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January 30, 2007

Sex offender news and notes

Corey Yung's blog Sex Crimes is looking great after a redesign and the additional of particularly a nice blog roll.  Corey spotlights the blog  Sex Offender Issues, where there are a lot of new interesting stories, and he inquires about other sex offender blogs or advocacy sites that should be on his blogroll.  Help him out readers.

On the topic, Steven Erickson at Crime & Consequences has this strong post on the "Promise and Pitfalls of Sex Offender Research."  Here is how it starts and ends:

[T]here's much talk about sex offenders but a lack of good science. One of the most discussed areas in terms of sex offenders is risk of recidivism.  While some say recidivism risk is relatively low among sex offenders, others disagree and praise the severe civil restrictions mandated for many sex offenders. Where does the truth lie?  Like so many things in life, it's a mixed bag....

Two [key] points: First, there's much heterogeneity within the sex offender population.  What is true for offender A may not be true for offender B.  It's easy to condemn all sex offenders -- their crimes are terrible -- but malice means being unrighteously spiteful. A just society is just in its judgments and punishments; not all sex offenders deserve the worst punishments.  Second, we desperately need better studies that examine recidivism risk over the long haul and can give us truly some understanding of whether sex offender treatment is effective.

January 30, 2007 at 09:33 AM | Permalink

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Comments

When there is a shortage of funds one of the first things to be cut is research by a department of corrections. As a consequence research on sex offenders is off and on and highly fragmented. One of the problems we are having is that the residency laws are being applied to all sex offenders including those where there is no risk (the man is married to the woman he had sex with when she was under-age). It would be worth while to search out from the files what research has been done and see if it can put in a useful form.

Posted by: John Neff | Jan 30, 2007 3:52:53 PM

One of the reasons that information on sex offenders web sites is so limited is the authorities do not want the public to learn the entire truth. Many offenders had consensual sex or committed their crimes 10-15-20 years ago, have been fully rehabilitated and are no longer a threat to society. But in this vindictive atmosphere we must keep our prisons filled and there are too many jobs, careers and too much money to be made for the truth to come out. Most sex offenders committed their crimes against a family member not strangers.

Posted by: nick | Jan 30, 2007 6:35:42 PM

Links:
* http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/crimoff.htm
* http://sexoffenderinfo.pbwiki.com
* http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/
* http://abcnews.go.com/2020/LegalCenter/story?id=2785054&page=1
* http://www.justice4matt.com/

* If the sex offender laws are kept, why discriminate? If sex offenders must suffer for life and be on GPS, so should ANYONE with a criminal record. If this is not done, then it is discrimination. Anyone with a criminal record should be on a registry on the internet for the whole world to see, and be on GPS for life. DUI offenders should not be able to live XX feet from an alcohol store and should have their license revoked. Drug dealers should not be able to live XX feet from anywhere children congregate, so they cannot sell our kids drugs. Murderers should not be able to life XX feet from ANYONE, since they may kill again. DUI offenders kill more people than any other crime (I believe), and I'm sure the entire public would love to know if a murderer, thief, drug dealer, etc lives in their neighborhood. If all this was on the internet for all to see, I'm sure everyone would NOT leave their house at all. These people are everywhere. Why are sex offenders being "scape goated"? EVERYONE WITH A CRIMINAL RECORD SHOULD OBIDE BY THE SAME LAWS SEX OFFENDERS HAVE TO OR IT'S DISCRIMINATION!!

* When will people ever realize no matter how tough on crime, all the zero tolerance, all the registries in the world will not prevent a murderer from murdering, a thief from stealing, a dealer from dealing, a user from using, a rapist from raping....accusations on any sex crime, child abuse, or domestic violence will literally nail your butt to the wall! No DNA has to be present, No violence has to be present..... HEARSAY ALONE IS LITERALLY NAILING THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TO THE WALL BECAUSE OF THE BIASNESS IN THE LAWS.

* "Buffer Zones" are a false sense of security!

* "Buffer Zones" are banishing people from their town, state, and possibly the country!

* "Buffer Zones" create homelessness, which costs society lost productivity, individual dignity, and creates additional problems for enforcing any accurate registry!

* "Buffer Zones" do nothing, except banish! It could be 50 miles and if someone wanted to re-offend, they'd just get in a car and drive!

* It should be MANDATORY that anyone in prison get therapy, and out of prison, if needed. Therapy does work. If you just lock them up, when they get out, they will be worse off. Therapy teaches people how to not act out and help, regardless of what the general public thinks. Just ask a therpist.

* We need to STOP this hysteria and get sex offenders the help they need.

* You can pass all the laws you want but without therapy and this "mob" mentality will not solve anything!

* I am sick of politicians using children to get their laws passed! Who would want to vote against anything that is "for the children"?

* "Stranger Danger" is a smoke screen & hype! Most child sexual offenses occur by someone the child knows, like a family member or close friend!

