Is the deceased a victim or an offender? Why do you think so?
The deceased from the point of a victimologist was a victim. The deceased, Caralyn king, since her childhood through her teenage life, until her adulthood had been faced by many social challenges. Some of her decisions she made until her death were made when she was still underage, under the influence of drugs or through mental disorder. Therefore, lawfully, it cannot be wholly accepted that she did them by her own will as an adult. One social factor after the other had led to Caralyn king’s problematic life. To begin, the victim had a learning disability and this affected her leaning in school and finally resulted to her failure to excel in school. Her dismissal performance in school further affected her self esteem and this contributed majorly to abuse of drugs at an early age. Evidence points out that at her teenage years she had started using drugs and taking of alcohol and she eventually dropped out of high school prematurely.
Given that she dropped out of school, was unemployed and had ran away from her home, she had to find alternative means of finding a shelter, feeding herself and to sustain her new lifestyle. By that time, her neighborhood was a den of prostitution from young girls and the moral social fabric of her community was being torn apart. Sex in the streets was the order of the day. Being a victim to immoral social vices comes out because of her vulnerability to pimps, gangs and men in her community because of her tender age, mental illness and being an addict to drugs.
Similarly, evidence pointed out that Caralyn king was suffering from psychosis, a mental disease that is induced by drugs. Furthermore, she turned to prostitution at some point in life. Professionally, it cannot be ruled that she willingly engaged in prostitution, but she may have been forced due to the prevailing financial problems she was facing in the streets. From police evidence, prostitution in the Edmonton community was rampant because young were girls had to fend for themselves, or they were easily duped into prostitution by pimps.
Who are the other victims in this case?
The case of the death of Caralyn king unraveled the deep rot in the community. There were also other victims apart from Caralyn king. Evidence from different experts pointed out that there were other lost young women in the community who were also victims of the factors Caralyn king was a victim of. To begin, statistics indicated that since the year 1988, 12 bodies of women that lived in similar lifestyles of high risks have been found in the area of Edmonton.
Evidence from the undercover law enforcers brought to light the other victims. The other victims are teenage girls in the streets who are abusing drugs, lack positive parenting from their parents or even suffer from mental problems. The teenagers are not good in making right decisions, and some are even underage girls and therefore they end up being sexually assaulted or sexually abused. Therefore, they can easily fall prey to the unsuspecting pimps, gangs or the customers who might have hidden agendas, or just see them as machines of making money. Therefore, from the victimologist angle, the young girls are not criminals rather victims of different forms of exploitation.
These young girls who are victims have been set from their tender ages to willingly agree to sex to support themselves whenever they are broke, are in streets, desperate or in trouble. Similarly, a scenario where a young woman is single mother of a young baby and has no way of feeding the child, they willingly opt for prostitution to survive. On the other hand, the victims also engage in prostitution to support their drug addiction, and to pay for their drugs which they started using at a younger age.
From the victimologists point of view, the victims are not perpetrators by buying the banned illegal drugs, but they are just merely survivors. They are trying with their own means to cope with the situations they have found themselves in, and are also stuck in.
What are the needs of these other victims? How should they be addressed?
The other victims have many needs that force then into drugs and even prostitution. To begin, the victims have no meaningful source of income. They are unemployed and therefore faced with the hard economic times; they opt for prostitution to make ends meet.
The victims also suffer from torn social fabric. There are no organizations that assist in steering the community moral values. Positive parenting is lacking also in the community. The teenagers engage in drugs and prostitution from a tender age and it is deemed ok in the community. Therefore, leadership and positive role models is needed in the community.
To address the discussed needs of the victims, the community where the victims hail from should come together and talk as one entity to address the problems that face them as a community. Many positive things can be achieved if people come together and discuss the way forward for their children and the teenagers who have gone astray. The discussion should not be focused between “us” and “them,” but it should be centered as “we,” the people of Edmonton community and the changes needed for the betterment of the community.
Another way in which the problems can be addressed is though formation community based nonprofit organizations that address the problems of the community. For instance, formation of organizations that sensitizes the victims on the negative effects of drugs, sexual assaults, prostitution and importance of positive parenting. The programs should be attended by both the victims, the young community teenagers, professionals and the parents.
Economic empowerment programs should also be started to offer alternatives to the victims to hinder them from engaging in dangerous activities such as usage of drugs and prostitution. This could be done by the state government starting business programs for the community, inviting investors and encouraging other forms of economic activities.
