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Thursday, April 4, 2013
Re: the article by state Sen. Bill Stanley, "Why sex offender registries work," March 31 Point/Counterpoint:
This man cannot possibly know the hardships and dangers that this registry creates.
Offenders released into the public are shamed and humiliated to the point of ostracism, which exacerbates the negative emotional states that can lead to more crime.
Stanley's recidivism rates are dramatically off-base, and do not accurately reflect the very low rate of sexual offenders who recommit new sex crimes. Nor do they show at all the actual number of new offenders compared to the number of sex offenders who are convicted of a new offense.
It is a mistake to place a label like this on such a vast group of people. The focus on treating crime of all kinds, not just sexual offenses, should be on restoration, not punishment.
Our public is not served by teaching hate, isolation, shame and vengeance. Instead, we should focus on integrative solutions that involve connecting communities with offenders to make a better outcome for everyone.
After all, it is hard to hate up close. There is healing in understanding and compassion.
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