Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dealing with monsters -- uh -- sex offenders

If things really come in threes, then I have a monster story yet to come my way.

The first one was when an editor wrote a "Pokemon warning" to his readers and chose to call registrants living in the area "the real monsters." I took exception to that verbiage and, after contacting him, sent my rebuttal, which he, in decency, printed.

Now, this morning, when I opened my usual collection of daily alerts, one shouted at me, "Monsters among us site provides digital vigilance to help you keep track of sexual predators..." The thing turned out to be nothing more than an advertisement for Family Watchdog masquerading as a site review, but my initial reaction was, again, my radar going on high alert at the word "monsters" being used to describe those on the registry.

At the end of the piece was a request for readers to share their favorite sites for him to review. I took him up on it, sending him the following. Time will tell if I get a response.

Dear Mr. O'Neill,
Thank you for the invitation to share a favorite site. The one I would like to share is It is the site of National Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc., and it is dedicated to the advocacy of laws and policies based on facts and evidence that support
the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of law abiding, former sex offenders into society. This is our goal because this is what research shows will help create a safer society.
Unlike the site you most recently recommended, we do not call people "monsters." Research indicates that pejorative language of that type is counter-productive in furthering the rehabilitation initiatives approved by our criminal justice system.
Additionally, we find the type of site touted in your article "Monsters among us site..." contradictory to empirical evidence, and we find companies such as Family Watchdog extremely unethical as they are using deceit to play on the fears of parents. An exhaustive look at the research and scholarly literature on the subject will reveal that evidence does not support the use of public notification such as public sex offender registries. These popular but wasteful schemes do not further public safety, reduce sexual re-offending, nor offer any protection to children or other potential victims. They are predicated on misconceptions and myths and are denounced by academics and scientists alike.
I will be happy to dialogue with you further on this subject. Thank you for considering the site I have recommended for your column.


  1. Nice letter...basically talking to a brick wall tho. For someone at a site like Family Watchdog to concede your point of view would be a miracle. They are not in the business of rational thought. Their whole platform is based on false premises and spreading fear. I think of sites like Family Watchdog and Homefacts as parasites feeding off of, and transmitting, fear and ignorance.

    When one of them is directly affected by the registry (and it's only a matter of time) then maybe a shift of perception may occur...

  2. Well said. What a complete waste the registry is. No drunk driver registry? No robber registry? What is THEIR recidivism rate?

    1. There is a registry here in wi where they post DUI offenders

    2. There is a drunk driver registry in Ohio too that you need to be convicted five times at last check before you go on about recidivism

  3. Well said. What a complete waste the registry is. No drunk driver registry? No robber registry? What is THEIR recidivism rate?

  4. Registries of any sort are recipes for how to ruin lives by labeling human beings as always and forever unworthy to be included back into society (aka the self-righteous in-crowd.) Labeling is like in high school but with grown up bullies who are so afraid of being targeted themselves that, swept up in moral panic, the frightened little people, follow their leaders, throw everyone else under the bus and then brag and reward themselves and look for other monsters lest they themselves be singled out next. Fear of being scapegoated themselves is the xenophobic glue which binds lynch mobs and haters together, which inflates the faithful.

    That's why the 'original sin' AWA/SORNA Registry model caught fire. Big government tells the states they must be in 'full compliance' or be denied grant $$$, lose out on bribes offered to DA's and law enforcement only in those 20 states that 'substantially comply' (have you noticed that parole and probation 'officers' now dress up in swat gear and wear guns instead of old fashioned street clothes? Law enforcement shows up driving tanks, looking like extraction teams in times of civil unrest? Have you noticed, Prosecutors were once just 'tough on crime' but now brag they are tough on Sex Offenders's saying 'vote for me' as they whip up haters and climb their political ladder to stardom?

    Balooning Registries have become an extension of the lucrative "prison industrial complex" (what an old fashioned sounding term that is) In addition to 'mass incarceration' there now is 'mass Registration' Imagine how the national unemployment rate would rise if guards, law enforcement and PO's had to go back to old fashioned supervision. What if PO's actually saw it as their job to rehabilitate, to help parolees re-enter society. If anyone was allowed to actually do their time and put their mistakes behind them

    Instead, they take the bribe, dress the part of official bullies and count on "Registry Forever" to ensure their own forever employment. Truth is, they need the ballooning numbers on the Registries, not in order to ensure 'child safety' but for their own financial benefit, to lard department budgets and insure the perpetual growth of their own retirement packages, their personal 401K's.(and dress to impress us all)

    Outfits like "Family Watch Dog" make no child safer.No matter what their slogan, they are business models invented by cynical opportunists to make $$ off the 'supervision' of 883,000 Registrants and their families. Entrapment is winked at. Invasion is encouraged. Registrants find themselves 'revoked' and returned to prison more often for petty acts of 'non-compliance' than for actual re-offending. Thus the system re-cycles offenders and calles it the recidivism rate, it loops the loop, recycles and points with alarm to prove it's underlying contention that "once a monster always a monster" telling the public they should be forever afraid.

    All this does nothing to improve child safety, has nothing to do with Re-entry and actual rehabilitation but the system needs to perpetuate the cycle of abuse and fear in order to perpetuate itself and renew it's 'fashion statement' in uniforms and guns and tanks fed by keeping the public in perpetual fear.

    AWA/ SORNA and the ballooning Registry have virtually nothing to do with actually keeping any Child Safe that is just the lie the bullies tell themselves to justify their own outrageous behavior.

    And, while all this is all too true, we all know that none of this, takes away anyone's personal responsibility to behave responsibly and gain back our own self respect no matter what they say about us.


No personal attacks, profanity, or obscenities.
Thank you.