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Best solution may be sex offender ‘colonies’ (Opinion)

Sex offenders are the lepers of the 21st century – outcast and feared, with treatment elusive and at times inhumane. For centuries, the best medical minds thought leprosy was incurable – the first effective treatment emerged only in the 1940s – so colonies appeared, usually in remote places next to monasteries, where the lepers could live and die safely out of sight, out of mind.

We don’t have a cure-all treatment for people who commit sex crimes, nor do we have sex-offender colonies. Perhaps we should. Full Opinion Piece

More from this author: Lawsuits leave us more vulnerable to sex offenders (Opinion)

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  1. Matt

    Amazing. This guy makes something that resembles a “fair” solution to a problem that doesn’t actually exist. He incorrectly uses false recid rates as a fear-driven justification to create colonies for RSO’s. All under the guise of “keeping track of offenders.” I would suggest that the author receive some education. But it’s probably a waste of time. People create “facts” to justify the ends that are predetermined. Law enforcement often does the same thing.

  2. ND, SD or WI

    I agree with Mr. Boychuk. I recommend the reservation-style setup and the US government use eminent domain to remove all the good citizens of WI, ND or SD and place us there. They can create a federal agency crafted like the BIA and we manage ourselves within federal laws like the Natives do.

    As much as I would miss being an American, the US and Americans have made it perfectly clear that they no longer view sex offenders as Americans and therefore it is time we stop acting like Americans, we stop being loyal to the US and we be given our own land and reasonable sovereignty to govern our selves. All CSOs, men, women and those convicted as kids as soon as they turn 18 should be shipped out of the US and to Banish, the sex offender nation.

    It will not be pleasant, easy or desired by all CSOs, but it would force our former countrymen to look inside themselves as only non convicted people in the US get convicted of new sex crimes.

    I vote for Wisconsin for the fishing and dairy industry, but ND would be nice for the oil revenue.

    If we are given SD we could put an infamous sex offender on Mt. Rushmore next to the presidents.

    • Jo

      sorry, I vote for Hawaii

      • Vis I Tor

        I vote for Mars. After the Civil War, Liberia was originally setup as a place to send the freed slaves back to; Australia was a prison colony; and the town of Locke was founded exclusively for the Chinese.

    • Vis I Tor

      Can we have gambling, on the reservation?

  3. Janice Bellucci

    While I agree with the author that registered citizens today are treated like lepers from long ago, I disagree strongly with his statement that “the recidivism rate among sex offenders remains higher than the average for all criminals”. Once again, the media chooses to repeat a myth rather than report on the facts. The facts are — according to state and federal government reports — that registered citizens commit a second sex offense at a rate of 1.8 percent while on parole and 5.3 percent overall. This compares to recidivism rates greater than 50 percent for crimes such as burglary, robbery, etc. The media also chooses to ignore the facts presented by Dr. Karl Hanson, a PhD psychologist considered to be the world’s expert on such matters, that individuals who commit a sex offense and do not commit another sex offense within 17 years are no more likely to commit a sex offense than someone who has never committed a sex offense.

    • Michael

      Well, he said that in a back-handed sort of way. In the next sentence he said most are returned for parole violations, NOT new sex crimes.

      But as the saying goes, There are lies, damn lie and then you have statistics.

      that being said, I’m not clear myself on one thing: Even though I like it and hope it is true, When WE say the recidivism rate for RSOs is 1.8% What does THAT mean?

      Are we talking just about and RC committing, or not, another sex crime?
      Or are we including parole violations and other violations.

      Because it seems to me if you include parole violations and other crimes when you are talking about a RC being returned to prison/jail then you’re likely to have a very high rate indeed. And I think that is what our opponents use

      But if we are just talking about RC being returned for another sex crime, is that the 1.8% rate?

      • Will Allen

        The 1.8% has to be for just sex crimes.

        It is stupid to consider anything other than sex crimes. Our opponents certainly should not do that because they have proven that they do not care about anything except sex crimes. To them, other crimes are not dangerous. If that were not the case, a national Gun Offender Registry would have been created 15 years ago. Along with a hundred other national Registries. But, no, there’s only nsopw.gov, SORNA, and not-SMART. Complete un-American BS.

