On December 1, 2015, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in Massachusetts held a hearing on a number of proposed sex offender bills. Every proposal is one that will increase the difficulty of registrants to live peacefully with their families in the community. None of the proposals give any indication of following facts, evidence, or research.
Paul Shannon, one of RSOL’s founders and a current co-chair, spoke to the committee and laid these issues before them. (Paul’s testimony 12-01-15) We wait to see if his appeal to logic, reason, and evidence will bear any fruit as they further debate and ultimately pass legislation.
Sandy Rozek, RSOL’s communications director, this week responded to a situation in a small town in Texas that is moving toward placing signs in the yards or on the homes of registrants, signs that identify them as registered sex offenders. After several articles about the ordinance being passed in the township of Gonzales, the publisher of the Gonzales Inquirer wrote an editorial whose headline proclaimed that signs weren’t the answer but whose text raised more questions than answers as to what the headline really meant.
Sandy’s rebuttal editorial was graciously printed, with the position of RSOL made clear: nothing about public notification, be it signs or the registry, benefits public safety or addresses the problem of child sexual abuse.
The appeal to evidence based legislation and ordinances must continue; it must strengthen; it must prevail.