The past decade has seen amazing changes in the dialogue that is developing around the issue of sexual offenses. Ten years ago, the facts surrounding risk, re-offense rates, and the effectiveness of treatment were written about only by researchers doing the studies. Mainstream media was focused on the hype, the myths, and the rare horror stories and totally ignored the scientific data. While this is still largely true today, the past five years have seen an increase in more positive dialogue about these issues.
The proposed release of someone designated as a sexually violent predator from the Coalinga Hospital in California is the sort of incident that previously would have elicited only the negatives about such a move.
The upcoming release of Dariel Shazier to the community of Lincoln, California, has certainly brought about community resistance, but the editor of the Lincoln News Messenger has used the opportunity to present two rational and fact-based pieces about the situation. She has interviewed other former sexual offenders who are and have been living offense free in society. She has done her homework and discusses the benefits of therapy and the facts about recidivism, re-offense, and risk dispassionately. She specifies in detail the extent of supervision that Dariel will be under upon his release and going forward.
These articles do not downplay the feelings of community members; they rather ask them to consider alternative stances and inform them of the positive role that community members can play as support and positive reinforcement to a newly released individual.
Another very positive bit of reporting comes from Fox6 Now in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In both the video and the written article, the journalist discusses the very negative effects of the rigid residency restrictions in much of Wisconsin and especially in Milwaukee, restrictions that assure that any registrant moving into the city or moving from the home where he is grand-fathered will be homeless.
Again, this journalist has done his homework. He cites accurate data and studies and interviews an expert in the subject matter to present the case well known to advocates: residency and proximity restrictions create a negative rather than a positive environment for the community and do nothing to increase public safety or protect children.
We have a long way to go, but we need to focus on how far we have come. Open and frank discussion and dialogue relying on empirical evidence and data is our goal, for only in replacing myth with fact will our mission be accomplished.
4 Thoughts to “Improvement in media’s message portends favorably for future”
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Most of us will likely avoid ever having our names listed on the National Sex Offender Registry, but virtually none of us is without sin in this area. Whether in word, deed or in X-rated imagination, we have compiled our own record of secret (or not so secret) wrongdoing we’d rather not have exposed.
Now while one can not predict the future do a lot of these warning signs flash up to those caught up in all this sex dilemma. At the time of the simple basic internet sting offense or any other sexual situation they think one is a human beast.
Well believe it or not we are all carnal by nature and creatures of habit if you want to zoom that on the radar screen.
A lot of this sex treatment makes one more susceptible to sexual addiction than a natural cause. Think about it. I don’t know if they still teach sex education in schools or give out condom’s anymore but that tells you right there about the government.
For all its worth a lot of these offense are oppressive to say the least. Not only for the victim but the one doing the enticing or seducing in these adventures of a sexual nature.
Governments are not suppose to oppress people but to serve the oppressed. So who says a wolf can’t be tame or a sex offender can’t be a regular citizen and live in a community with some status or should we warn on TV like drunk drivers, I think warning sex offenders are out of the question as the sex offender is the lowest of the bunch according to the Government at this point.
“Sex Offender” is just a label. You are not a label. Human being is not a label.
One day a person is a normal citizen of a society and the next day, he is a sex offender, a scum.
One day he has a regular job, a family, a contributing member of a society, and the next day, he is a pariah, unfit for a career job, unfit to be in a family, unfit to be a husband, a father, a brother, a grandfather, someone to be avoided at all cost.
One day he has a regular name, and the next day he is a monster, Satan himself.
The lack of any interest in fighting these laws is disgusting. There are nearly 1 million registrants in the US. And apparently there’s only a group of 40 or so who see it as an injustice. This site should have hundreds of replies to of the news articles mentioned. But it doesn’t. Apathy is what got us where we are today, and it’s why these laws will never be overturned. I guess as long as people have the system off their back they feel lucky to just be able to breathe. I am sickened.
Hey HnH – I was responding to today’s post when I saw this comment. There are HUNDREDS of us who see these laws as an injustice. Don’t judge the size by the number of commenters on these posts. There are some state affiliates with hundreds of members, others that are smaller of course… and some states still with only a handful or none that NARSOL knows of. But certainly WAY more than 40. We’d love to have more, too!