        Also, the terrorists who support the SORs like to say the recidivism rate is that low because sex crimes are very under-reported. But that is just more of their stupidity. Especially with the dreaded “sex offenses against children”. Because we know the vast, vast majority of those (think it is over 95%) are committed by people who are known to the child and family.

        So the terrorists want everyone to believe that there is a Registered Citizen who is victimizing someone whose family knows the person is Registered and they all just decide not to report it. In reality, that is not happening. AND, on the other hand, Registered Citizens are absolutely being accused, arrested, and convicted for new sex crimes which they did NOT commit. That artificially inflates the recidivism rate.

    • Lance Mitaro

      They’re going to start treating elephants better than sex offenders soon. SO’s will still be required to put on a performance or punishment act for lawmakers in their vote-securing circus sideshow.

      Who knows? Maybe in 50 years someone will free those “monsters.”

      • Timmr

        Oh yes, ye olde bread and circus. Give the crowds a violent show and they leave the privileged alone.

  4. NPS

    In other words, a concentration camp.

  5. Will Allen

    What I like to say about the “high sex offender recidivism” lie that Boychuk told is that it is so well known to be false that a person who says it is either completely uninformed or is a liar. I assume that Boychuk is just completely uninformed. But after a person talks about something for a while and refuses to educate him or herself, then the person just has to be called a liar.

    Clearly what needs to be done is exactly what was done forever before Megan’s Flaw was conceived. People who commit crimes should be punished and released on probation or parole for a period. They should be intelligently and competently monitored and controlled during that period. After that periods ends, they should be required to do absolutely nothing and be listed nowhere. The Sex Offender Registries are counterproductive idiocy.

    And absolutely, there is no excuse to treat “sex offenders” any differently than anyone else who commits a dangerous crime. Why do people think “sex offenders” need “treatment” and someone who beats someone nearly to death does not? Make no sense to me. I think it shows just how little the people who support treatment understand anything.

    I find it hilarious that Boychuk said, “The four San Diego County plaintiffs had lengthy criminal records that include theft, burglary, assault and drug crimes in addition to their convictions for sexual offenses such as lewd conduct and rape. The court noted, however, that each of the four had committed their sex offenses decades ago and had not reoffended.” And yet he calls those four “sex offenders”. That is like calling Boychuk “liar” because he told a lie decades ago. Idiotic.

    And the other great thing is that if those four had not committed anyone sex crimes then no one would have any concern at all about them. They could live anywhere they want. We wouldn’t be calling them “criminals” or “violent assaulters” or whatever. They would be great citizens.

  6. anonymously

    Ben Boychuk writes “Although the decision applies only to San Diego County, you don’t need a law degree to see where this is headed. Even if you believe, as I do, that authorities need to keep a close watch on registered sex offenders for the greater public good, it’s hard to disagree with the outcome of the case.”

    Ben seems to be conflicted about the concept of 2 things…1) authorities need to keep a closer watch, and 2) its hard to disagree with the outcome of this case. Ben, there is no conflict. The 2 concepts of keeping a closer watch and getting rid of residency restrictions which will limit homelessness both promote the stated goal of safety. If you concentrate only or mostly on 2% of sex crimes by registrants and dismiss the 98% of non-registrant sex crimes, the goal will remain elusive.

    “The facts are compelling. The four San Diego County plaintiffs had lengthy criminal records that include theft, burglary, assault and drug crimes in addition to their convictions for sexual offenses such as lewd conduct and rape. The court noted, however, that each of the four had committed their sex offenses decades ago and had not reoffended. All four also have serious medical disabilities and substance abuse problems.”

