Reply To: “A sex offender wants to talk to you”; reporter’s journey leads her to Nebraskans Unafraid

Craig Bennett Hallenstein

Great article, Julie. Here’s a statistic from last year’s NARSOL conference. Of the 800,000 registered sex offenders in the U.S., 200,000 are CHILDREN between the ages of 10 and 18–the very group the registry was put in place to protect! Appalling, right? No studies since California instituted the first registry in the 1940s have ever shown that registries keep kids safe. On the other hand, kids ARE at risk of landing on sex offender registries for doing the things kids have always done. I was listening to the radio a decade ago when I suddenly heard a talk show host blather, “We oughta round ’em all up and burn ’em in ovens.” After regaining my composure and figuring out he was talking about sex offenders, I thought there might be a story in that. Eight years of research and writing later, I published THE DOLPHIN, a psychological thriller with a registrant as the protagonist. In review after review on Amazon, people write, “I had no idea.” The registry debacle remains one of our nation’s best kept secrets. Thanks, Julie, for shedding a bit more light.