KS: Salina art organization directors resign amid concern over sex offender volunteer

[kake.com – 8/3/18]

SALINA, Kan. (KAKE) – The SPARK Artist Resource Exchange was supposed to be an organization of artists who worked on projects across Salina. Instead, it’s become a controversy after a Facebook posts about one of its directors who is also a sex offender.

The resource center is in the heart of downtown Salina. In the last several days, posts on Facebook revealed that program director ______ is a convicted sex offender. Parents were worried that he had contact with children.

______ was convicted in 2012 of possessing child pornography and was sentenced to Community Corrections. Since then, he has complied with all stipulations of his release. He was discharged in April of 2017.

But posts online allege he worked with children in the programs he directed at SPARK. One of its grant writers says that’s not true — that he was never in a position to work in any youth program and that none of his responsibilities violated any conditions of his release.

The public outcry was still enough pressure and all five of SPARK’s top directors resigned.

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How can we ever feel comfortable in our lives going forward when a person of this stature can be forced out of his position by a misinformed public. The collateral damage to those who support him shows that this will never get better. It sickens me that this can happen.

This is incredibly stupid. Because we are “sex offenders,” it seems that so many people think we shouldn’t have “contact,” meaning simple conversation, with children. This guy discharged probation/parole/supervision. This should be a non-issue!!!

I remember when I was on CDCR parole, I was barred from seeing all my child relatives (even though I was free to see them in the ~two years that I was free on bail, with only four restrictions [no weapons, report to the Court if I leave the state or country, stay away from victim, stay away from scene of crime]).

After I was freed from prison, I was barred from family birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas celebrations, and weddings. I don’t know how missing out on all these family functions served to “rehabilitate.” To me, imposing these dumb parole restrictions serve as another opportunity for CDCR to “violate” people, thereby validating the “need” for more law enforcement agents and incarceration itself. Imposing these restrictions also mislead the public to believe that “sex offenders” are ALL somehow more dangerous than reality.

Even at WORK, after I was freed from prison, my parole agents were always questioning me as to my incidental contact with children (as sometimes minors came in as customers/clients and had asked questions… usually with parents or an accompanying adult). Rather than being happy that I was gainfully employed, it seemed that my parole agents, one in particular, made passive-aggressive attempts to undermine my employment by repeatedly questioning my supervisor and boss.

It’s incredibly disturbing to think how we are all conditioned to believe we cannot be trusted with children and that we are ALL pedophiles. This is what registration does. It tends to isolate and ostracize us from reintegrating. And if we aren’t careful, we could even start to believe that it’s necessary… when it isn’t. (Read about labeling theory.)

Why should one isolated crime, from almost 10 years ago, define what I can and can’t do? Now that I’ve been discharged from parole for a few years now, I’ve tried to be the best possible uncle and cousin to all my younger relatives. I’ve also been dating a few women — so what happens if we decide to get married and have a child? Would society expect me to avoid my own children?

As for this program director, he completed supervision. He paid the price for his crime. I thought that once we serve our sentence, we can move on? That’s how it should be…

If we are not allowed (wanted) to have jobs, then the government should let us have our social security now. I don’t mind not having to put up with society….just give me what I have worked for all these years and I won’t bother the U.S. any more.

Look at how many countries that have a registry do not publicize it. Many only have registries for what they deem as serious felonies. The don’t feel that it is in anyone’s best interest to humiliate alienate a group. Yet these countries have no problems with post incarceration offenses. The public registry is at the heart of most issues. Shameful!

A little discussed effect of banning registrants from interacting with children is that reformed persons are thereby restricted from passing on lessons learned from mistakes. Given the automatic removal with it carries inherently a drawback. One cannot pass on knowledge one has gained through experience if one cannot speak directly to the intended audience.

COUNTERPRODUCTIVITY of SORs real underlying intent.

So older men, if blacklisted listed, may not pass on knowledge via the oral tradition of story telling to young men who by their inherent nature, and by the influence of popular culture very much overate the vagina and the pursuit thereof.

It would be great if there were more comments at the source article!

There is another article related to the Registries on the same website that it would be great if people would comment on as well: http://www.kake.com/story/38814252/escaped-rapist-back-in-custody.