* These laws are being passed by politicians using sex offenders as scape goats, for votes!

* Registries do NOT protect anyone or prevent crimes!

* Registries are punishing sex offenders as well as their families and children, and opening them up to vigilantism. DON'T THE FAMILIES AND CHILDREN OF SEX OFFENDERS COUNT? They are suppose to be "for the children", right?

* Registries are NOT being updated in a timely fashion, so the public is getting false information! How is this helping the public or protecting them when they cannot rely on them?

* Registries are putting families and children of sex offenders in a public position to be socially outcast and discriminated against with regard to employment, housing, schooling, etc!

* About 90% of the people on the registry are NOT sexual predators or pedophiles that these laws were for in the first place!

* These laws cost millions, if not billions to enforce, and they cause prison over-population, which is already a problem, especially in California! AND TAX PAYERS PAY FOR ALL THIS!

* GPS does not prevent sexual crimes! Another false sense of security which cost tons of money! Plus they are suppose to pay for this, which will eventually go homeless. MAKE THE TAX PAYERS WHO WANT THESE LAWS TO PAY FOR THEM!

* These laws cause sex offenders to go underground and into hiding, due to the strict nature of the laws! How is this protecting anyone?

* These laws are all abount money for law enforcement and votes for politicians. Prison is a business! Politicians are salaried and want elected/re-elected! Law enforcement get paid for people in jails, prisons or on the registry!

* These laws blatantly disregard the United States constitutional rights of all citizens! (i.e. ex-post facto, due process & others)

* These laws are cruel and unusual punishment! A sex offender cannot go to a fast food restaurant which has a playground! Why? We have just as must of a right as you to get a burger! Plus they cannot go anywhere kids congregate, which is endless (i.e. Amusement parks, Movie theaters, the list is endless)

* Sex offenders can go to church, but must leave immediately afterwards. If a sex offender owns a business and someone decides to put a church or school next door, they have to now sell their business and move. This is not right, move the church or school, the sex offender was there first!

* These laws continue to punish people even after a sentence has been served, and they are trying to get on with their lives! (i.e. ex-post facto)

* These laws are driven by fear-mongering, opportunistic politicians and will do nothing to actually protect children!

* There are over one million women and children whose lives are inter-twined with a sex offender in the United Stated. They should matter too!

* Follow the money trail, these laws are conveyor-belt laws to benefit law enforcement! They get paid for the number of people in jail, prison or on the registry!

* They are currently a one-size-fits all for sex offenders! Not all sex offenders are predators or pedophiles that these laws are suppose to be for anyway!

* They are modern day witch hunts and a scarlett letter!

* If Sex Offenders are re-offending, why does the registries grow each day? Because new people are being added daily for stuff like "public urination", "mooning", "concensual sex", "young children playing 'Doctor'" and various other minor offenses that we need not worry about. We need to worry about predators & pedophiles!

* Now they are trying to make it a law that a sex offender, if they have kids, cannot "take a picture" of anyone under 18. This is totally stupid! Can't even take Christmas pictures, birthday pictures, etc!

* Also, because a sex offender owns a business in town, many people are trying to get the business shut down! The sex offender had the business for awhile. If you don't like it, MOVE!!!!

* The Nazi' did this back when Hitler was in power, with the Jews, Turks, etc.

* The thing about pedophiles not being able to take pictures of kids is stupid. You'd better shred any pictures you have of your kids when they were babies, like diaper changing, baths, etc.

Posted by: ZMan | Feb 2, 2007 12:49:02 PM

If sex crimes stopped many politicians would not have a platform to stand on.
Each year hundreds of new laws are passed. This is only possible by making more and more activities illegal.
I am owner and CEO of SOSEN(Sex Offender Support and Education Network). As a child I was sexually abused. As an adult I see the insanity in the way such problems are dealt with. I am not an offender, have no loved one on the registry so I can say things others cannot. And I do.
How intelligent is this?
Death oenalty for 2nd time offenders who kill a child.
Death penalty for 2nd time offenders who do Not kill a child.
This is an invitation to murder the only witness who can identify them. This is for the kids?

First time offenders are gravy for prosecutors. Innocent people are scared into plea bargains. No plea is a bargain when a person is innocent.

Who is guilty? Sorry, but the sight of a naked body does not equate with criminal behavior in my mind.20 years in prison for brushing against a breast or pinching a butt is overkill for sure. If such things scar someone for life that problem had prior problems. We need to regain some sense and start recalling many of these sex offender labels.
Registration and forcing people from their homes because of any label is mass punishment. I thought we were fighting a war against that very thing. We have Americans who would gladly import mass executions and mass graves for sex offenders.
Our laws do not work for children in an abusive home. If you tell your loved one will be sent to prison for 20 to 25 years and marked for life. The remaining family is destroyed with childen often seperated and put in foster homes where they are abused by strangers. In a much shorter peiod of time the abused child will reach an age to leave the home without the mess and stigma. Society does not care about such children. Those who are not willing to come out according to the terms set forth, which is punishment to the fullest extent of the law, can stay where they are and rot.
But there is an interesting point here. If we made it easy for kids to speak out some very influential names would surface. I always wonder about those who scream the loudest.

