Almost half of sex offenders repeated crimes last year, a police report showed Wednesday, underpinning the need for stronger measures to deter repeat offenses.
The report comes as public uproar spread over a recent killing and raping of a teenage girl by a convicted sexual offender.
According to the report released by the National Police Agency (NPA), among the 20,189 sex criminals arrested last year, 45.1 percent or 9,115 had sex-related criminal records.
Also, the recidivism rate among sex offenders only edged down from 51.3 percent in 2007 to 45.2 percent in 2010 despite the government implementation of electronic anklets for released sex offenders in 2008, the NPA said.
Experts say a fundamental change of rehabilitation programs offered by prisons is necessary to curb the high rate of recidivism.
"Most sexual offenders are discharged from prison still thinking that sexual assault is not a crime," said Lee Woong-hyuk, a public administration professor at the Korean National Police University, adding that religious preaching and art therapy are just not enough.
"Not only sex impulses but also emotions such as deep resentment are often motives of sex crimes," Kim Young-ran, an expert counselor for victims of sexual violence, said. "Teaching sexual offenders how to control their emotions and anger will help lower the recidivism rate." (Yonhap)