    There are no facts that are newly compelling, Ben. Then only thing compelling is Ben’s jump to exploring internment/concentration camps for registrants. I will make it a point to stop reading this idiot, Ben Boychuk in his column where he is always in opposition to Joel Mathis, a far more reasonbed gentleman it appears. Bens writing and viewpoints are lacking in intelligence and do not benefit the California Republican Party which he is trying to represent in his rightwing at-least-weekly columns. Because of incompetents like Ben Boychuk who state lies like SO’s have the highest recidivism rate, the California Republican Partys’ days may be numbered. Especially if the SCOTUS decides against re-districting, which would eliminate the California Republican Party, as well as the Arizona Democratic Party, who also would lose out. At a time for intelligence, Ben Boychuck sees the need to promote his own writing career through outright lies to scapegoat law-abiding citizens. Maybe Ben is building up his resume so he can get an acting role or writing job on the tv show Law and Order SVU, another propagandistic spreader of manufactured hysteria.

  7. WantsToHelp

    I have tried, and been unsuccessful in posting a comment to the article. If there is anyone who can, and is willing, can you please post the below? In the meantime, I will email this individual. If you took the time to read the article, please do the same.

    It is simply unfair to rely on Janice and team to take the full weight of trying to change the world. If every one of us that cared about this issue took the time to get involved and let our voice be heard, the changes would come that much sooner.

    Mr. Boychuck,

    In your opinion piece titled, “Best solution may be sex offender ‘colonies’” you stated, “The recidivism rate among sex offenders remains higher than the average for all criminals.”

    With all due respect, do you even research a subject before opining about it?

    The California Sex Offender Management Board, states that, “not all convicted sex offenders are alike and not all are at significant risk of reoffending for the remainder of their lives,” and “low risk offenders had a recidivism rate of only 1.6%.”

    In 2013 the California Department of Corrections reported a total of 111 registrants re-arrested for a new sex offense. By all means, do the math and run the percentages for yourself and see if those numbers validate your claims of higher recidivism than the average for all criminals.

    You did get one thing right: “Each time a sex offender rapes another woman or hurts another child is a shock and an outrage, leading many of us to conclude they cannot live among us.”

    What you neglected to realize is that these events are statistically rare. It would appear that your entire opinion of “sex offenders” is based off an emotional reaction to the nightly news rather than empirical evidence.

    It would also appear that you have no idea what a “sex offender” is. Are you aware of the vast number of registrants who never touched a child? Those who have no victim? Those who married their “victim” but who are still required to register for life due to an age-inappropriate (therefore illegal) sex with a girlfriend? Do you have any concept of how many registrants are parents, with school-age children of their own? Or how many registrants entered the sex registry as children themselves? And how many registrants have homes they could live in, with loving wives, husbands, and parents, if only the distance restrictions did not exist?

    The sex offender registry is a hotel California. Once in, you can never leave. Would you have all these men and women who are loved, productive, and law-abiding citizens interned in your sex offender containment camps because they wear a scarlet letter that society—people like you—refuses to allow them to remove?

    No, Mr. Boychuck, sex offender colonies aren’t the answer. Just let these men and women go home—that’s what they’re asking for, and the research backs them up.

    The CA Sex Offender Management Board stated that, “no research shows that exclusion zones are helpful in preventing re-offense.” They looked carefully into the issue of residency restrictions and repeatedly stated that, “the promulgation of conditions which actually create homelessness and transience among registered sex offenders while producing no discernible benefit to community safety is counterproductive and continues to be the single most problematic aspect of sex offender management policy in California.”

    Joseph Goebbels, master propagandist of the Nazi regime, said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Nowhere is this fascist ideology more prevalent in everyday American life than in the perpetuated moral panic of “sex offender monster” myth and lies. You, Mr. Boychuck, have done Joseph Goebbels proud.

    • Will Allen

      Excellent letter.

      I did not find a way to comment on his latest BS either so I posted the comment on a different one of his writings. There is no reason to be civil to Registry Terrorists like Boychuk.

      I love your reference to Nazis and it is quite accurate. Also, just remember that people who support the SORs today would also support segregation of blacks if THAT witch hunt were still active today. Their ancestors supported it and so would they.