Posted by: Shirley | Feb 2, 2007 7:03:24 PM

First, it is important to note, many so-called experts, such as Sid Johnson, president of the nonprofit Prevent Child Abuse America, report 500,000 cases of child sexual abuse each year. However, the U.S. government says there were 74,348 cases reported in 2004. Let’s add in the 117,645 cases that are classified as "Unknown” that totals 191,993 cases. That means we still are far short (308,007 cases) of a half a million children being sexually abused. Even if we factor in a 100% increase to the reported cases and still add in the unknown cases, we come up with 266,341 cases. Still far short of the 500,000 reported by the "experts". Second, all known empirical evidence, indicates, a child is in greater danger from a family member, relative, acquaintance, or someone trusted by the parents and victim. Statistics show that there is a greater chance of a child being killed or injured by a family friend, or drunk driver, than being sexually abused by the "boogie man" waiting in the bushes at schools and bus stops.

The original intent of sex offender registry and community notification laws were designed for law enforcement to track the most violent and predatory offenders. What is the difference between Jerry Burke Inman, John Evander Couey or Joseph Edward Duncan III and over 90 percent of the folks on a Sex Offender Registry? These three were intentionally absconding from the system at the time of their most recent crimes. The conditions of their release did not matter to them. They wanted to offend and should be incarcerated for the rest of their lives, end of story.

The public needs to be more concerned about absconders, predators, and high risk offenders, not the negligible risk, low risk offenders, or even medium risk offenders who are working hard to comply with their court and therapy guidelines. Out of the 500,000 plus on the National Sex Offender Registry, large majorities have paid their debt to society. They are on the Registry by law, meaning they are not breaking any laws. Under our current system, law enforcement spends precious resources tracking these low risk offenders, instead of absconders, high-risk, and predators. If the registries were working, why are we seeing an 8% increase each year in the number of registrants?

According to the Jacob Wetterling Foundation, most sex offenders live in an area due to its proximity to their family or therapy provider. Chasing them away from therapist and family support network is not in the best interest of public safety.

Why must those who are deemed a low risk of re-offending register (some for life) as a sex offender? They have paid their debt to society and have been living offense free for up to twenty years in some cases. Why are they the only class of citizens who are demonized by the media, politicians, and citizens based on the actions of a few? Does that make anyone feel safer?

What has not been publicly discussed is the impact of registration on those low risk registrants and specifically their families and children - many times (DOJ stats show 40%), the offender is under 18, and the victim is a younger friend or sibling. These victims are doubly victimized when their family, older sibling or friend is humiliated and ostracized.

We must have more faith in ourselves than in government to solve the problem. Citizens, communities, journalist, media personalities, and legislators should demand a National Sex Offender Public Policy Forum to address this issue. Then state and local governments can better formulate workable, cost effective laws that protect the rights of all citizens. Forums should include mental health professionals, jurist, law enforcement and corrections personnel, victims and their families, offenders and their families. The offender’s families are secondary casualties of ill-conceived laws.

In lieu of fostering a fearful witch-hunt mentality for election year sound bites, legislators should step up to this societal challenge. They, along with the media, should strive to dispel the myths and create the environment for policy and subsequent legislation to succeed, creating a safe society for all children. Educate yourself, protect your children, visit sosnet.bravehost.com.

Posted by: Kyle Sandusky | Feb 3, 2007 9:00:55 AM

Just look at the number of laws some sites, like California for example have? Do they really need this many laws??

http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/search/label/Bill

This is like medicine, eventually, when you take to much, they will start affecting each other, and defeating their purpose, which is what they are doing. Each year, they pass more and more laws, and do not even know the laws on the books. Just look at the # of laws here.

This is totally crazy, and MUST STOP!

Posted by: ZMan | Feb 8, 2007 7:19:50 PM

KILL ALL SEX OFFENDERS ON SIGHT, FUCK THE GOVTS. THEY ARE ALL PROBABLY THE SAME.
A BULLIT IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD IS CHEAPER THAN PRISON:

Posted by: Martin | Aug 8, 2008 11:17:51 PM

Hey Guys, wake the f**k up,

These Police officers whom u think are protecting u, are only protecting their salaries and superiors. Do u really believe they giva a shit ? then continue to close ur eyes. I say all criminal elements PROVEN guilty shall die by a shot to the head. costs the taxpayer about 0000000,0001 cent.

Posted by: Martin | Aug 8, 2008 11:24:21 PM

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