Robert Dobbertin, FCC Forest City
Our entire judicial system is truly in ruins. We are so far behind the rest of the ‘civilized’ world when it comes to crime and punishment, it is hard to truly comprehend. Currently, there is a fight going on to reduce sentences of drug offenders who, statistics show, have the highest recidivism rate of all crimes. Yet those in prison for fraud and those of us with hands-off sex offenses are ignored. I particularly want to address the sex offenders because I am one and feel it is time for society to know the truth instead of being frightened into ignorance by media and government.
I will never argue with anyone that what I did was wrong. Yet, I do not believe a 10-year mandatory sentence is the answer. If anything, I truly fear how I will be able to survive when I leave prison as the world will be different and the stigma associated with being an internet sex offender is off the charts. From the time a search warrant was issued until my arrest was over 3 1/2 years. During that time I was freely carrying on with my life. I had a job, a car, friends, got to see my daughter, and was a productive citizen. Beyond that, I was also in therapy and going to group to help me deal with my addiction to sex. (Yes, sex addiction is a VERY real issue!) I had cancelled the internet in my home and could only access it from public places such as the library. In doing so, I was able to break my cycle of pornography and internet chatting. I am but one example worldwide of sex offenders who can successfully be treated and allowed to continue in life.
Even though I received a 10-year mandatory prison sentence, ALL sex offenders are basically sentenced to life due to having to register. When your name appears on this registry, everyone automatically thinks you raped someone and this is not true. Most people on the registry are there for hands-off crimes, mostly for pictures. Being on the list opens you up to harassment, deprives a citizen of his/her freedom to move around and conduct life as needed. Sex registrants must be constantly vigilant for someone to attack them and some have even been murdered. This needs to end. The unfortunate thing is, someone guilty of murder serves, on average, less time and no one ever needs to know the extent of their criminal history when it comes to finding a home or job. Even so, non-sex offenders seems to experience less bias in job searches simply because of the stigma of the crime due to misinformation.
I ask the people of our communities, states, and nation to stop letting the government and media blind you to the truth. The amount of research available on the internet to show that sex offenders as a whole RARELY reoffend is prolific. This is especially true of hands-off sex offenders. Further, it is well documented that the “snatch and grab” sex crime is a rarity indeed. Most hands-on sex offenses are committed by family members and friends, not by strangers. The perceived danger is unwarrented. Most hands-off sex offenders would be no more dangerous at your local parks, playgrounds, pools, and other public places than then chance your child may fall and skin their knee. It is truly a shame that, in America, the ‘greatest nation’, people live in such fear that they always need to find someone to blame for their own shortcomings and seemingly need to hate someone.
I thank you for your time in reading this and would be more than willing to talk and share with anyone who wants to know more.