For the last 20 years or so, the Legislature has taken the same approach that it did unsuccessfully in the 1980’s with the Drug War, i.e. “get tough on Sex Offenders” while the research and even the recidivism rate of sex offenders speaks an entirely different alternative.

After spending 10 years in prison myself for a sex offense and spending the last 20 years working to change ineffective and harmful laws I would urge you to think outside the box and focus on programs that strength therapueticv interventions, help strngthen instead of destroy families and support groups of those who have committed sex offenses and provide needed services and assistance in helping former offenders find comfortable and affordable housing and jobs that suit their needs and skill level.

For the last 20 years I have volunteered as a contact point for NARSOL and WAR (Women Against Registry) groups fighting for a paradigm change in SO related laws. There are few weekes that go by that I do not receive letters from people being released from prison who have no prospects of housing or employment and are either held longer in prison or placed in low in hotel in shady areas of town with no assistance from parole or probation agents to find housing or employment. Rther than rewarding or funding agencies and programs that merely make things more difficult for returning offenders why not reward agencies for actively helping parolees to successfully reintegrate, build and reestablish familiar relationships and set realistic and attainable goals which will help boast self esteem.

Additionally in my work as a therapist referral point person for B4U-ACT I receive numerous monthly requests from people struggling with attraction to minors, many of them barely adults themselves. They are affraid to reach out for the help they need for fear of the potentuial social or legal consequences…. may have not offended but the social concerns tax their often already fragil emotions putting them at a higher risk of some sort of non-productive behavior… why not institute programs such as Dunkerfeldt project in Germany and help those who are seeking a means of dealing with their struggles a much more accessible path to do so rather than laying on punishment layer upon punishment layer.

As a senior citizen foreseeing my eventual need for a home with less maintenance and perhaps eventually a nursing facility and hopefully before that day desiring to visit some of the many places around t he world I have dreamed of visiting since I was a child, I find the prospects for any of these activities to have been severely impacted in the negative by many of the laws that continue to be imposed on former offenders.

And worst of all the research shows that these “tougher on crime” measures actually create more problems and often have the exact opposite impact that they are proposed to offer. Using credible research and the wisdom of those orgamnizations who work with former offensers daily makes so much more sense.

Please note… in my home state of Indiana… a state that is not even fully compliant under the current scheme, the rate of recidivism according to the Indiana DOC is a very low 1.05% Hardly justifying the ever growing regime of laws. this rate has been consistent for an extended period of time.

I urge you to reject the current logic and seek for impactful, fact based changes that can help change the course of the prison nation which poor legislation and administrative decision foster. Please think outside of the bos and seek help form organizations like Women Against Registry (WAR), NARSOL, and ACSOL.

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