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Does anyone really understand recidivism?

By Sandy…. The recent post about incorrect information put forth as fact on “The View” has prompted some lively discussion about the term “recidivism” and the difficulty — and even sometimes the wisdom — of engaging in accurate discussions about it. This has prompted me to recall a blog post I wrote several years ago on this subject, and I…

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The ladies of “The View” need glasses

By Robin and Sandy . . . On “The View,” September 25, program regular Sunny Hostin said, in response to the announcement that Anthony Weiner had been sentenced to 21 months for sexting with a minor, that she felt the sentence was inappropriate and had she been prosecutor, she would have asked for a longer term. She justified this by saying…

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The sex-offender panic is absolutely destroying lives

By Radley Balko . . . The video below tells the story of Shawna, an Oklahoma woman who is still in mandatory treatment because 15 years ago, when she was 19, she had sex with a boy who was 14. Over at the Marshall Project, David Feige has more about the unlikely people swept up in the sex-offender panic for offenses…

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Do public parks belong to all the public? Not in Oklahoma

By Sandy . . . “What is the point in doing everything right for years when it counts for nothing? Where is the incentive? What I did was wrong, but that was 15 years ago. I’m not the same person I was when I was 19….My oldest is 9, and I’ve had to explain it to her – why we can’t…

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In the midst of Irma, one group of citizens gets no shelter

Steve Yoder, a reporter who writes frequently on sex offender issues, sends us this piece: A potentially catastrophic storm is headed straight at Florida’s mid-section, which includes Polk County south of Orlando. So on Wednesday, county sheriff Grady Judd tweeted a warning — but not about evacuating or finding higher ground. “If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn…

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Illinois columnist butchers Gospel, panders to baseless fear

By Sandy . . . The editorial “We all must provide protection from sex offenders” (Daily Journal, 8/26/17) contains many of the elements commonly found in much media coverage on sexual offense issues. It opens with the expected fear-mongering: “The mere mention of a child sex offender can conjure up uncontrollable emotions. The reality of a child sex offender frequenting your…

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Dead and buried — at least for now

By Sandy . . . This article, found in the Washington Post August 13, tells of the exhumation of the bodies of two U.S. military veterans because they had committed murder after their military service. The article then speaks of the laws that allow this to happen and makes clear that not only those who have killed but also those who…

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Sincerely, X – Podcast Recommendation

By Andy…. I recently listened to a podcast called “Ex-Con.” It is part of a new series titled Sincerely, X. This episode hits very close to home for a great many of us. The subject of the episode was convicted of securities fraud and sent to federal prison for 7 years. In the episode, the ex-con discusses how he feels…

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Pittsburgh’s largest daily asks Supreme Court to review Muniz case

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial Board . . . The state Supreme Court has thrown into question the registration of as many as 4,500 sex offenders statewide. The case giving rise to the ruling originated in Cumberland County, and officials there have 90 days to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. They should file the appeal to gain clarity on two important…

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Sticks, stones break bones, but names destroy

By Steve Yoder . . . In May, the AP Stylebook changed its guidelines for how reporters should refer to people with substance abuse problems. “Avoid words like alcoholic, addict, user and abuser unless they are in quotations or names of organizations,” says the 2017 version. For those with addictions, that change won’t just shift how they’re portrayed but how they’re…

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