What will it take for media to show integrity in reporting about sexual crime?

By Sandy . . . We are used to law enforcement, district attorneys, legislators, and even judges making statements that amount to lies. In an opinion he wrote, a Colorado justice said, “Study after study has shown that sex offenders have one of the highest likelihoods of reoffending once they are released from custody.” There is no “study after study”…

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A plea to Justice Armstead: Please use correct, scientific information

By Sandy and Michael S . . . Nobody today references the daily price of whale oil. Why? Because given the presence of modern-day petroleum, whale oil is not relevant to everyday life. So why do some judges continue to refer to outdated and debunked information that distorts the realities of everyday life for those on a public registry? From…

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Laws driven by misinformation or by facts — which should we strive for?

By Dwayne . . . You may know someone or have heard through news sources of individuals ordered by courts to attend sexual offender treatment. It is relatively common for courts to mandate forms of “therapy” such as polygraphs, group sessions, and elaborate treatment programs claiming efficacy. While the science community is skeptical of the effectiveness of such schemes, there…

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CT attorney agrees with NARSOL, condemns Patch’s “annual, indefensible, fear-mongering practice”

By Timothy Moynahan . . . Patch, a local electronic news outlet, has continued its annual, indefensible, fear-mongering practice of publishing the names and addresses of people in the communities they cover who are on the sexual offender registry. Ostensibly pushed as a public safety courtesy in preparation for Halloween, after being called on the inadequacies in their promotion by the National…

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Fact-checking registered sex offender information

By Sandy . . . WFMJ21 has reported on how the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Department has conducted a random, county-wide check on its residents who are on Ohio’s sex offense registry. Perhaps inspired by the current political climate, I would like to respond to this piece in the way of fact-checking. “Hundreds of sex offenders live among us across the valley.”…

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The insidious policy of blanket exclusions for registered sex offenders

Abstract reprinted with permission by author By Catherine L. Carpenter . . . Saying something is true does not make it so. And saying it louder does not make it truer. But such is the legislative posture behind modern day sex offense registration laws that punish those who commit sex crimes because of entrenched myths that overstate the laws’ positive…

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Education of the media — and the public — about sexual offense facts is essential

By Lisa Anne Zilney . . . It is often said that the media doesn’t tell us what to think; the media tells us what to think about. The media frames our understanding of public issues and informs us which public issues should be at the forefront of our minds. For 8 years I have taught a college course entitled Sex…

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The bad, the worse, and the despicable

11/21 UPDATE: They now have an addendum at the beginning of the story. This is a step in the right direction, but it still contains misleading and irrelevant material, which I wrote to Ms. Umphress at Amberly Place yesterday and will write Ms. Day and her news editor about. This is what they put. What they wrote is in bold…

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Knowing sexual offense facts important; paying attention to them critical

Also published in Criminal Legal News, online May 15 and June, 2019, p. 23 By Sandy . . . The Arkansas legislature has just passed a law imposing various restrictions on those who are on a sexual offense registry in regard to Halloween. The primary provisions make it a crime for anyone on the registry to give out candy at Halloween…

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The denial of redemption

By Rich A . . . What exactly is redemption?  Many are familiar with the religious concept of redemption:  the payment of a price, or ransom, to secure release.  In criminology, redemption often is defined as the point in time when a person with a criminal record, having had no further contact with the criminal justice system, is of no greater…

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