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Sex registries as modern-day witch pyres

By Guy Hamilton-Smith . . . Perhaps the most irrefutable statement that can be made about modern day America is this: we have a penchant for putting people in cages. More than any other nation on the planet, we rely on incarceration as the fix for our social ills. America’s unprecedented prison boom spawned advocates who work tirelessly to put the police…

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“Sex offense is the one crime that you can never pay for”

By Sandy . . . Some of you will remember a story from a little over a year ago about a registrant named Daniel Silverman. Dan was convicted of a sex offense in 2009, served 13 months, and has been out in society since late 2010. Based on polygraphs and his probation officer’s recommendations, his probation was terminated early. Knowing…

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The sex offender registry: a many-headed monster

By Sandy . . . What do these headlines have in common? “U.S. Marshals protect trick-or-treaters from the threat of sex offenders.”  “ ‘Operation Blackout,’ annual Halloween Tennessee sex offender sweep, underway” “Operation Lights Out aims to keep your children safe on Halloween” They all appeared in the week or so leading up to Halloween. They all connect Halloween, persons…

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Oh look! Is that another sex trafficker?

By Lenore Skenazy . . . We are in the midst of a massive mommy moral panic. Across the country, mothers are writing breathless accounts on Facebook of how sex traffickers nearly snatched their children at Target/Ikea/the grocery store. While at Sam’s Club, one such post explains, “a man came up to us and asked if the empty cart nearby was…

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We’re all being tricked, and that’s no treat

By Lenore Skenazy…. “Trick or treat, trick or treat, give us something lethal to eat!” That’s not the actual rhyme, but from all the warnings about Halloween you just might think it was. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is still insisting that “a responsible adult should closely examine all treats.” But why? How many decades of disproving this murderous…

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YOU can help save Halloween!

NARSOL, along with many of its affiliates, contacts, and volunteers, is undertaking a nation-wide initiative to combat the plethora of fear-mongering that arises each Halloween regarding those required to register on a sex offense registry. The Patch publications have been especially diligent and prolific in this regard, often printing maps with little dots showing where registered persons (aka “monsters,” “bogeymen,”…

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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 official yearly Halloween report

By Sandy . . . Why advocate for not monitoring registered offenders on Halloween? What’s the harm? Most Halloween restrictions apply to everyone on the registry or everyone under supervision, whether or not their offense had anything to do with a child. This broad-brush application is bumping up against constitutional protections. Many registrants are forced to gather in one place for…

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New Mexico: NARSOL calls on mayoral candidates to repudiate attack ads

NARSOL Communications . . . NARSOL denounces “Make Albuquerque Safe” for advocating residency restrictions when such laws are contradicted by research and empirical data. An entity calling itself “Make Albuquerque Safe” has attacked a mayoral candidate in Albuquerque because, in 2011, he voted for Senate Bill 184 that would have prohibited blanket residency restrictions for persons listed on a sexual offense…

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