  8. Timmr

    Well now the fear mongers must feel quite threatened. They are proposing measures like “colonies”. Which one of these hard line conservatives is going to support the bills necessary to moved the registered community to these camps? Declaring immanent domains on private lands? Declaring federal reserves? Where? That’s big government at its biggest. For what? Sexual and other abuse is happening as ever before and only less than 10% can be blame on people who are registered. Let them rant and rave and appear the extremists they are. The get tough law enforcement, segregationist plan is all they have. They repeat it over and over again as if the very repetativeness will change realitt.
    I applaud all those who commented here with well reasoned and factual arguments. Go out now and declare the truth in all cities. If reason doesn’t prevail, this country is doomed.

    • Will Allen

      As WantsToHelp posted earlier:

      Joseph Goebbels, master propagandist of the Nazi regime, said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Nowhere is this fascist ideology more prevalent in everyday American life than in the perpetuated moral panic of “sex offender monster” myth and lies. You, Mr. Boychuck, have done Joseph Goebbels proud.

  9. Will Allen

    bboychuk@city-journal.org

    rpench@sacbee.com

    What if they received 1,000,000 e-mails in opposition to their harassment? That number is very possible.

    • John B

      Thanks, Will. I just emailed him with my comment down lower in this thread – except I expanded it to about 500 words.

  10. Jo

    Colonies? Oh, you mean concentration camps!

    really?

    • Lance Mitaro

      I’m sure the government will come up with a beautiful euphemism for it. Like maybe: “Alternate containment facility.” Hell, GITMO inmates (“detainees”) have more rights than SO’s. Let that sink in for a moment.

  11. anonymously

    Ben Boychuk propagandizes “The recidivism rate among sex offenders remains higher than the average for all criminals. A sizable percentage return to prison for parole violations, rather than for new sex offenses. But each time a sex offender rapes another woman or hurts another child is a shock and an outrage, leading many of us to conclude they cannot live among us.”

    What a misleading piece of work. Why not say the “overwhelming majority” return to prison for parole violations, rather than for new sex offenses? Don’t just say ‘a sizable percentage’. That sounds like it could be just a few percentage points. “…leading many of us to believe they cannot live among us”? Well they do live among us, the non-registrants committing 98% of sex crimes, that is. The fact 98% of sex crimes are done by non-registrants should lead many of us to believe idiots like Ben Boychuk are diverting attention and resources from the 49 out 50 current and new/future sex crimes done by non-registrants.

    • j

      Repeating myself, Boychuk is, for all practical purposes, exactly the kind of person that is reasonably likely to commit a registrable offense.

  12. j

    the best solution is to pay each registrant $1M in damages and leave them alone and quit violating their constitutional rights. In the interest of fairness…

  13. Mjk

    The real crime here is the lack of journalistic integrity on the part of Boychuk. Like many of his pop-media colleagues, he fails to uphold the most basic ethics of the profession.

    I realize it’s an opinion piece, but the least an experienced journalist like Boychuk can provide his readers is evidence and facts to support his factual claims and argument.

    Perhaps there should be a list of journalists who take advantage of their position of authority?

    • j

      Ben Boychuc’s writing indicates that at best he is a propagandist as truth clearly appears to be a rare and elusive commodity in his thinking and his writing. He appears to have visions of “Krystallnacht” dancing in his head. These people are a danger to freedom for all.

  14. John B

    “Maybe the best way to resolve these myriad challenges is to establish a sanctuary for them – not prison, but a place to live and work in peace, where they won’t pose a threat to society or to themselves.”

    Wait, you just wasted an essay making scientifically unsubstantiated claims that we are somehow different and worse than other convicts, making it seem like it is highly probably that we would indeed be recidivists. If you’re right, what do you mean that living in your Gulag will mean we won’t be a threat to society or ourselves? Won’t we be sexually attacking each other and, presumably, each others families?

    Oh. I see. Our families don’t really count in your eyes, now do they? Not “real people” are they? Do you have the slightest idea what this article makes you look like? I’d wager anything that most former offenders are far, far better human beings than you. I don’t want to be forced to move into your post-penal colony – but I would rather live among registered citizens than with you and your ilk.

    • j

      Why don’t we establish a sanctuary for Boychuc and his ilk and call it Nuremburg II.

