After weeks of dealing with Patch Publications about the maps they publish close to Halloween purporting to be “safety maps” but actually focusing totally on persons required to register on sexual offense registries, new maps appear almost daily.
At last count, the maps appeared in 17 states, which, to give them credit, is less than in previous years. Nine of the states specifically connect the mapping and listing of names to Halloween, and a few of the ones who refrain from making that connection also do not present names and lists but refer readers to the state database. However, almost all of them do make the names and addresses available. Some go so far as to present a picture, name, address, and details about the offense for each offender in their town or district.
Almost all of them also present some facts, and many quote the ATSA statement from our previous press release and give links to either our 2019 or our first 2020 press release.
They are making improvements, BUT they have a long way to go. Their little maps with dots that, when clicked on, reveal varying degrees of information about a specific registrant, are UNACCEPTABLE. Their presenting them as “safety maps,” with or without a Halloween connection, is UNACCEPTABLE. Their taking it upon themselves to do public notification of registrants when that task is already in the hands of each state’s legislature and law enforcement entities is UNACCEPTABLE.
10/27 NARSOL issued this second press release: https://narsol.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Halloween-2020-2.pdf
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.