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5. The United States of America
(1) Outline of sex offenses
In the U.S., types of sexual offenses and punishment for each of them vary by legal jurisdiction of punitive provisions of acts in the respective 50 states and the Federal Act - the United States Code.
(2) Trends in sexual offenses
Fig. 6-4-5-5 shows trends in the number of reported cases (estimated values) for cases falling under forcible rape, which is a statistical concept, over the last 10 years.
Fig. 6-4-5-5 Number of reported cases for forcible rape (the U.S.) (1995-2004)
(3) Countermeasures against sexual offenses
Countermeasures against sexual offenses vary by legal jurisdiction. The following are the major ones.
a. Sex offender information registration/disclosure system
In 1994 in New Jersey, the sex offender information registration/disclosure system was introduced after an incident where a seven-year-old child was raped and murdered by a person with previous convictions for sexual offenses against juveniles. In the 1990s, many other states also introduced this system.
The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act is part of regulations and enforcement acts on violent crimes established as the Federal Act in 1994, requiring each state to develop a system to oblige sex offenders to register information such as addresses, etc. and permitting the disclosure of such information. The Act was revised by the Federal Megan's Law in 1996, requiring each state to develop a system to disclose registered information. Under Federal Acts enacted several times after that, each state has been required to extend the registration period of sex offenders with higher risks to lifetime and participate in the National Sex Offender Registry, under which the FBI compiles information registered by each state as a database to make it available nationwide.
At present, the sex offender information registration/disclosure system has been introduced in all 50 states. With regard to this system, the Federal Act defines the minimum standards to be developed in each state (persons to be registered, information to be registered, period of registration, punishment for violations of registration obligation, development of the disclosure system, etc.), but the contents of the systems actually implemented vary by state.
In July 2006, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (hereinafter referred to as the "Adam Walsh Act"), which was established as the Federal Act, defines provisions to strengthen the National Sex Offender Registry and provisions to punish violations of registration obligation by sex offenders who moved across states as Federal Act violations.
b. Aggravated punishment for sexual offenses
In some states, sexual offenses, etc. against children are subject to aggravated punishment.
The Adam Walsh Act defines provisions to raise statutory penalty of the United States Code for sexual offenses, etc. against children.
c. Civil Commitment
Some states have introduced civil proceedings to accommodate those who are likely to commit sexual offenses due to mental disorder, etc. in medical facilities, etc. even after they served the term of their sentence.
The Adam Walsh Act defines provisions to enable the federal government to grant financial aid to each state's Civil Commitment System.
d. Sex offender treatment programs
Many states have carried out sex offender treatment programs such as through Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment, aiming for the rehabilitation of sex offenders, during treatment in institutions such as penal institutions, probationary supervision, and release on parole.
e. Electronic Monitoring
Some states have introduced the Electronic Monitoring system for sex offenders who are placed under community-based treatment.