November 17, 2019, 6:48 pm
Yuma, Arizona’s NBC News 11 just posted a horribly misleading article titled, “Released to Reoffend: News 11 investigates the sex offender next door.”
The irresponsible news story makes the absurdly inaccurate statement that “Statistics show 99% of child sex offenders reoffend, yet they are still being released into our community.”
The statistic allegedly comes from an organization called “Amberly’s place” Diane Umphress, who started the family advocacy center, Amberly’s Place in Yuma, 20 years ago. says that “It’s grown into an empire” Of course it’s grown into an empire if you feed people false statistics and scare them into supporting you.
The same story quotes some politician, Congressman Paul Gosar, (R) Arizona who said, “It defies common sense that these offenders receive light sentences, and are often released into society when the data shows high risks of recidivism.”
Released sex-offenders are less likely to be rearrested than other released prisoners, according to new data released by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). (https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsorsp9yfu0514.pdf). The commonly held “frightening and high” myth has long ago been debunked (https://reason.com/2018/11/14/the-frightening-and-high-factoid-about-s/) and we know sex offenders have a LOW rate of recidivism.
Stories like this are responsible for the irrational and ineffective policies that govern persons who have sexually offended. It shows how bullshit statistics perpetuated by a self-interested organization are regurgitated by irresponsible journalists who mislead the public and lawmakers into passing irrational and ineffective laws.
Please take a moment to correct those responsible:
Diane Umphress, Amberly’s Place: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny Day, journalist, KYMA News 11: email@example.com
Ernesto Romero, KYMA News Director: Ernesto.Romero@kecytv.com
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Author: Florida Action Committee
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