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MN: Should Fewer People be Listed in Minnesota’s Sex Offender Registry?

Minnesota’s sentencing practices for sexual offenders is coming into question by several groups, each taking up different issues with the status quo.

As Alpha News reported the national pro-child, anti-crime group PROTECT is calling for tougher sentences in child pornography cases in Minnesota.

The organization released a report titled “Children Betrayed.” It calls Minnesota’s sentencing practices “shocking and dramatically out of step with national and state trends,” and found that Minnesota judges award probation for possession and distribution of child pornography in roughly 90% of all cases.

The report states 55% of offenders who possess and distribute child pornography are also “hands-on offenders,” committing crimes of sexual violence against children in their own circles of trust and communities across Minnesota. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. Son of Liberty Child of Freedom

    I found the following exchange very Inlighting and a foundation for those effected to counter the Lies that continually are exhaled on the breath of the Hypocretes & Sons of Vipers in search of vengeance caused by their Dark Hearts which will be weighed and found Wanting of the capacity to forgive those who sinceley seek redemption.

    I posit the following for studys sake.

    Joanne Smieja
    Did the PROTECT group read the papers cited in their report? After looking at a group of people who had committed an online offense, here is the conclusion the authors of the cited paper came to: “The second meta-analysis revealed that 4.6% of online offenders committed a new sexual offense of some kind during a 1.5- to 6-year follow-up ; 2.0% committed a contact sexual offense and 3.4% committed a new child pornography offense.
    The results of these two quantitative reviews suggest that there may be a distinct subgroup of online-only offenders who pose relatively low risk of committing contact sexual offenses in the future.” This report concludes that once someone is caught doing an online-only crime, they rarely commit a contact crime. However, the PROTECT group is claiming just the opposite. Why are they twisting the facts?
    Like · Reply · Mark as spam · 2 · Nov 30, 2016 8:38pm

    Camille Cooper
    Hi Joanne,

    I co authored the PROTECT report. Rates of re-offending are very misleading because they are based on re-arrest data. So it only measures those offenders ” most likely to get caught”. Also, It’s well know that most children don’t report, that when they do ( if the offender is a caretaker) then they have a 50 – 70% chance their report will NOT be investigated in MN and that law enforcement is overwhelmed and under funded, particularly on child exploitation cases. This alone will lead to very low arrest rates. Recidivism rates are an unreliable metric to use for this population of offender, who generally becomes more savvy after a first arrest.

    We were asked once by a sex offender task force chair how we thought they should determine risk and we responded by asking ” which of the registered sex offenders on the registry do you want babysitting your children for the weekend?”

    That’s a metric most citizens will understand…..

    Camille Cooper
    PROTECT
    Like · Reply · Mark as spam · 4 hrs

    Joanne Smieja
    Thank you for your response Camille. I was intrigued by your statement. “Recidivism rates are an unreliable metric to use for this population of offender, who generally becomes more savvy after a first arrest.” Would you please cite a reputable source for this statement? I have read extensively in this area and am unaware of any study that provides data to support this statement.

    I know people who are on the registry who I would trust to babysit my grandchildren. These are good people who did something stupid when they were young. For example, many on the registry are there because as…See More
    Like · Reply · Mark as spam · 22 mins

    Christine Notsaying
    Camille,
    When 90-95% of child sex assualts are committed by family members or those known to the victim, it would make sense that someone in the family that already was charged with committing the act wouldn’t get a second chance to groom and have another victim. I do not believe those recidivism rates are too far off considering sex offenders go through polygraphs and are heavily monitored.

    Where the true concern should arrise, is looking at the chance of overall under-reporting of sex crimes amoung family memebers. It makes sense to me, that with the lifetime stigma of the primary breadwinner being labelled a sex offender and unable to find work or sometimes housing for the family, that families under-report for the sake of the family. Unfortunately, that will lead to no treatment and more victims. If Sex Offender laws weren’t so”one-size-fits-all” and weren’t so publicly shaming when it isn’t needed, and if long lengths of registration weren’t so arbitrary, then perhaps victims could come forward and stop the cycle more often.

    As to the question “which of the registered sex offenders on the registry do you want babysitting your children for the weekend” I would respond with nobody is watching my children that isn’t a trained and vetted daycare worker or female family member unless it’s a father or brother. The “registry” doesn’t come into play in that decision and we need to remind everyone that 90-95% of molesters aren’t on the registry at the time they commit the crime against a friend or family member. Quit making people feel that the registry protects them.

  2. New Person

    Read the comment section. Two of the authors of the PROTECT article responded. Their response has no empirical data upon recidivism when the first commentor stated from their article research the following:


    “The second meta-analysis revealed that 4.6% of online offenders committed a new sexual offense of some kind during a 1.5- to 6-year follow-up ; 2.0% committed a contact sexual offense and 3.4% committed a new child pornography offense.

    The authors want to focus on what the sentence is. It’s a scare tactic b/c the actual empirical data says the recidivism rate is quite low after sentencing. So with the recidivism rates so low, based upon their meta-analysis of up to six years, makes the uproar of PARENT quite moot.

    I don’t know how they can refute their own facts? Oh wait… seems like they’ve take a page out of CASOMB.

  3. Timmr

    I like what you are saying, but I am in the choir, please also comment at the site of this article. The registry is bad, but worse is getting drug offenders out of prison only to fill the cages with registrants. Prison does wreck families.

  4. mike r iscensored

    anyone with a Facebook page please copy and paste this in the comments section of this article….
    I sent it to the sites email but I think it should be pointed out in the comments section on that page…thank you

    I really wish you,the media, and any other organization would stop publishing, producing or relying on reports and opinions from law makers or any organizations about how great sex offender registration and notification laws work or how residency restrictions and presence restrictions are needed. They are using false statistics and pure myths to further their personal agendas under the guise of protecting children. None of these failed policies have achieved any positive results in the US and are in fact destroying the lives of thousands of innocent children and their families because one of their parents or family members are on such a registry. Individuals and organizations should have enough integrity to investigate their claims before they publish it or rely on it and be sure that there is some credibility to it and not just a platform to exploit children for a law makers personal gains or their own. Here are some facts from the leading authorities on this subject which indicate that there is no need or justification for these laws. There has not been a single incidence in which a person was apprehended or prevented from committing a crime anywhere or anytime in this country. These laws are absolutely useless and are a waste of tax dollars and are a misplaced use of valuable law enforcement and government agency resources. Here are the facts from the leading authorities on this subject…

    California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13)

    Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety.

    The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231

    National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America.

    The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses.

    The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350

    The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483

    Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates.

    The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483

    These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community.

    People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following.

    California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB)

    Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30)

    The full report is available online at

    http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf

    California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38)

    Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8%

    The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ

    Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C.

    Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today.

    The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm

    Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013

    Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates.

    The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf

    Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy.

    A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7%

    Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf

    Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009.

    The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%

    Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf

    Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do.

    From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M.

    For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work.

    http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf.

    Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth.

    Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country.

    I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject.

    Thank you for your time.

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