Excellent article Sandy Rozek!
An issue I that has become apparent is how citizens have essentially outsourced disciplines to law enforcement authorities. A reason for this is because seeking advice regardless if it is professional, legal, medical, or even religious are now mandated that police must be notified “if” a potential crime or something deemed as a crime occurred. Police departments have an internal press release provided to news outlets providing what they wish to convey about an individual. Legal, medical, religious, and professionals may have the right to release a press statement but are guided by organizational protections that prohibit personal information from being released. Therefore, law enforcement authorities are somewhat guiding the press until there are reasons to call into question that overall authenticity of the claim. But a severe issue of the right to remain silent is used a weapon by both media and police to present an assumption of guilt. This leaves many citizens believing that what the press AND police are saying is fact and somewhat creates a parallel of fake news but in a realistic sense.
In all honesty, society today is nothing more than the ‘social media lynch mob’ or suffer from “fickle crowd syndrome.” Let’s not lose focus that police are the only agent of destruction when it comes to the sex offender registry. The press, while intended to be impartial, do have a business plan to sell the news. That includes creating a viral-based headline to raise concern and alert. I don’t see reporters or large newsagents clamoring to cover those affected by the registry? But perhaps now is the time for registry advocates to push back and release our own press releases. Afterall, this is an advocacy group that does provide a platform to share stories and experiences. I envision NARSOL to become a more significant part of the registry discussion on-camera, in-print and stopping the machine of police, media, social tactics attempting to minimize our voices.