is about the worst thing I could imagine. The fact that her kidnapper had previously served time, but was freed and able to commit this evil crime, is absolutely depressing.
Jails and prisons are clogged with those convicted of drug related charges. It's easy to get a drug conviction, the evidence is a tangible object. District attorneys, and police do not have to do much work. It's difficult for a judge or jury to deny that that X amount of substance A was found on the defendant's vehicle, home, person, etc. It is my personal belief that many drug offenders would be better off in a rehab environment than in prison. Most western nations have a state run rehabilitation program, but the U.S. doesn't. Addiction is an illness that can be cured. Perhaps if there were a few less addicts in the jail/prison system then we would have more room for child rapists to stay....uh...for FOREVER.
Sex offenders, on the other hand, have not proven to be "rehabilitated". They offend, and offend, and offend. Getting a conviction for a sex offender is much more difficult. It's the victim's word against the defendant's, it's not concrete, and people lie. I have some personal experience with this. I was raped when I was eighteen by a friend of a friend. I went to the police. Even though we had DNA evidence that linked this person to me, and this individual had been previously convicted of a similar violent attack, it would be near impossible to get a conviction. The detectives and the district attorney were very blunt about the fact that I had a snowball's chance in hell of getting him put behind bars. I did what many victims do when faced with the facts, and I dropped the charges. My point is that if someone IS convicted of a sex crime then they probably had a cash of evidence against them and deserve to sit in jail.
I know that the legal system will not likely change any time real soon, but I do hope that this Dugard case shines some light on how flawed our legal system can be. It's sad, but I have little, if any faith in it.