CO: Should we stop labeling people ‘sex offender’?

KUSA – A state regulatory board debated Friday whether the label “sex offender” was too stigmatizing to people who committed sex crimes.

Colorado’s Sex Offender Management Board regulates treatment, rehabilitation, and monitoring of sex offenders. Friday’s board meeting included a vote whether to eliminate the word “sex offender” from the board’s official policies. Suggestions for replacement words included “clients,” “defendants” and “individuals.” Full Article

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As much as we all don’t like the SO term, I don’t think the public will be more accepting of us just because of a title change. Although I personally prefer the term Registered Citizen. Especially since not all RSO actually committed a sexual act.

You know what – The use of the “N” word it LAWSUIT material. So why don’t we declare
“sex offender” just as offensive? Our voice has power. We need to start speaking up and also putting pen to paper. “The pen is mightier than the sword”

I personally never label myself with this horrible label. Why? Because I am NOT a sex offender. I am a dad, business owner, a person. I did commit a sex offense, 20 plus years ago, but I refuse to be defined by that offense. And I refuse to label myself that because the gov’t wants to label me. It is so counterproductive to rehabilitation. Its demoralizing. Its shameful. I am better than that, and you should not label yourself that either.

So long as this is not being used to justify denial of PC to incarcerated RSO’s, which is prison policy in Colorado last I heard.

It has always bugged me that the words “Sex Offender” is applied to anyone who’s been convicted of a sex crime. (or even crimes that have absolutely nothing to due with sex, such as kidnapping, or peeing in the brush on the side of a highway because there are no restrooms anywhere for a 100 miles)

When you leave your past behind you and move forward in life at a good citizen, you should the “sex offender” term implies the person continually commits sex crimes.

I make a point never to use that terminology and have opted to move to a far more accurate description of those persons who are required to register.

That term is: Registered Citizen.

Another term i use is “Reform Movement”, which i use to loosely describe the collection of groups and individuals who work at various levels to reform the bad laws through education, lobbying efforts, letter writing or any other activity that promotes a positive change relating to sex offender laws and legislation and the effects of those laws on Americans.

Yes we should stop labeling people as sex offenders and don’t even get me started on “sex crimes” that don’t involve sex or are not hands on.

Looking a bit broader than just us RCs, one might bear in mind that there are, in truth, many “sex offenders” amongst the general population – we are just the ones who were convicted of an offense. The kid who went streaking when he or she is was a minor is a juvenile sex offender (unconvicted) or who played “doctor” with a friend: sex offender (unconvicted). The trucker who peed by the side of the road, but was not arrested: sex offender (unconvicted). And how about those others who actually did commit a sex crime but were never caught: the college fraternity member who raped a co-ed who passed out from drinking too much: sex offender (unconvicted). Etc.
I think the public hysteria and mouth-foaming that is generated by the term “sex offender” is reason enough that it should be changed.
AND, once the sentence is served, people should be allowed to rebuild and get on with their lives unhindered.
If I am forced to use a label, mine is “ex-offender”.

I do have to agree with Colorado. Labeling someone as a sex offender sounds rather derogatory. In summary, it’s almost like once your labeled, your always a perpetrator and incapable of being rehabilitated. I think people need to realize that when people marry, obtain jobs, develop financial responsibilities and have children is really when people grow up and move forward with their lives. I can recall as a young man getting a hair cut at a barber shop/the owner was almost bragging that he had just fired another man who he found out had learned the trade in prison and just been released? Was he proud that the guy was trying to make a better life for himself? Did he believe in rehabilitation? If we continue to stigmatize people and continue to label them as bad people, what are we really saying about our society? I’ve never met someone who hasn’t made a mistake? We have a Superior Court Judge in OC who crashed his vehicle and was arrested for a DUI? He is still on the bench. Do we label him as a drunk? Or, was he have a bad day? Or, should we have held him at a higher standard? People make mistakes, but it’s when you continue to get arrested again and again when your deemed a threat to society. So, maybe I propose people should be labeled a ie: client/batterer/or 1st time offender

Then: if they have another sexual issue, a sex offender. You have an initial chance. This is again why the tiered registry is needed in Ca. It’s presently one offense and your on for life

If you call recall the case of fitroy barnaby, who slammed the brakes of his car and grabbed a girl’s arm ,well a teenage, not a toddler, and chastised her, of course fitzroy was 28 not a creepy old man, but he was forced to register as a “sex offender”
based I guess on false imprisonment of a minor.

If a non-parent temporarily detains somebody else besides their own children, even if its brief and no other malicious events take place and its not suspicious, they are forced into the “Adam walsh act lifetime mandate” as a “sex offender”.

So if your nephew or niece misbehaves even if there are 17 years old and you try to restrain them , well good luck, however if you shoot them or do a violent act you are probably better off.

Now of course if fitzroy had ran over the teenage girl he would be better of legally.

Ironicly, conservative bloggers complain about government overreach, but the same bloggers and websites endorse folks like jindal and other right-wing conservatives and then attack the other site for being “soft on crime” and liberal and catering to “Sex offenders”, keep in mind that not all states have the same romeo and juliet laws so a teenager sleeping with another teenager consensually could be a sex offender.

Registrant or Registered Citizen are preferable over SO in my humble opinion. One problem with the term Registered Citizen is that registrants who are not US citizens would be left out. The people we hear about in the news, news conferences on such and such number of illegal alien sex offenders nabbed caught trying to enter the country. Assuming these people are originally from countries south of our border , Mexico and Central America, they would not be represented and may feel left out of movements to improve their situations, but on the other hand, when they get denied entry into the US and forced to go back to their country of origin, their country of origin does not subject them to draconian punishment masked as regulation. Until International Megans Law changes that, I envy those people being able to escape the tyranny of an over-reaching government.

Registrant or Sex Offender, the terms really were not used that much before the 1990’s panic. The term goes hand in hand with the Megan’s laws and would fade away with these laws, if they are found unconstitutional or otherwise invalid. Maybe showing the term sex offender as what it is, a derogatory and arbitrarily applied term will help change the laws.