ONCE AGAIN: Media, please use facts when writing about registered sexual offenders

By Sandy . . . On August 25, National Public Radio – NPR — aired and printed this lengthy story about persons who are registered but are non-compliant. It immediately aroused the ire of advocates across the country due to the way these persons are described and presented. I wrote and sent the following to the journalist who wrote the piece and to the NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

My name is Sandy Rozek, and I am communications director with the National Assc. for Rational Sexual Offense Laws – NARSOL.

I have read “Sex Offender Registries Often Fail Those They Are Designed To Protect” and would like to ask you to consider an alternate point of view.

Your emphasis is that registries fail to protect potential victims because so many who have past convictions for a sexual crime are not registered where they are supposed to be or cannot be located by law enforcement and have “absconded.” I put that term, which you use often, in quotes because you are using it in a way not associated with its most common meaning, which is connected with criminal activity. The sex offender registry is a civil regulatory scheme not unlike the requirement to register one’s vehicle.

But, unlike vehicle registrations, the consequence of failing to abide by the requirement to register as a sex offender poses serious criminal liability for the individual—sometimes even more severe than the original crime for which he was convicted. And while the term “abscond” aptly describes what happens when a person flees custody, the requirement to register as a sex offender has never been construed as a form of arrest or punishment. So, how is it possible for a person to “abscond” from a civil regulation? Please think about that.

You say, “Some sex offenders commit additional sex crimes after failing to tell police their whereabouts.” Yes, they do. The average re-offense rate for those with a sexual crime conviction who are living in the community is 5%. The findings of individual state studies range from below 1% to 12% with the vast majority being between 2 and 5%. Additionally, reference to this study would have provided a more balanced approach to your reporting. Its findings are that those who are in violation of required registry compliance, including “absconding,” do not commit additional sexual crimes at any significantly increased rate over those who are in compliance.

You quote both Kelly Socia and Alissa Ackerman, academics, researchers, and experts in sexual offense issues, in explaining negative aspects of the registry, but you use their remarks out of context in such a way that they support your thesis that the public at large is at significant risk of random assaults from non-compliant registrants.

The findings of both Socia and Ackerman are, contrarily, that the registry doesn’t work and is an instrument of unnecessary public shaming because the vast majority of sexual crime is committed by those with no prior sexual crime conviction and therefore are not on the radar created by the registry. Both Socia’s and Ackerman’s research found the registry and its requirements to be of little to no value in enhancing public safety. As Ackerman phrased it, sex offense registries and their related policies “. . . do nothing to support prevention, are not a deterrent, and do nothing for people who have survived sexual violence.”

We at NARSOL appreciate your writing about sexual offense issues. One of our goals is to increase media involvement in educating the public about the facts of sexual offending. It is in this spirit that we ask you to do some research and determine the facts – and include them – in what you may write in the future.

Thank you,

Sandy Rozek, NARSOL communications

www.narsol.org

 

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Sandy Rozek

Sandy 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.

  • This topic has 14 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 1 month ago by AvatarOff the Grid.
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    • #75697 Reply
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      Totally against public registry

      Thanks again, Sandy! It’s amazing how they twist things to suit their agenda….

    • #75698 Reply
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      Maestro

      If it sells stories when they exaggerate, then it means they don’t care and they’re only after the fear mongering that sells their stories to the frightened “home of the brave”.

      Or …maybe multiple letters like this will trigger a positive outcome.

    • #75703 Reply
      Avatar
      Tim in WI

      Sandy,
      All I can relate on the issue Is what occurs during my FTR cases.
      I ask questions to agent witnesses whom must answer in the presence of a jury.
      Agent X, isn’t it true that before you can properly jail a man for prison escape; the state must first prove the defendant was ordered prison by the judge the first place?
      Similarly,
      before a man can be convicted of absconding from DOC probation responsibilities is not the state first required to have an order for probation in the record in the first place?

      Ex post SOR enforcement should require an order first! If not, all you have is “law” without “order” as opposed to LAW AND ORDER.
      Many states avoided these obvious glaring questions by opting to use either the AG or States Police to administer their SOR.

