Monday, June 27, 2011

Defensio 2.0 - Security for the Social Web

A MUST READ - Growing Media and Legal Attention to Sex Offenders: More Safety or More Injustice

Click the "Original Article" link below, which has many other good articles as well.

PERSUASIVE SPEECH - From the wife of a sex offender

In deciding to choose a topic for a persuasive argument for my college speech course, I struggled with some writer's block at the onset. I couldn't decide on whether to pick a political topic, a moral, topic, or something more mundane. I finally decided the best topic was one that I felt strongly about and that holds great meaning in my life. This turned out to be an extremely involved task and one that is highly emotional as you will understand further in my finished speech.

The specific purpose of my assignment is to persuade the various State Attorney Generals to include the families of sex offenders in the Crime Victim's Bill of Rights. This purpose was chosen due to personal experience as a former wife of a man who is currently standing trial for fifty counts of possession of child pornography. The central idea is that families of sex offenders often have symptoms of abuse that helps perpetuate abuse and dysfunction from generation to generation. The abuse in the home may be of a physical nature for some or an emotional nature for others.

Of course, a project as emotional in nature such as this required extensive reading and research to make sure I convey the message accurately. I decided the best premise was a psychological approach. This meant that I read and skimmed many books over the course of the week to choose the ones most appropriate. I found these books by searching the e-library through Anthem for topics such as "sexual addition", "families of sexual addiction", and "child sexual abuse". I also decided to put the online networking site, Facebook, to work for me. I am a member of several pages devoted to justice for pedophiles and sex offenders. So I posted requests asking for any leads on research to include credible statistics that would relate to the topic.

I am very happy with the results of my research. It has taken more time than usual to compile it all and narrow down the scope of it to only what is absolutely pertinent. I have chosen three sources that are the basis of my speech. The two books I used were the "Handbook of Addictive Disorders: A Practical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment" (Coombs, 2004) and "Understanding Child Sexual Abuse" (Rowan, 2006). These two books were extremely comprehensive in explaining the psychological composite of the families as well as the addictive sex offender. They explained how this behavior can affect future generations doing psychological damage to all family members. Although the specific sexual addiction may not necessarily perpetuate from generation to generation, the legacy of abuse and co-dependence does. However, I needed to show a connection between the abusers and their own sordid history of abuse to validate my claim that early detection and prevention in childhood can diminish future crimes. This is where the help of my Facebook groups came in. I received a multitude of references to various government sites with hundreds of statistic relating to sex offenders. However, I did not want to confuse or bore the audience with the overwhelming amount of information on the subject. Therefore I found two statistics that tied the childhood abuse in the home to the offender. The first source was found in the "Handbook of Addictive Disorders: A Practical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment" (Coombs, 2004) that stated that 81% of sex addicts had suffered abuse in the home as children. The second statistic, found through the "Crimes Against Children" Website (Douglas & Finkelhor, 2005), stated that about a quarter to a third of offenders had offended within the home. Therefore, these two statistics, working together, show there is a strong tie to home conditions even if other contributing factors are present.

It is a very heavy topic and one that I have regretted choosing several times this week. However, I am glad I chose to see it through to the end. I am even considering forwarding the video when I am finished to the target audience I am pretending to use. This makes such a serious and sobering project very worthwhile.

MO - Parent has an issue with a bus stop near a sex offenders home

WI - Burlington adopts sex offender ordinance after months of debate

Original Article


By Christine Won

BURLINGTON - After months of debate and tweaking since its original inception hailed by supporters as a move to protect children, Burlington has adopted a controversial ordinance that limits some sex offenders' whereabouts within the city.

The City Council unanimously approved it last week, making Burlington one of the few municipalities in the county to do so.

The ordinance is expected to take effect on Friday, the day after it is published. It creates "child safety zones" in parcels of property where children congregate, like playgrounds, schools or day cares, where sex offenders would not be allowed to reside near or loiter at.

The approved measure applies only to sex offenders whose offenses have been against children or were violent in nature, to the actual parcel of property where children often are and does not restrict offenders' access to religious facilities. Under a recent revision, however, sex offenders visiting religious facilities are not allowed near any school or playground on the premises. That revision, city officials said, was provided in an effort to protect children in parochial schools.

Sex offenders living in a designated child safety zone will be grandfathered in, but city officials said they may not otherwise loiter in restricted areas. The same idea applies for those living within 300 feet of a safety zone.

Officials previously scrapped a 300-foot residential restriction around the zones saying it could cause more challenges for an ordinance that is already a "lightning rod" for legal battles.

Union Grove and Caledonia enacted similar ordinances in 2008 whereas other communities like Racine and Sturtevant dropped the issue due to enforcement and legal challenges.

A sex offender, according to City Attorney John Bjelajac, could potentially claim the ordinance unconstitutionally infringes on his or her rights. But he said he believes it to be fully constitutional, especially with the recent revisions.

Bjelajac quoted a high recidivism rate for child molesters compared to other sex offenders according to studies, adding it's important to reduce the risk of re-offense.
- Well, they continue to quote lies. The recidivism rate for sex offenders in general is lower than any other criminal, except murderers, around 3.5% to 10%, depending on the study. Why doesn't he show which study he got those "statistics" from, if he can?

Mayor Robert Miller has also been a staunch supporter of the ordinance, calling the plan a set of "hammers and tools" for local police.

Burlington Police Chief Peter Nimmer has told city officials that officers did not have a way to deal with registered sex offenders who are discharged from their sentences and can go or live where they wish. There are about two dozen registered sex offenders in the city of about 10,500, according to police.
- Once an offender has served their time, you shouldn't have to deal with them, otherwise, it's additional punishment, which is unconstitutional.

While ecstatic the ordinance was finally approved, Miller said it is not as "strong" as he would have liked; he preferred stricter restrictions, but he said it was at least something to protect the children.
- It's won't protect anybody!  Where someone sleeps at night, has no affect on if, when or where they will commit another crime, if they do.