By Lenore Skenazy . . .
This fantastic editorial says what we have been saying: Enough with the post-incarceration demonizing of all those convicted of sex crimes, as if merely being within 2500 feet of “one of them” means our kids are likely to be kidnapped and raped.
As they stand now, the laws regarding where a “sex offender” can live are as cruel as they are worthless. Banning folks who’ve served their time from living anywhere near a park or school assumes that they are driven to pounce on random victims. But we know that the vast majority of crimes against kids, including rape, are at the hands of someone the child knows. Not a stranger in the bushes.
We also know, I hope, that the vast majority of people on the sex offender registry do not pose a threat to kids. My favorite illustrative stat is from Georgia, where the Sex Offender Registry Review Board did a study and concluded of the 17,000 people on its registry, “just over 100” represented dangerous “predators.”
100 out of 17,000.
And yet 17,000 human beings are treated as scum.
8 Thoughts to “Residency restrictions–“cruel and worthless””
But it’s that 100 which the politicians will use as their crutch to feed nonsense into the narrow, ignorant minds of the voting/taxpaying public (which they’ve already been doing for years) and creating a “monster” (aka FEAR) that cannot be tamed at this point. It’s too far gone.
Take away the registry and the goodie-two-shoes, brainwashed public will be in an uproar.
That’s right, Phil! The public will feel that way until it happens to one of their family members. When it does, you will see the same people who want to crucify and label someone a sex offender for downloading a semi-nude photo of someone under the age of 18 from a nudist colony website change their position about the registry immediately.
The sex offender registry is absurd and unconstitutional.
At some point there will be enough of us on registries that we will become a large enough voting group to be taken into consideration. That is what happened with the homosexual community. There were enough homosexuals and friends and family to be taken into consideration when it was legislation time. Politicians began having these sudden clarity of thought moments when they realized that if homosexuals all voted together it could tip the scales. We are currently 850,000 on the registry with extended families and friends we are over 3,000,000. Rather than fighting the growth and expansion of the registry we should be helping them expand it (silliness).
I believe the vast majority of us are no touch, non-threatening and of zero percent chance of re-offending. To continue this moronic nonsense is so stupid as to be embarrassing. No other country in the world has a publicly accessible registry. The loss of my rights and my privacy is completely offensive! Every time I read where one of these psychopaths performs some horrifying offense I just cringe. Beyond any victim, the other 99% of us will pay a price for it in the media. I get so tired of being grouped in with the small number of psychopaths that actually physically hurt or touch someone. The general public just eats it up. Hey news flash!!!! If there were 850,000 actual dangerous predators out here, nobody would be safe! The registry is complete CRAP!
So, I totally agree with the 3 comments following this article. Reading these, very much helps individuals who are advocating their state elected officials to make changes in these type of laws. While only a concerned citizen, who knows many caught up in these horrible laws, oftentimes I refer to such replies as yours to visit & testify before legislators. Interesting most of them tell us, in private, they do not agree with these laws, etc. etc., but, of course, they know what is going to happen to them if they push for reversal of these laws. So, for our group, we take baby steps regarding various social issues, work to bring folks on board (and we have done so), try to make our legislators impervious to some of their crazy constituents, etc. We have made some good progress, especially with the civil commitment treatment program in our State and are seeing changes…..but, will be insisting on additional, hopefully significant changes soon. Just good to read your comments and pick up some verbiage, etc. from folks who reply. Thank you
My original offense occurred nearly 25 years ago, I did not rape or molest anyone, I was a 19 year old who made an error in judgement with a girl who was much younger than she said she was. I spent no time in jail or prison and (regretfully now) I took a plea bargain for 5 years probation. I went on to live a semi normal life, ive had good jobs, had children, functioned in society, have not and never will “re- offend”. The past five years have been hell, I lost a good job in 2010, during that time I have been homeless and without real work, in 2012 I was charged with “failure to register” in CA. I took a plea bargain for 3 years probation and six months in jail. When I got out I was assigned to a PO who told me “if I have my way youll be going back to prison” I told him I had never been to prison, to summarize he finally did get his way and within 24 months I was rolling through the gates of San Quentin to serve half of a 32 month sentence. Now Ive been out for a little more than two weeks and I sit here wearing an ankle bracelet, the EM program is nothing more than a cash cow, I must pay $6.50 a day for this clunky “tracking collar” that is the size of a cellphone from the 90s. Luckily I have friends who have put me up on their farm where I can live and work for room and board. I am feeling very…. trapped, oppressed many terms come to mind and it is so tempting to just cut the thing off and run but that would mean another prison term and I need to be here for my children. I read your post and really just wanted to reach out to someone who understands how this situation feels, it is a terrible burden that I wake up with every morning and go to sleep with every night, its not me, there are those out there who need to be kept track of yes but I am not one of them. Please email me:
I want to thank you for sharing what you have been through. My son (who’s middle name is “Johnathon,” 🙂 could have written most of the same things..(including the part about the P/O) 🙁
I sent it along to him. Maybe you two could email.
Anyway… I am very thankful that MANY are working to change things. Maybe if more (like you) speak out…that will help as well……….
Michelle (WA state)
It’s crazy law over law over law which do you follow , what people don’t get is it can happen to anyone any time all its is call to the police , I’ve servered my time in jail , prison , probation I’ve been assured in prison many times had a shank to my throat I know my rules I can tell the officers my rules word for word when I register . the issue is the public isn’t told a thing about the rules the changes all they are told is that the bogey man is living on your street lock your kids away . my question to all parents is how were they keeping there kids safe before that bogey man moved in down the street ? My other question to parents is this what type of parent are you when you allow your child to talk to men online ? To post or text half naked pics to there friends or adults ? It’s time for parents to start being g patents not their child’s best friend sorry for the rant my friend started a petition to get John Walsh charged with a sex offense for admiting to sleeping with a under age minor when he was in his 20’s I call for all on the registry to stand up start sueing for our rights back for the rules to change to question if those laws violate the bill of rights
I don’t know if anyone will give serious consideration what I am about to espouse but it has to do with “PERCEPTION”. Yes, the perception a person gets from someone else designated a SEX OFFEND(ER). Look at the suffix ER and recall your basic 7 grade English parts of speech. According to the Webster dictionary, the suffix ER is present future tense and when attached to the verb “offend’ which means to commit an illegal act, means that this is what this person is and what he/she does on a CONTINUING basis. For example, police offic(er) or fire fight(er) meaning that this is what these people are and what they do on a CONTINUING basis. So if you designate a person a sex offend(ER), you are signaling to the public that this is what this person is and what he/she does on a CONTINUING basis. So naturally the public would want protection from this person—Understand? Those responsible for sex offender laws are not saying to the public that this person committ(ED) a sex offense, the suffix ED meaning PAST TENSE, but that these people so designated are crazed predators out to get your children. They’re not going to say to the public that most of these people committ(ed) their crimes in a lot of cases 20-25 years in the past and have led honest lives since being released from prison. To the uninitiated voyeurizing the sex offend(er) registry, he/she would think that those on the registry are currently committ(ing) sex crimes and so naturally they are afraid for their family’s safety. Therefore, change the ER to ED then prompt the honesty and decency in life these people have led since release from prison then maybe, just maybe the PERCETION of the public will change.