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National

AR: Here’s a helping hand – Right into a prison cell—or worse

[arkansasonline.com – 5/30/18]

There are so many lessons to be drawn from Bobbie Gross’ tragic experience in trying to help her 17-year-old son that the challenge isn’t to describe just one but how to sum up the whole plethora of ills the young man fell into when left to the not-so-tender mercies of the State of Arkansas:

It turns out that his mother, seeking to help him, made her first mistake when she filed a petition with a judge of Arkansas’ juvenile court system asking the court get her son treatment, maybe even an order that he get into a rehabilitation program. Instead she wound up getting him a criminal record and being locked up with already hardened criminals, most of them sex offenders and violent offenders. For the state is no substitute for the family, much as some wish it was.

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  1. totally against public registry

    That’s why we should go on a letter writing campaign……Mr. Steve Harvey helps juveniles in trouble. I guess he has a camp-like sort of program that these kids go through so they don’t end up in juvenile hall.
    I don’t think there should be juvenile halls in this country or any where else, for that matter- what should be in their place is a rehabilitative programs (probable costing the counties less money) to help guide them through those tough years and move them forward with positive encouragement.
    I am more determined to contact Steve and see if he can some how influence change in our legislation and make police changes in the way we treat juveniles.

    Any comments of ideas anyone?

    • Roland

      I agree with the comment above. I’ve handled this for a long time and have seen the good sides to the registry along with the ugly side. As someone who has seen people from all walks of life come onto the sex registry I have to admit that sex registry does a lot more harm than good the way it’s set up now in my opinion. It provides a false sense of security that isn’t real we don’t do this for drug addicts, people with DWI’s most likely to keep drinking and driving, we don’t do this cruel punishment with any other offenses. The public most of the time turns around and breaks more laws with the information such as to harrass, defame, deactivate towards. Many people on this registry become
      Victims to these crimes. How many times do you see something shared on a social media account and people start commenting things in favor to hurt the person or slander the person. This then gets spread to reach that person’s family who feel heated on the comments from people that don’t know the details of the situation or the person. We have an extramly cookie cutter system still today. The system is great for violent predators there should be something in place in our communities for violent people of all crimes. But the truth of the matter is the registry is destroying more life’s than its helping. Most sex offenders never offend again in their life and we’re a small percent that got caught in a mistake they made in their life. We are the only country in the world that carries the registry to this extreme. The registry is a Scarlett letter and it’s used as an embarrassment tool by the communities. It’s not only the offender that faces cruelty by the public but their kids fall victim to extreme bullying in schools to where they don’t even want to attend school anymore. Their not allowed to take a normal approach back into society and it just isn’t fair to them. I think people would be surprised that a large percent of people on the registry are people who were in consensual high school/ college relationships that found mutual attraction being within up to 7 years apart in many cases. I don’t think those are the people we need to make register for 15 years or be hard on especially if they’ve have shown that it was a moment of lapse judgment at a young age and that’s not really who they are. I don’t think you make them suffer for years over that. We waste money and effort keeping up with those lower tier offenders and I don’t believe the committee that puts a number 1-4 on these people do a great job in helping the ones that made a one time lapse of bad judgment instead they usually get thrown In the same category as a rapist with the label sex offender people always assume the worst. There’s a big difference in a 30 year old man preying on a teen and a rapist versus youthful relationships and I even call people in their early 20s youthful relationships. They haven’t matured out fully. We need a better system and I agree that programs and therapies are the smarter option for the future versus the cruel registry. Just my opinion from what I’ve seen over my time. It’s a hot topic for many but all life matters and everyone deserves a second chance a true second chance. We need a better system. Let’s focus that time and money on the true violent predators.

  2. totally against public registry

    I meant to say “policy changes” not police….

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