This article is just one example of the fear-mongering in the media. Here is the story and what NARSOL has to say about it: https://narsol.org/…/…/the-bad-the-worse-and-the-despicable/. We encourage you to communicate your feelings on this story to the station, NBC, an anyone else you believe can have an impact on ending this type of horrific reporting. Outrageously, while they originally took down the story they have reposted it and removed all comments and, apparently, the ability to post comments.
Here is a petition you can sign if you are interested. The petition states in part “Jenny Day’s entire ‘news story’ is built around a grossly incorrect statistic that 99% of registered sex offenders re-offend.”
Here is a response we sent to the leadership of the station and NBC’s corporate office:
November 17, 2019
Dear Mr. Romero,
Arizonans for Rational Sex Offense Laws is the Arizona chapter of NARSOL (National Association for Rational Sex Offense Laws). We envision effective, fact-based sexual offense laws and policies that promote public safety, safeguard civil liberties, honor human dignity, and offer holistic prevention, healing and restoration. Because denying any group of citizens their civil, constitutional or human rights threatens the liberties of us all.
As the Directors of AZRSOL, we wanted to share with you some facts regarding sexual offenses and the people who commit them. We also are asking you to publish a corrected version of your story, Released to Reoffend: News 11 investigates the sex offender next door, which is filled with complete falsehoods and misquotes designed to instill fear based upon myths rather than facts. It is in fact, one of the most inaccurate pieces of “journalism” we have ever seen in a sea of fear-based reporting on a topic which is difficult to talk about.
Here are the facts supported by sources, unlike the information provided in your article:
- Re-offense is rare. The DOJ has reported a 5.3% re-arrest rate, and a 3.5% reconviction rate after 3 years. https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/231989.pdf page 7
- Former sex offenders are less and less likely to reoffend the longer they live offense-free. https://www.hrw.org/report/2007/09/11/no-easy-answers/sex-offender-laws-ushttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0886260514526062https://ofm.wa.gov/sites/default/files/public/legacy/sgc/sopb/meetings/board/2015/10/research_outline.pdfhttps://www.eff.org/files/filenode/024_hanson_decl_11.7.12.pdf
- Research studies have found no relationship between having a registry and a decrease in sex offenses. http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2008-18509-003 https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/225370.pdf pp. 7, 41
- In more than a third of sexual abuse cases against minors, the perpetrators were also juveniles; with victims under age 6, 40% of the offenders were juveniles. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/227763.pdf https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf page 8
- 23% of contact offenders were under age 18 at the time of their offense, with 16% under age 12. https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf page 8
- Over 95% of new sexual crime is committed by persons NOT on a registry. http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2008-18509-003 https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/231989.pdf page 15 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232505213_Does_a_Watched_Pot_Boil_A_TimeSeries_Analysis_of_New_York_State’s_Sex_Offender_Registration_and_Notification_Law
- Public urination, sexting, underage sex, and indecent exposure can trigger a requirement to register. https://www.hrw.org/report/2007/09/11/no-easy-answers/sex-offender-laws-us third section
- Only a small fraction of those on registries are truly high-risk. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/231989.pdf page 11
- “Stranger-danger” is rare; 90% or more of victims know their attackers, higher for children.https://www.rainn.org/statistics/perpetrators-sexual-violencehttps://www.innovations.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/105361.pdf page 7
- Current sexual offense laws create conditions that lead to increased crime. https://qz.com/869499/new-evidence-says-us-sex-offender-policies-dont-work-and-are-are-actually-causing-more-crime/ https://repository.law.umich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1078&context=articles
We also would like to point out a particularly disturbing technique used by the reporter where she quotes a source and follows the quote with a summary of what was said. In at least one case, we believe what follows the quote to be a misrepresentation of what the source told the reporter. The article states “Representative Walter Blackman (R) Arizona, said in part, ‘There are some who believe we should include sex offenders as part of the criminal justice reform debate,’ but he says he can’t support that.” In fact, Representative Blackman has invited us to speak at his ad hoc committee on Earned Release Credits. While we cannot say exactly what Mr. Blackman told the reporter, we find it incredibly suspicious, and bad journalism, that she chose to quote him only in part.
We would be happy to speak with you regarding our concerns and to provide you with additional facts to aid you in accurately reporting on this issue in the future. We look forward to your response and a seeing corrected version a corrected version of the story.