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National

CO: Colorado board reverses controversial change to “sex offender” label

Source: denverpost.com 12/20/21

Under pressure from the governor and the state’s public safety director, Colorado’s Sex Offender Management Board has reversed its controversial November decision to scrap the term “sex offenders” in its own guiding principles in favor of “adults who commit sexual offenses.”

The board, commonly referred to as the SOMB, voted 16-2 on Dec. 17 to “table” the language-change matter and refer it back to a subcommittee. It’s possible the board votes again to change terminology in the future, but the tabling means it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

This decision followed a 10-6 vote by the board in November to stop using “sex offenders” in its own principles and policies. The board controls treatment standards for people convicted of sex offenses, and changing the language in this way would not have affected treatment or management policies. But it was hailed by supporters as an important step away from labels and toward “person-first” language that research shows can improve rehabilitation prospects.

After the November vote, however, the board opened a public comment period. That’s where things went off track.

The language change had gotten coverage on talk radio, on Fox News and in The Daily Caller, in addition to various Colorado outlets. More than 400 people submitted comment on the matter, an overwhelming number for a state board that tends to generate little public attention.

Public defenders and people who’ve committed sexual offenses, plus their family members and advocates, were supportive of the change. But comments from victim advocates and members of the general public were by far in favor of no language change. Law enforcement leaders have also opposed the change from the start.

“The coddling from some of the offender-affiliated representatives was repugnant,” tweeted Colorado sex assault survivor and motivational speaker Kimberly Corban, two days after the vote on a language change. “This shift is offensive for those of us who have experienced victimization at the hands of sex offenders who don’t like their ‘label.’”

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Rules by fiat. The founding fathers thought long and hard about that topic as it is destructive to law and order, which in turn diminishes trust in the people. As Thomas Payne put it, Why trade a tyrant 5000 miles away for 50 tyrants 50 miles away. Fiat rules have a tendency to swing wildly depending on who’s currently in power. And as we see in the issue of emigration, and is inherently wasteful to time and material. I noted NARSOL spent time and space discussing and rejoicing the change to more of what they described as a change of language to the first person. Clearly that effort was at least somewhat wasteful, as fiat has switched back to the original language. The more the flip and flop, the more discomfort for the people generally. The COVID issue…

[Moderator’s note: COVID is causing flaming in our discussions. Please discontinue COVID discussion]

“Public defenders and people who’ve committed sexual offenses, plus their family members and advocates, were supportive of the change”.

To be clear, the change refers to revision from the new term (“adults who commit sexual offenses”) back to the original “sex offenders”.

The so-called victim’s organization was supportive of the term: “adults who commit sexual offenses”, implying that sex offenses are ongoing.

This was a major success for our cause. This term could have been duplicated by other jurisdictions and then spread like the Omicron virus. Congrats to all.

This just goes to show we serve a never-ending, punitive sentence in 2 phases.
Phase 1 is when we serve our punitive,prison time, which is supposed to be the recompense for our crimes against society, but it doesn’t stop there.
Phase 2 is our social, punitive shunning, which most of the public believes we should die in perpetual punishment by society even if our victims are leading a normal or close to normal life and forgave us a long time ago.
The public at large doesn’t want any of us to have any sort of life even though we served our time and almost all of us are not even a threat to society and that is proven everyday.
But yet they can go sleep with someone else’s wife or someone else’s husband and think nothing of it as though they did no wrong, when they are ‘sex offenders’ too.
Theirs just isn’t illegal by man’s standards in the U.S. anymore and cannot be sent to prison. How unfortunate they can’t!!
Laws would probably change real quick then.

Why not get rid of judges since all people care about is the victim rights groups? Even if a sentence is just the victim rights groups get skid marks in their undies!

Why exactly is the change such a big deal to victims advocate to the point they feel they have to cry afoul? Is it all that different to them whether their ex-convicts are “sex offenders” or “individuals having committed sex offense”?

I know obviously the change is a big deal to registrants and their families, validly because of the stigmatizing label. But, as my gambling uncle used to say, “What’s in it for them?”

Since the judicial system has decided to label us in tiers, which I agree with, why not label Tier 1 ( offender ) Tier 2 as ( serious offender ) and Tier 3 as ( criminal offender ). At least the offences are less offensive and more accurate.

EDITORIAL: Say it out loud in Colorado — sex offender

Victim to Survivor…that should be sent to the CO SOMB for their consideration in their effort to think about different terms people should be labeled with in their minds. If people can go from one to the other in that vein, then the person who has a conviction can go from someone people think of as an offender (regardless of the crime) to a client when it comes to brass tacks of reintegration, rehabilitation, and moving forward. Everyone who wants to remain a victim by label should be asked if they want to become a survivor one day.

Victim to Survivor, Offender to Client…novel concept in labels.

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