The sexual offender presently is the subject of a legal and psychiatric dilemma. On the one hand, state legislatures have frequently provided money and laws to establish treatment for them in hospitals because it is generally agreed that prison does no good. In a nation-wide survey with useful responses from 122 hospitals, we find indications that matters are not significantly improved when sex offenders are sent to treatment centers. Not all institutions feel the same, however, since at least 17 respondents felt most were helped by hospitalization and another 18 felt about half were helped. It is suggested that the intent of the law is correct, and that hospitals should take the initiative in developing effective treatment programs and legislative changes to fit the programs; otherwise, the pendulum of legal opinion may swing back to custodial rather than treatment orientation and we will lose the opportunity to fulfill our self-imposed obligation to society.