By Sandy . . . As a writer, I have been aware my entire life of the impact that words have on readers and listeners. NARSOL is blessed to have among its volunteers a number of people who are adept at putting words together and advocating for our cause most eloquently.
One such is Mike Wilson, who serves NARSOL as a correspondent.
Mike’s special project is identifying cities and jurisdictions that are considering implementation of practices that are destructive to the well-being of its registered citizens. He then writes letters to city officials, to journalists, to editors, and to whomever is appropriate.
He has tackled the issues of registrants being castigated for voting in schools in New York and human trafficking legislation in California that will do only harm and provide safety for no one, but the topic about which he is the most passionate is that of residency restrictions.
While we have evidence to believe that his communications have had some positive influence on those who have read them, we have had no direct response from any of the recipients until now.
Cañon City, Colorado is in the midst of a decision about implementing residency restrictions. After reading this article, Mike sprang into action. Mike writes and sends to me what he has written along with the names and email addresses of the intended recipients. I send his letters as official communications from NARSOL along with the request that NARSOL be contacted with questions or comments.
A member of this city council wrote back thanking us for the communication and sharing with us that they intended to do further research. She then asked three questions:
- What is the science behind individuals choosing to commit sex crimes against children?
- What evidence-based programs are there that do indeed reduce repeat offenses?
- What evidence-based programs/systems/culture change can be done to help prevent sexual assaults on children in the first place?
I replied answering the third question thoroughly and promising to get back to her after I had done adequate research on the first two. I sent her reply to Mike, and he immediately began researching and compiling documentation for all three questions. Today I sent her his answers, and she promptly replied, “Thank you, Sandy and Mike, for taking the time to answer my questions so well. I will pass this information on to the rest of the City Council to review as well.”
We are extremely grateful to officials who are willing to ask the questions and look at the research. We will be closely watching as this issue plays out in Cañon City.
Mike W is a NARSOL volunteer correspondent who publishes articles and writes letters to those who have circulated inaccurate information or are in need of factual information about sexual offense issues.
Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.