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

By Julie Cornell . . . I’ve made people’s stories my life’s work. I’m a person who talks to people sitting next to me on airplanes. I engage people at grocery stores, and even while sitting in those flimsy robes in the hospital, waiting for a mammogram. I generally like people. And I constantly “interview” them, even when I’m not…

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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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WHY do we register children as sexual criminals?

By Riya Saha Shah…. Ten-year-old Leah pretended to have sex with her younger step-siblings. She said it happened a few times and that she was just acting out scenes from the movies. A couple years later, Leah’s conduct was discovered by law enforcement. Leah was 12 when she was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in juvenile court and labeled a sex offender.…

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23 yrs. ago: 5 yr. suspended sentence; today: still being punished

Editor’s note: J.B. is the owner, publisher, and editor of a small newspaper. She first came into my life at the point in her story where she was forced to place a sign on her newspaper office at Halloween stating that no candy was available at that place. She contacted me in response to a press release regarding the sex…

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Residency restrictions cut back in Wisconsin city

By Patrick Leary . . . Because of recent legal challenges to similar ordinances, Racine is making adjustments to how restrictive it is about where sex offenders can reside. According to City Attorney Scott Letteney, just 3.7 percent of the city’s housing stock is available to sex offenders under the city’s current ordinance. Under the new ordinance, which was approved…

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“Choose between homelessness and reoffending”

By NBC 12 On Your Side…. Thousands of your tax dollars are being spent to help sex-offenders keep a roof over their heads. On Tuesday, a man called 12 On Your Side, saying he’s upset he’s being kicked out of the program just as he’s working to rebuild his life. For purpose of this story, we called him Mike. “I’m trying…

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Are sex offender registries reinforcing inequality?

Trevor Hoppe, University at Albany, State University of New York Public sex offender registries are at the forefront of what I’ve described in my research as a “war on sex.” Offenders convicted of sex crimes are now singled out for surveillance and restrictions far more punitive than those who commit other types of crime. More than 800,000 Americans are now…

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Former sex offender makes positive difference in others’ lives

By Sandy…. In the wake of the release of long-time incarcerated convicted sexual offender and former priest Paul Shanley, journalists are rushing to find a different angle to present the situation. Elaine Thompson found an excellent one.  The focus is on another convicted offender, former attorney Joel Pentlarge who, since he has been released, has done everything he could to…

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Megan’s Law waste of time, money, report shows

By CBS News This study and this article were done in 2009 but are as true, timely, and essential today as then. A study examining sex offenses in the state where Megan’s Law was created says it hasn’t deterred repeat offenses. The report released Thursday finds that registering sex offenders in New Jersey does make it easier to find offenders…

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Ohio poised to remove thousands from registry

By Katie Wedell . . . Two decades after Ohio began labeling sex offenders on a public database and setting restrictions on where they can live, a major overhaul to the law is being proposed that could drop thousands of lower-level offenders off the list. Some critics are even calling for doing away with the registry entirely, saying it’s been an…

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