      Like every child born today in the U.S. is saddled with an 80K debt (according to debtclock.org) as soon as a SS# is assigned. Resistance is futile to unavoidable debt.

    • #75712 Reply
      Avatar
      Gregory Welker

      I agree with this letter. Yet why has nothing been done about the gangstalking such as that which is happening now in Red Bluff ca. When you have law enforcement aiding in the ceiminal activities of those in the community including the gang bangers, drug trafficers and sex trafficers to target individuals. Started with me by a lie of a person I had a fling with and I did not wany to be one of her boy toys. Now have oeople following me around bring their children where I go and parading them around. Have local registrants actually help them in this harrassment. Since phone and other accou ts are hacked which I can now prove. Why are they allowed to track me. Since local Law enforcement obviously aid in this because the person who started this has family cinnectiins yo the government stalking program here. Have a out reach program who aids in the abuse was given out dated applications to places to apply to live. Then I was sexually harrassed at a restaurant I worked for who have connections to the pot industry. Then I was forced to resign because a few of the girls turned the abuse I suffered around. I must add that the restaurant looked more a front for sex trafficing. Seems that the lady who could not stand I did not want to be a boy toy uses many oarolees and registrants to satisfy her sex addiction. Then plays the manipulation card to have here people target them to keep her activities quiet. I even had people thinking I was on drugs a gang member and worse. Apparently her ex has a lit of money and connections with law. Still have a lot of oroblems with spoofing being done to my phone and also the computers in job training center library. They have actirs on the steeet who stalk you. Gang stalking straight up. O

    • #75718 Reply
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      Parish.001

      Sometime in the 1960s Dr Martin Luther King preached about a time when his 6 year old daughter asked him why she couldn’t go to the local amusement park called fun town. He tells about how he explained to his daughter about why she couldn’t go to fun town. If you listen you can hear the pain in his voice. He did all he could to explain to her the issues at hand. When he was done he reminded her that all white people weren’t bad and he did all he could to keep her from having the hate in her heart. He knew that the hate would eat her alive. He seen how important it was for her to not harbor that hate. We would do good to remember that very lesson. He was simply a father who tried to help his daughter though a time of confusion. Thats all any registrant is trying to do who just wants to live there life and be treated as an equal. Were not all that different from Dr. MLK. Its sad that its 50 year’s later and we still have wide spread discrimination. Its just being packaged diffent now and has a different label. But it’s the same hate we fight today. If you feel like this is a new fight. Go back and take a look at the civil rights movement. You will see. Were fighting a very old fight but its that same old hate and fear. Dr. King fought hard and peacefuly and it came at a very high price. I beleive we will too one day be able to go to fun town or any other town as free men and women.
      Don’t give up folks. Stay strong.

    • #75769 Reply
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      Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com

      FWIW, I sent her a rebuttal and her only interest in me was in whether or not I was properly registered. I would be surprised if anyone got a decent response out of her.

    • #75793 Reply
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      CJB

      What is this Hack Reporter’s Email Address…is not found…only an old washington post email

      thank u in advance

    • #75856 Reply
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      Lori, OK VOICES

      Thanks for your writing Sandy. I had previously sent you the information the Oklahoma Attorney General wrote in a recent press release and did send a reply to it along with this. It is beyond time for the facts to be properly represented.

    • #75877 Reply
      Sandy Rozek
      Sandy Rozek
      Admin

      @CJB: I tried to link her address in the introduction, but the site is quirky about taking email addresses. It is
      thompsonc@gwu.edu

    • #75892 Reply
      Avatar
      CJB

      Ms. Sandy

      Again…thank YOU for what you DO! It is beyond one’s wishes and dreams!

      You take the time to do what you do without having to look in the rear view mirror!

      As my 97 year old Grandmother HAD said, “She should be awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom!…

      She has since passed but She reminds me of you, with your Tenacity, Strength, Vigor, and God’s WILL!

      Thank you again for what YOU DO!

