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Dubious Data Belies Supreme Court’s Stance on Repeat Sex Offenders

Last week at the Supreme Court, a lawyer made what seemed like an unremarkable point about registered sex offenders. “This court has recognized that they have a high rate of recidivism and are very likely to do this again,” said the lawyer, Robert C. Montgomery, who was defending a North Carolina statute that bars sex offenders from using Facebook, Twitter and other social media services.

The Supreme Court has indeed said the risk that sex offenders will commit new crimes is “frightening and high.” That phrase, in a 2003 decision upholding Alaska’s sex offender registration law, has been exceptionally influential. It has appeared in more than 100 lower-court opinions, and it has helped justify laws that effectively banish registered sex offenders from many aspects of everyday life.

But there is vanishingly little evidence for the Supreme Court’s assertion that convicted sex offenders commit new offenses at very high rates. The story behind the notion, it turns out, starts with a throwaway line in a glossy magazine. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. kat

    The counselor/author of the 1986 Psychology Today article needs to write a new article, with corrections.
    His “one sentence” regarding the recedivism rate of offenders has caused so much personal pain to thousands of registrants and their families, as a counselor and more so as a human being, he has a moral and ethical obligation to make his wrong, right.

    • Son of Liberty Child of Freedom

      kat I concur, but posit:

      The one who needs to write a new Decree is:

      InJustice Haman Anthony M. Kennedy, Reason being he:

      “Cited what seemed to be a good source for the statistic: “A [Inquisitor*] Practitioner’s Guide to Treating the Incarcerated Male Sex Offender,” published in 1988 by the InJustice Department.

      The guide, a compendium of papers from outside experts, is 231 pages long, and it contains lots of statistics on sex offender recidivism rates. Many of them were in the single digits, some a little higher. Only One Source claimed an 80 percent rate, and the guide itself said that number might be Exaggerated [aka Hysteria].

      The Source of the 80 percent figure was a 1986 article in Psychology Today, a magazine written for a general audience. The article was about a [Inquisitor*] counseling program run by the [Evil] authors, and they made a statement that could be good for business. “Most untreated sex offenders released from prison go on to commit more offenses — indeed, as many as 80 percent do,” the article said, without evidence or elaboration.

      That’s It. The basis for much of American jurisprudence and legislation about sex offenders was rooted in an Offhand and Unsupported [Wicked} Statement in a mass-market magazine [aka Hysteria], Not a Peer-Reviewed Journal.”

      *www.denverpost.com/2017/03/05/sex-offenders-colorado-rules-children/

      I Speak Truth

      As Yehovah Lives, so should we

  2. Robert

    The author was Robert E. Longo. The article was written when he was at Oregon State Hospital. He is now in Lexington, NC

    Mr. Longo’s website: http://www.roblongo.com/about_us.php

  3. Shaking my head

    This article gives me hope.

  4. DPH

    Can I have a job please? I am qualified.
    NO, you are a RSO, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) and State courts state so. NO, NEVER!
    YOU CanNOT, you canNOT be trusted anywhere. You are on the internet and federal website. NO.
    But I have a Bachelor’s Degree…I offended decades ago…I have been off Probation/Parole for over decades ago. I have no tickets, no other arrests or convictions, I follow the law, I am an American and have been here since birth with a certificate.

    NO, get out of here and don’t come back, or I will call the POLICE!
    You can’t work at even a McDonalds or even a Janitor! you sir are white trash.
    Thank you for your time.

    • LM

      As long as you’re on American soil and on the registry, you’re never truly going to get your life back.

      No one should have to live with this level of hate, but sadly the hate has been normalized by our oppressors.

  5. mike r

    even though the truth is starting to become known it still isn’t the whole truth. im talking about the use of rearrest rates and not the actual recidivism rates..even though the rearrest rates are extreemly low it’s still a lie when your considering the actual recidivism rate…also where the hellll do they keep pulling this 27% after 20 years crap? I don’t believe that statistic either..other than that great article the hammer keeps rising and is about to be dropped on an already crumbling registration scheme…once someone makes the justification and the misinformation used in the first place their main argument bammmm the scheme as it is goes away and we’ll end up with a registration more narrowly targeted at only high risk offenders who the state can prove with the clear and convincing evidence standard are a threat to public safety….it’s coming…
    I only wish Janice and team would jump on board with this and maybe even lead the way..

    • Timmr

      That 27% conflicts strikingly with Dr. Hanson’s no more than the general population after 17 years. Where did they get that 27%?

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