As president of a national organization that advocates for the families of sex offender registrants, I take exception to the following insensitive statement made by Rep. Genise Montecillo in the article: "Most people view this building as a safe building, and sometimes folks let their guard down," Montecillo said during the hearing. "I think people should at least be aware that there is one in the building."
Rep. Montecillo implied that the Capitol was not "safe" because "there is one in the building." How absurd. Montecillo owes every family member of a registrant in Missouri an apology. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as of December 2013 there were 13,587 registrants in Missouri, which equates to approximately 30,000 family members who are made to feel like a subclass of citizens because they believe that, once adjudicated and debt paid, they should be allowed a life. Our families are doing one of the three things researchers and therapists say are essential for successful reintegration: a job, housing and a positive support system. Maybe the House members would rather Bena and the other 13,586 registrants be homeless and jobless?
Vicki Henry, president
711 Huber St., Festus