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General News

Myths and research on sex offender registries

Studies show that while public sex offender registries sound like a good way to keep a community safe, the numbers tell a different story. And widely held beliefs turn out to be myths — among the more prevalent is that most sex offenders are pedophiles who might snatch a child from a park or bus stop. Here are the myths, and the research that debunks them. Full Article

Related from the Detroit Free Press

MI: Does Michigan’s sex offender registry keep us safer?

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I hope allot of people read this short list. But tell me something I don’t already know.

A lot of people don’t know, so we should cite what our ignorant audience doesn’t know when commenting on articles or writing letters. Unfortunately, people at first are going to rationalize what they have been told by the media, politicians and pro incarceration groups and naturally deny the studies at first. It is going to take a lot of repetition, though, for the science to”get out there” and settle into the collective conscience, so it our task to repeat what is to us obvious.

You are right and I couldn’t agree with you more about citations to go along with any comments or correspondence out side of this site. I do that as much as possible and have even cited comments on this site a few times. It’s unfortunate the main stream media ignored the fact’s for so long and just spun myth and agenda based hype from various groups; they played a major part in much of the the harms done to many people and their children, yet it’s heartening to see allot of attention finally being paid to empirical facts, as well… Read more »

Yep great lil article. Like I’ve been saying the regerstries are completely irrational and acheive no legislative purpose while infringing on a multitude of rights and are arbitrary need to be abolished on those grounds.

I liked the article too; for once it was short-sweet-and to the point.

Mostly positive comments followed the article. Sadly, the general public suffers seriously from “media bias” and the only stories that the media generally report are those that support the “stranger danger” myth. They obviously don’t report intra-family crimes. You’ll rarely read a news article that “Uncle John Doe of Pottersville was convicted of molesting his 12 yr. old niece Susie Q.” for obvious reasons of victim privacy protection. So the public continues to only see what is presented to them without engaging their capacity for critical thinking.

They can say the truth that stranger danger is very rare and the only reason we report it is to shock you enough to want to watch our broadcast and keep our advertisers happy.

This is very encouraging news that people are finally seing that the registries are useless and arbitrary its only a matter of time now before we see a end to this draconian set of laws. Completely irrational unreasonable arbitrary oppressive official action. It’s going to happen.

My therapist just returned from a state sponsored mtg on sex offense treatment. He said the state numbers are appalling (his own words). 1 in 19 males in Ca are on the registry. Surprise! Like we didn’t know that already. I told him about the registry board approving a tier system and he asked how I knew. It’s amazing how little the public and even the people involved know about what’s going on. They’re like mushrooms, kept in the dark and buried in shit, then they’re happy. Time to step up our game.

Erich, no offense intended, but I hope your therapist is better at providing care & treatment than he is at critical thinking. A more accurate number is 1 of ever 148 adult males in California is on the Registry. Here’s the calculation: total population of California: 39,000,000 – 24% (under 18 y.o.) × 50% (males only)= 14,820,000 adult males in California. 100,000 RSOs of 14.8 million = 1 in 148. Or, in other words, just under 7/10 of 1%. (On a twisted & sad note, the media would certainly be more excited by your therapist’s numbers than by my less… Read more »

That’s what I told him, but he disagreed and stuck with his info. He considered the top therapist in my area for this(?), that means he kicks back the most to the courts! Any way, on a side note, I went to an interview yesterday and the man interviewing me stunk of alcohol. Amazing that I am being judged by someone that can’t stay away from his own demons long enough to do his job. I left not feeling resentful, but sorry for him. I am healing slowly from my wounds, and my path with Buddhism is my way. I… Read more »

@David is correct. The math is the math, and even a therapist cannot twist that. Here are the calculations I do take issue with David’s statement 1 in 148. Or, in other words, just under 7/10 of 1%. We are talking about 1 out of 148 adult men who are considered ‘monsters’. Nonredeemable until their very last breath. Meaning every time you go to a movie theater you are in the company of 2-3 such monsters. Meaning one child in every grade level in a larger elementary school has such a man for a father. Statistically speaking. That is… Read more »

I do think of such things whenever I am in a crowd or on the road. I’m thinking, everyone sees at least one monster “sex offender” every day and doesn’t know it, probably several. According to the myth, these people (sex offenders) can’t control themselves and have hundreds of victims. Well I haven’t done the math, but if that were true it seems all the children in California have been abused, many times over! Anyway, Joe, you quote a lot of good information in your posts. Do you happen to know what the sexual victimization rate is in California ?… Read more »

“Well I haven’t done the math, but if that were true it seems all the children in California have been abused, many times over!”

They’ve probably all had their hand held against their will plenty of times at least!

I know nothing except what the Google spits out…. it is amazing and exceedingly patient 🙂

Here is as good a list as any

I would certainly not use the term “monster”. Perhaps you use it facetiously. And I should have said “slightly under 7/10 percent” rather than “just”. (I intended the word “just” to be read as “merely”. Obviously, there is nothing that is “just” about the Registry.)

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