Thursday, May 1, 2014

AR - Do sex offender restrictions work?

Original Article

Short answer... NOPE!


By Craig Rickert

JONESBORO (KAIT) - When we talk about sex offenders emotion tends to take over. Call it a protective instinct. We don't want them living near our children or where our children go to school or play.

The thoughts are terrifying to any parent. But as we found out, those fears, don't match the facts.

"There is no data, according to my knowledge, that sex offender registry restrictions prevent sexual assault," Sheri Flynn told Region 8 News.

Only 5-7% of all sex offenders re-offend.

It's the empirical argument that flies in the face of raw emotion when it comes to where sex offenders are allowed to live in the state of Arkansas.

The law state says level 3 and 4 sex offenders cannot reside within 2000 feet of a school, daycare or public park. Level 1 and 2 offenders do not have any such restrictions.

"We're pushing sex offenders outside that net and occasionally creating pockets of sex offenders because there's only one area in a county that they may be able to live."

Sheri Flynn is with the Arkansas Department of Correction's Sex Offender Screening and Risk Assessment Program. In laymen's terms, her office determines a sex offender's threat level.

"To me, it makes more sense to base where sex offenders can be based on what they do, the crime they commit with whom they commit it with. Those are the people we don't want around our minor children."
- Even if you did that, it still wouldn't prevent a sexual crime if the person is intent on committing a crime!

By forcing sex offenders farther away, because of the residency restrictions, they are less likely to be part of what Flynn and others in her field call "the containment approach". A belief that circling the offender with professionals from the courts, law enforcement, treatment providers and others keeps better tabs on the most dangerous sex offenders, level fours.

"There is a small sub-group. If they have a deviant sexual arousal to forced sexual contact or children, they are more than 50% likely to re-offend and they respond very poorly to treatment."

That's where Flynn sees a weakness in the residency restrictions. Simply put, if they are forced too far out, it becomes that much harder to stay on top of a dangerous predator.

"I want to know where he is, not where he isn't."
- But you can never know 100% of the time where they are or aren't, and again, males are not the only ones who commit sexual crimes!

"We don't know what he's going to do and that net disappears and those things that have been put into place by my office, by my brothers and sisters in law enforcement, we work very closely to keep an eye on these guys. When they drop off the radar we don't know what they're doing or where they are they could be up to anything."
- Yeah just like any other ex-felon, they could be anywhere doing anything!

It's a loaded question. Where should they live? But Sherri Flynn offers this: maybe when we ask legislators, or even law enforcement what to do, we're asking the wrong people.
- They should be able to live anywhere they want just like any other ex-felon!

"Sometimes I think we need to ask survivors "how does this affect you?" If your dad or grandfather got treatment, if he could get a good job would that be better? I don't know the answers to those questions, but I think we need to be asking them and try to figure it out."
- No you do not need to ask them, it's obvious what their reactions will be.  You need to stop trampling on peoples rights by God and the Constitution.


Loneranger said...

Interesting how they just don't know who to ask when it comes to deciding what to do about sex offenders. Should we ask the DA who spends his life prosecuting and persecuting in the name of so called justice? Or as they suggest maybe the victim as to what should happen to their father or grandfather. I find the fact that they even attempted to place this in a context that referenced a family member interesting. When we know that most often it is and the struggle the offender endures due to all the restrictions and regulations often directly effects the victims life as well. Anything that can be done to help an offender to be a success story should be done. they can always find a failure if they look hard enough but really don't we want all success stories ?

Mark said...

The new tag for sex offender restrictions is: SEX OFFENDER PARANOIA, HATE, TERROR, SUSPICION, LEPER, RESTRICTION. And the fast answer to sex offender restriction is this: THESE LAWS DO NOT WORK AT ALL.

Anonymous said...

I don't really know how much politicians even though sex offender registration works. Sure, they may talk about how great it is on TV. But, I saw something online one time in which a person doing a survey talked to about 30 or 35 Illinois legislators (all of which the surveyer agreed to leave anonymous when they wrote their report), and only 4 of the legislators were confident that the sex offender registry enhances public safety. I doubt that your average person even thinks the registry is that effective either. Although studies on the use of sex offender registries is scarce, it's thought that only something like 30% of Americans look at the registry at least once in a year. And no, parents of young children aren't any more likely to look at the registry than anybody else is- the demographic that uses sex offender registries the most is males in their teens and early twenties, who (as they usually admit in these studies) are looking at the SOR to laugh at whoever is on there. Considering that your average person cares a lot about calling for tough sex offender laws but doesn't care much about even checking the sex offender registry, it's pretty obvious that people just want laws passed against RSOs just for revenge- not because it makes anybody safer.

getting closer to the street said...

It may be time we evaluate the advisor's of the department's . Ms. Flynn seems to be on a fishing trip or has not been in the field long enough, when making a statement as bias as " I want to know where -HE- is and to know what - HE - is doing all the time . To be blunt I would have challanged her degree of education and her process of level assessment .