The rest of us are consumed with revulsion and a lack of understanding. What we aren’t consumed with is empathy or answers. Disgust doesn’t work like that. Neither does fear. How in the name of all that is holy and sane do so many priests, ostensibly doing the work of God, find themselves committing the worst crime a human can commit against children? We don’t understand. Science has attempted to do so with varied results. Absent treatment, absent understanding, absent anything except horror, our solution isn’t a solution at all: Wait until the sickness reveals itself and harms our children, and then put that sickness in a freedom-less place where it will be ravaged by our most hardened criminals.
If the limited science is right, if indeed pedophiles are less evolved and less intelligent — and we can’t know how much science does know because science hasn’t come up with a cure or even treatment — what we are essentially doing is keeping pedophiles away from our children by placing these mentally ill, less intelligent minds in a hardened criminal environment that doesn’t do much of anything to fix or treat their urges. That’s our only choice when mental illness morphs into crime against children. Hospitals are too expensive and too gentle and don’t feel like the same kind of deterrent jail does.
So the most understandable and safest place to put the mentally ill is in prison — for us.
It is also the least understanding and most unsafe place to put the mentally ill — for them.
Sandusky’s incarceration and punishment might make us feel some small, small degree of better.
What it doesn’t do is make our children any safer from the next one like him.