Freakonomics Radio: The Economic Costs of Sex Crimes

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Photo: The Salt Lake Tribune

I love Freakonomics Radio and I listen to their podcasts on the regular.  In the summer of 2015, I was driving home from our farm in Northern Michigan and the latest podcast from the folks at Freakonomics was cued up, titled, “Making Sex Offenders Pay — and Pay and Pay and Pay: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast.”  I immediately hit play.  Fortunately I was the passenger on that 4 hour ride home and started taking notes feverishly.  Of course when we returned, I discovered that Freakonomics not only posted the podcast online, but the transcript as well.  That’s good news for you.

This episode is chalk full of great information, with an abundance of statistics and interviews with experts.  Below are some of the highlights:

  • Success of Rehabilitation Programs For Sex Offenders
    • The Colorado Sex Offender Management Board states as the first “Guiding Principle” in its handbook, that “Sexual offending is a behavioral disorder which cannot be ‘cured.’” So “treating” that which “cannot be cured” can go on for a long time.  Bottom line, you cannot rewire someone.
  • The Sex-Offender Registry is NOT an effective deterrent for reducing sex crimes.
  • For each sexual assault committed in the United States, the economic loss for the survivor is roughly $142,000.

It should also be noted that the societal cost for sexual assaults in the United States is roughly $127B each year.

Listen To The Full Podcast HERE