Truth in sex offender headlines? Really?

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Reprinted with permission from http://with-justiceforall.blogspot.com/

By Shelly Stow

According to this article posted March 22, 46 registered sex offenders in Florida cannot be located by law enforcement. The headline, “21 sex offenders unaccounted for in Palm Beach County,” is designed as click-bait with the point being that almost half of the “absconded” registrants in the state are in one county.

I propose a new headline, one that would possibly not attract the same readership but one that would be more accurate and factual.

According to the Sexual Predator Unit for the state of Florida, as of  3/23/2017, Florida had 69,842 persons registered on its sex offender registry.

The headline I propose is, “In Florida, 69,796 registered sex offenders are exactly where they are supposed to be and doing what they are supposed to be doing.”

Of course, with Florida’s harsh “scorched earth” policy resulting in residency restrictions that leave thousands of the state’s registrants living under bridges, in the woods, and in parking lots, where they are “supposed to be” and what they are “supposed to be doing” is living in conditions to which we do not subject our pets.

But I digress.

Think how much better it would be if our headlines reflected the positive rather than the negative, or even just included the full facts. Rather than “Deschutes County issues alert for missing sex offender,” how about, “Deschutes County issues alert for missing sex offender and thanks the other 239 for being in compliance.” Instead of “Two registered sex offenders in nursing homes committed new assaults,” we read, “9,000 [estimated] registered sex offenders in nursing homes are model patients.”

Will that ever happen? Nah.

But it’s nice to dream, isn’t it?

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