    • #75893 Reply
      Avatar
      CJB

      This is what I sent to this ‘quasi-reporter’
      ________________________________________________________________________________
      Good Day

      Your recent article in NPR and broadcasted on their program, ‘All Things Considered’ did not abide by the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.

      YOU FAILED IN EVERY MEASURE!

      YOU DID NOT REPORT RESPONSIBLE INFORMATION

      YOU USED WORDS OUT OF CONTEXT

      YOU DID NOT USE FACTS AS RELATED BY THE US DOJ, WHICH ARE READILY AVAILABLE

      ONCE AGAIN, YOU AND MANY OTHER JOURNALISTS ARE NOT COMPLYING WITH THE STANDARD OF CARE EVERY JOURNALIST IS TO ABIDE

      In the future, it would behoove yourself to do fact checking and to make sure that you know the definition of words in the English language and their proper usage and application.

      What you reported is complete OUTRAGE and FALSEHOODS to those who are forced to register. It is BLASPHEMY and LIBELOUS. It is reckless behavior that WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!

      You show a blatant disregard for the the Facts and the Truths!

      While WE all welcome reporting on the aforementioned Subject and We all welcome Professional Journalists to bring forward topics concerning, It is always best to do so using only the Proper Etiquette and Professional Reporting!

      As a Kindly Reminder Recidivism Rates for DRUNK DRIVERS ( I am sure you know someone who was convicted of such, are 68%), while a person who is forced to Register is LESS THAN 5%!

      So the Facts speak for themselves.

      You have only done one thing: That is to create ‘Stranger Danger’ based on Falsities which lead the mostly uneducated public into HYSTERIA!

      May your Deity help you and Bless You in your future!

    • #76183 Reply
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      Evelia Sowash

      Thank you for posting. Reading your message lifted me today.

    • #76387 Reply
      Avatar
      TS

      NPR Investigations did another story on the registry today Sep 8 which can be listened to online at the NPR website.

    • #76788 Reply
      Avatar
      Off the Grid

      Where does the average reader or listener go when they hear the ‘rates of recidivism are super low’ mantra for sex crimes when compared to other criminal offenses?

      They can easily think -> “Ha, ha… Yes, the registries are working. The registries are why the recidivism is so low. This is exactly what we all want – no recidivism, for any crime, but especially for sex crimes… Victory for the home team…. Now, we just need registries for all crimes and recidivism rates for all crimes will be closer to the sex offender rates…” This is where the typical thought pattern concludes, then they are off to regular life again, do this, do that, be busy, no time to think, gotta run….

      This is what most ‘think,’ (if you can call that thinking). This seems like honest logic. And it is, if one stays childlike on the surface of the issue and doesn’t dig deeper into what exactly constitutes recidivism. That would require time, brain power, and real thinking and looking at honest data. Real live research. Too much lifting for the regular ole reporter like NPR flavors, and for most all mass media outlets.

      The reporters of today are championship cheerleaders for the home team … Everybody group-think. 1..2..3..4.. Groupthink 1..2..3..4 Groupthink….
      They will never ask the listeners or readers to dig or think deeper. They would soon be staring a severance paycheck in the face. They know this. Big media is pro-registry because fear-mongering sells. It isn’t about being honest anymore, it is about selling.

      What sells? Sex, Fear, Hatred, Holier-Than-Thou are you Mr. average joe schmo listener, Murder, Panic, Drama, Cops bustin that looser over there for anything I don’t like….or for even made up stuff.
      But wait, what about when the laws change and make what joe schmo and myself the reporter do a crime? Who is gonna help us then? Crime is big money, for all people involved. Except for registrants. They pay, in more ways than one.

      How long before the reporter can be and is charged with a crime demanding punishment? What has happened is an offense and a disservice to many many souls. All at once. A practice of anti-journalism fear-mongering. Being that we do live in an inverse reality matrix, I am little surprised.
      How much control does the named author of the piece really have over the end product? Aren’t there editors behind the scenes we never know the names of? With superior power over the published product than the so-called ‘journalist’ or ‘reporter?’

      Just musing…Sorry to write so much for just a comment… Looks like I shoved 5 or 6 comments into one paragraph.

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