KY: Mixed Messages of Sex offenders in Ashcamp

Source: 5/19/23

When businesses pick up additional profit centers, it’s called line extension.

The extension of services that WestCare has embarked upon since 2019 is a halfway house for registered sex offenders. In a quick search of sex offenders in the 41512 zip code, which includes Ashcamp, there are 156 registered sex offenders. And over 80 of those have the same address; 10057 Elkhorn Creek Road, which is the same address for WestCare.

The halfway house provides a place for sex offenders who have committed crimes, served their time in a prison but who, once released, have no place to go. The facility is approved by probation and parole and WestCare has rules and regulations with which the residents are to abide. This is in addition to the federal and state requirements.

Sex offenders are required to register and make their address know on the registry. There are additional rules they must follow, like they must not reside within 1,000 feet of a school, playground or daycare facility. However, they are able to work at a business that is within those perimeters.

When you hear “sex offenders,” it raises the hairs on the back of your neck. And behind the walls of prison, the inmates don’t take to kindly to the child abusers. I believe there are different levels of sex offenses, but the law sees only black and white.

The heinous sex offenders who have habitually offended against young children are the menace to society and need to be not only on the sex offender registry but also in a place where they are never around children. I don’t mean to sound harsh or callous.

I understand the need for rehabilitation of people who have committed offenses or who have done too many drugs. Our society has limited facilities to treat people with addiction. Extending services to include sex offenders is a profit center and, in theory, is a good thing, but the community has a right to know.

As of this writing there are 69 registered sex offenders housed at the facility and according to the director, since 2019, they have not had one incident on campus with the residents.

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A well written op-ed bringing the reality of the situation to the masses at week’s end. Need more of this.

I strongly disagree with TS. This article has a horrible implicit message. That is except for a small group of sex offenders (consenting teens), persons with a sex offense need therapy akin to drug addiction therapy. The implication is that they are somehow damaged goods that can perhaps be repaired to a point where they can exist in society if properly monitored. To equate sex offenders with physical drug addiction is a false equivalency at best.

Note that the article did not make mention of the recidivism statistics of which we are all aware. Except for murderers sex offenders are the least likely to reoffend, and drug addicts are among the most likely. The author used trigger terms like “child abusers” and “heinous sex offenders who have habitually offended against young children.” This article will serve to harden misperceptions about sex offenders rather than to enlighten. And finally, why does the community have a “right” to know?

Well, once again, did any of you bother to contact the writer of this Opinion piece???

I did.

Here’s what I wrote to him:

“Hello Mr. Vanderbeck:

I read your Opinion piece and wish I had the ability to respond in the publication’s “Comments” section. However, you might not be aware that individuals previously convicted of sex offenses are banned – by Facebook, not by law – from using Facebook or having a Facebook account. Thus, there was no way for me to use a “Facebook login” to post a comment. So I am writing to you directly with my response. 

While your opinion piece provided much information to readers, it failed to note something very important: the sexual offense recidivism rate for those individuals previously convicted of a sexual offense is remarkably low. In fact, the rate is lower than all other criminal reoffense rates (except for murder which is probably due to the fact that those convicted of murder are typically incarcerated for many years.) 
In the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision allowing sex offense registries to exist, one of the Justices described the recidivism rate for sexual offenses as “frightening and high” – solely due to an article written years earlier in “Psychology Today” – apparently no credible scientific, academic or statistical sources could be found by the Court. That “frightening and high” description – citing those exact words – has been used ad infinitum in Court decisions ever since and are very frequently used to expand draconian punishments, rules, regulations, requirements and restrictions affecting those who have been convicted of sexual offenses. 
The reality is the sexual reoffense recidivism rate is approximately 5.3% ( ).

Please consider sharing this recidivism rate information with your readers.

And please also be aware that, today, there are more than 1 million individuals forced to register on Sex Offense Registries throughout the United States. Some of those individuals are children as young as 9 years old while others are well into their geriatric years. In fact, some states such as Florida, continue to list individuals even after they are deceased. (I have to assume that maintaining falsely high numbers in this way allows them to justify additional funding for their registry schemes.) 
But notable to your readers might also be the disinformation spread by supporters of Sexual Offense Registries who would have them believe that registries provide valuable public safety information.  
This is false. Registries provide parents and other individuals with a false sense of security. Because, while they may seek to know the individuals in their community who have been convicted of past sexual offenses, they are distracted from paying attention to the most likely current dangers – individuals not listed on any Registries but who are close at hand: family members, step parents, and other relatives, family friends, teachers, sports coaches, clergy, tutors, and even other children. If the Registries were truly effective at reducing the occurrence of sexual offenses, then sexual offense crime rates would have dropped significantly by this time – after all, the public Sexual Offense Registries have existed for 20 years. Instead, a glance at current headlines will show that sexual offenses – including those against committed against children – continue and are committed (95% of the time) by non-Registered individuals.

Thank you for considering my response to your opinion piece.

Sincerely, David ______”

(Maybe stop arguing with each other and start sticking up for yourselves! 😒)