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S.O. policies driven by public misperceptions, not fact

By Lonnie Burton…. Public opinion toward crime is complex. Research shows that Americans strongly favor punitive measures to address criminal behavior while also demanding the rehabilitation and treatment of offenders. When it comes to sex offenses, it gets even more complicated. A 2015 study authored by Christina Mancini, an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Kristen Budd of MiamiUniversity…

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Improvement in media’s message portends favorably for future

The past decade has seen amazing changes in the dialogue that is developing around the issue of sexual offenses. Ten years ago, the facts surrounding risk, re-offense rates, and the effectiveness of treatment were written about only by researchers doing the studies. Mainstream media was focused on the hype, the myths, and the rare horror stories and totally ignored the…

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Registration policies increase danger

By Steven Yoder . . . On Sept. 30, 2016, in a Los Angeles suburb, 48-year-old Michael Zinzun, a homeless man on the California sex offender registry, approached a woman sleeping on a park bench and reportedly asked if she wanted to smoke meth. When she turned him down, he allegedly started sexually assaulting her. As she screamed, he dragged…

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Sex offender registration policies increasing danger to public

By Steven Yoder . . . On Sept. 30, 2016, in a Los Angeles suburb, 48-year-old Michael Zinzun, a homeless man on the California sex offender registry, approached a woman sleeping on a park bench and reportedly asked if she wanted to smoke meth. When she turned him down, he allegedly started sexually assaulting her. As she screamed, he dragged…

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Megan’s Law a total failure; harms families, children

By Daniel Walmer . . . It was every parent’s worst nightmare. Seven-year-old Megan Kanka left her New Jersey home on July 29, 1994, for a summer afternoon bike ride around her neighborhood, but she never returned. Instead, neighbor Jesse Timmendequas lured her into his home by promising her a puppy. He then raped and murdered her, dumping her body…

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No evidence registries increase public safety

By Noah Berlatsky . . . “He is a lifetime sex registrant. That doesn’t expire. Just like what he did to me doesn’t expire, doesn’t just go away after a set number of years.” In a statement released to Buzzfeed, the victim of rapist Brock Turner found a small sliver of justice in the fact that Turner, a former Stanford…

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Another inflated, false, sex offender industry-related statistic

Another false, inflated, misleading statistic.We should be used to them by now. The most infamous, of course, is the “frightening and high” recidivism risk assigned to those on the registry every time a politician opens his mouth to justify a new law or restriction targeting registrants. RSOL has dealt with that one in re-printing Steve Yoder’s excellent piece on the…

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A single Supreme Court justice’s stupidity ruins thousands of lives, families

By Steven Yoder . . . In the early 1980s, rehabilitation counselor Robert Longo could hardly have known that his work with convicted sex offenders would make him a minor celebrity. At the time, he was running a program at the Oregon State Hospital to treat and rehabilitate prisoners who had committed sex crimes. It was a new field, and…

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States, municipalities ignoring solid facts while increasing residency restrictions

By Jen Fifield . . . In the last couple of years, the number of sex offenders living on the streets of Milwaukee has skyrocketed, from 16 to 205. The sharp increase comes as no surprise to some. There are few places for them to live. In October 2014, the City of Milwaukee began prohibiting violent and repeat sex offenders…

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Film about sex offenders wins best new documentary director award at Tribeca Film Festival

By Jonathan Leaf . . . Why would a law mandate that ex-convicts be homeless and virtually unemployable? And what sort of government imposes such rules? That’s the question of David Feige’s startling new documentary “Untouchable,” a Tribeca Film Festival award winner. I must note here that I am not completely objective about this film. I have known Feige for…

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