      Maybe we can corral them to their rightful place in history before more damage takes place.

      • Lance Mitaro

        Sounds like a winner to me. Then in 30 years they can have the trials all over again. The picture takers at the local sheriff’s office will be the co-conspirators to stand trial. Along with the pond scum at securealert that provided the software templates that facilitated the abuse, neglect and reckless endangerment of life and limb.

  15. Alternative Migration

    One option to consider as well would be to pay former Americans now known as sex offenders to leave the US and provide them with a tax-free fast tracked method of renouncing their citizenship. As long as the receiving nation is in agreement, then the US government should be willing to make the United States safer by exporting their former citizens now known as sex offenders.
    We are so dangerous that we need to be registered, banished, exiled and have our homes raided quarterly just to be sure we live where we say we live, then the country we used to be part of will be far safer with us gone.
    Make no mistake, if you have been convicted of a sex crime you are no longer an American citizen. I think nations like Iran and North Korea would be delighted to accept former Americans that are now labeled sex offenders.
    Therefore my plan is broken down into groups and those groups should be exported in the following order:
    Group A – Combat veterans, former law enforcement, former intelligence operatives, former nuclear weapons handlers, nuclear engineers.
    Group B – Other veterans, other engineers or all disciplines, former power, water and other infrastructure workers and demolition experts.
    Group C – Academics, teachers, professors, think tankers, former lawyers and former C-Level executives.
    Group D – The rest.
    If the US were to propose to Iran that in exchange for a lifting of certain sanctions if Iran would permit the immigration and grant Iranian citizenship to Groups A & B, I am pretty sure that Iran would be delighted to have a few hundred well trained, hardened former American combat veterans now known as sex offenders. Once they are Iranians, then they can be legally loyal to Iran, not their former nation of the United States. They would not be traitors.
    It is a win-win for the United States, they are able to export people who are dangerous to society and an overall tax burden because of the home verification raids, registration scheme and other taxpayer funded policies associated with the sex offender industry. The US becomes safer and saves money. The sex offenders would get interesting jobs associated with their backgrounds and have the potential for regaining that feeling of self-worth and dignity.
    Of course those of us former Americans now known as sex offenders cannot initiate this process, because that would be illegal, but if the federal government were to initiate and control this program, it would be legal.

    • JBCal

      Alternative Migration: Maybe Venezuela or Cuba would go for it to make an irritant to the US government, but you’re not going to easily persuade any general population, because the US hysteria is widespread.

      People who have some resources and a long ago offense and a psych report might be able to gain residency in an economically challenged country. On an individual basis.

      Too bad registrants couldn’t “sell” their US citizenships. EB5 visas go for $500,000 to enter the USA. That would buy a nice house in Cuba.

      Just a thought.

  16. anonymously

    Ben Boychuk, I mean Alternative Migration writes ” I think nations like Iran and North Korea would be delighted to accept former Americans that are now labeled sex offenders.”

    You think that based on what?
    This idea makes as much sense as registrants declaring Carson our new homeland, making Albert Robles our leader, which would make sense since he already acts like the Hugo Chavez of Carson, fomenting the big foreign national oil companies while reaping the profits from the oil industry, which he uses as resources for his whimsical power plays. We would of course have to deal with the curse of oil, which is that oil money corrupts, which is evident in Carson and San Bernardino here in California. With all this corrupting oil money, we could then have enough money for a PR campaign to build a football stadium on a toxic waste dump. Where in this story did it get ridiculous?

  17. Thad Dragon

    There have someone in Florida, who is a sex offender real estate developer who is doing something like that.

    If there was anything like that here I would come running.

    I have lived in a barn for 13 years and glad to have somewhere to be.

    My landlord died, they idea of what to do next is out of range. I will not live on the streets, I am not mentally capable of doing that, I will explode.

    I have so many tools, and matereials, 5 vehicles, I like to work, I am desperate and tired. and have one month before I’m evicted.

    Please help me somebody.

  18. j

    Ben Boychuc and his ilk are the Nazis of the twenty-first century – make no doubt about it.

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