Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WY - Sex Offender Transition Home Proposed

Original Article


By Rylee DeGood

The Wyoming department of corrections knows it's a tough sell.

"It's a difficult subject and it brings out lots of strong feelings," said Steve Lindley, Deputy Director.

That subject? Something called a Shared Living Arrangement or SLA.

"Right now in Wyoming there is not one transitional center for sex offenders to release to," said Kristy Oster, Field Services Re-Entry Coordinator. "So we have this population that causes so much emotion and they're high risk and certainly nobody wants them to violate and create more victims and we've essentially cut off all services for them."
- High risk?  Wrong!  Many studies have been done to show ex-offenders have one of the lowest reoffense rates out there.

But the idea of potentially locating a SLA at 132 Dell Range doesn't sit well with neighbors.

"To be a guinea pig, that's not good."

Jason and Lisa McGinnis and their two sons live right behind the proposed site.

"There's day cares and there's elementary schools and parks and there's family functions that go on around there and I just can't help but think that there's got to be a better place, a less populated place for it," they say.

The Department of Corrections says the program has been successful in other states, including Colorado, and it's the right thing to do with transitioning sex offenders.

"We need to get these sex offenders out into the community where they can have long periods of supervision," said Oster. "I know that sort of fights from what the feeling should be or is that we naturally have, but the studies show that if we can get them in a year or more of treatment that their recidivism rates are lower."

But these statistics mean nothing to the McGinnis' and other neighbors.

"I hate percentages, one re-offender is one too many, bottom line."

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