The law enforcers should also play their part by conducting investigations who are the pimps, the clientele of the young teenage prostitutes, investigate the sexual assaults among the young women too. Solutions to these problems should also be researched to address the social problem in the community.
Do you advise the judge to recommend legalization and regulation of prostitution? Explain your reasoning.
I would advise the judge to recommend that prostitution should not be legalized. This is because the vice of prostitution comes with many wrongs such as teenage sex, drugs and murder as in the case of Caralyn King. Sex should not be done in strangers’ cars, streets, in open public places and parks, but comfortably in private houses (Gerdes, 2006).
Similarly, legalizing prostitution in a society will encourage rot of the moral society’s fabric. The community organizations are playing their part by ensuring dignity is restored in communities. Therefore, by legalizing prostitution, the gains made by community organizations will go waste. Furthermore, the married couples would not have to worry about their partners cheating, or maybe the young teenage girls to think prostitution is a profession (Roleff, 2006).
I also believe that by legalizing the vice of prostitution, the government will be agreeing to use of young girls and women as merchandise. Similarly, prostitution will increase the street crimes incidences, in addition to violence, mental trauma and health hazards.
Many studies (Weitzer, 2011; Roleff, 2006) pointed out that most prostitutes are runaway teens, and the prostitutes end up in the streets because of maybe a sexual assault committed to them when they were still children or were beaten. Given that the prostitutes trade in their bodies, they do it not because they are willing but because of situations they have found themselves in. For instance, Gerdes (2006) indicated that prostitutes have to put their thinking and minds away to assume that they are not doing sex. Moreover, they are at high risks of being sexually assaulted or beaten by their clients. Therefore, even legalizing of prostitution does not guarantee that violence to the prostitutes will end.
According to Roleff (2006), tax payers incur million of dollars for incarceration the prostitutes, but even by legalizing them will even be more costly since checking of all prostitutes monthly for STDs is very costly. Moreover, prostitution comes with emotional turmoil and low self esteem after a woman having sex with many different men.
In summary, prostitution should not be legalized because it the risk of contracting and spreading STIs increases like HIV/AIDs. Moreover, it is also wrong for any woman to sell her body, increased chances of rape, shameful, lack of alternative source of income for the women when they age, and lastly high chances of the prostitutes becoming drug addicts (Weitzer, 2011).
Does your review of this testimony suggest any other recommendations the judge might make to prevent similar deaths?
- The parents should be engaged closely with their children’s lives and to understand them better. If the child tends to be performing dismissal in school, it should not be taken lightly. Diagnostic testing should be done on the children to determine their IQ level to help them in reasoning and making of best decisions. This would prevent them from falling prey to gangs who perceive them as adults while their reasoning capacity is still low.
- Intervention services should be provided to children who symptoms or behaviors such as moodiness, tantrums, impulsiveness, delays in development, learning difficulties, poor judgment, attention disorders, delinquency and aggression. These could be because of neurological disorders or Fetal Alcoholic Spectrum Disorder.
- The teenagers in their adolescent age should be assisted by their teachers, counselors and parents to find their identity and for them to have self esteem. This would prevent social deficits that would make it difficult for a teenager to fit well in the world, understand things well and find a community where they are accepted.
- Make regulations on consumption of alcohol and usage of drugs. There should be a minimum set age limit where people can consume alcohol. This will control the alcohol consumption in the name of recreation which can slip and over to addition level. Addiction to drugs and alcohol especially to young people leads to self destruction of life.
- Establishment under law for minimum number of community support groups to assist the people with mental illness. This can help the teenagers who have been diagnosed with mental illness problems.
- Establishment of government homes for the homeless teenagers who wonder in the streets. The homes could be under the government, Non-governments organizations, community organizations and even churches. This could offer alternatives to the homeless street children
- Prevent incarceration of young adults who did not have juvenile crime records, or give alternative sentences like community work instead of jail terms. Courts should also consider deferment of court cases for treatment suggestions to the charged teenagers. Furthermore, determining mental state of the teenagers when crime was committed should also be determined before sentencing the charged teenagers or young adults to jail.
Gerdes, L. I. (2006). Prostitution and sex trafficking: Opposing viewpoints. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Roleff, T. L. (2006). Prostitution. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Weitzer, R. J. (2011). Legalizing prostitution: From illicit vice to lawful business. New York: NYU Press.
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