Sex offenders want to talk to you.”
I have written my life story. I’m a person who talks to a person sitting next to me on a plane. I hired people at the grocery store and even sat in the thin robes of the hospital waiting for mammograms. I generally like people. Even if I don’t work, I often “interview” them. I think I’m open. I would rather question than answer. I try not to judge.
But one fall day last year, random calls to the newsroom caused my unease. A colleague shouted in the newsroom that a sexual predator wanted to talk to me. Everyone looked at me. My first thought was bolt. I don’t want to talk to sex offenders. I certainly don’t want him to have my phone number or my name. I’m a little disturbed.
I call him “jay”, a part of a sex-offender registry trying to throw out Nebraska, or at least repeal the Nebraska law that was enacted seven years ago. The law basically puts any sex offender in the Nebraska sex offender registry, an Internet database for all to see. Until 2010, only those deemed the most risky would be listed. Only law enforcement officials know about low-risk criminals, so when the law changes, the list almost doubles overnight. There are currently more than 5,200 people in Nebraska.
The registry includes child molesters and those who urinate in the bushes, those who accidentally download child pornography, including a 15-year-old girlfriend of a 19-year-old. They are now married to three children, but he lives as a sex offender in the public registry.
Jay tried to get my attention and try to share his story. So I worked as a journalist. I abandoned my prejudices, killed my fears, and started talking to him. About six months later, the third time that he had to call the newsroom, and announced that it was “sex offenders”, just like I chat with many other sources, beginning to feel a chat with this person is normal. Jay Chou is polite and good at spoken English. When we talk, I can often hear a baby growling in the background. Jay Chou alone in custody of his 1-year-old daughter.
“I’m sure she’s safe. She was my top priority, whatever the situation, “he told me about the dishevelled girl.
Chou grew up in foster homes, 32 of which are exact. He was a foster child for 15 years. He has no experience of dating or meeting girls. He admitted that he actually had no relationship and no role model. Now 27 years old, a few years ago, a friend introduced him to a dating app called PlentyofFish. He was lonely and he was looking for company. He met a woman through the app and turned it off.
The girl is 14 years old. Jay Chou left home and found a hammer in the company.
“I take full responsibility for the mistakes,” he said, “especially the ones I control.”
He served a year, but Jay says he’s now serving a life sentence for sex offenders registry. Last year, his girlfriend gave birth to a baby girl and jay became a father.
“She’s the reason I’m still fighting, and I’m doing what I’m doing,” he said of his daughter.
As a member of the registry, he had to check with the sheriff every three months. They needed to know his address and the car he was driving. The random haters were driving in his house, Shouting at him, or bypassing the insulting flyers, marking him as a monster, because he was in the registry. Since the term “sex offender” causes great fear and uncertainty, it is almost impossible to keep a job. No one wants to hear about his conviction. Baby and jay live together. Nebraska does not have a child’s law in the home of restrictive offenders. Jay Chou is forever grateful.
“We are citizens of the third world,” he told me. He worries that his children will be bullied. He can’t take her to Y’s swimming class. She can never sleep. If he had reason to be there, he would be able to enter her school. He can’t live near a park or school.
I always think or hear, or perhaps make up for in my mind the fact that all sex offenders are uncontrollable and that creepy weirdos can’t stop the crime. I think it’s only a matter of time before they commit another act of aggression against children. I think it’s a mental or psychological barrier that they can’t change or heal. I learned that some are really sick.
I have told the story of sexual assault survivors, incest survivors and children who have been sexually harassed in my 30 years of professional life. I wept with them and I saw their lives destroyed and manipulated by selfish patients. But hearing “the other side” is a rare thing. This is a side that no one wants to hear, probably because we are afraid.
She studied criminals
Dr Lisa Sample, professor of dynamic criminal justice at the university of Nebraska at Omaha, asked: “if sex offenders are the social groups we are most concerned about, should we understand them? The criminal is in the country.
What about sex offenders? How high? Random friends, I asked about 50 percent of the sex offenders to repeat their crimes.
“In fact, sex offenders have a lower recidivism rate than any other violent crime. Actually the highest is robbery, “said Sample. She is a written briefing from the U.S. Supreme Court. She is known as a specialist in policy makers because they create and change laws to focus on sex offenders. She is a rare bird in the world of social science, and someone has chosen to study the most hated and misunderstood members of society.
Ninety-five percent do not commit sex crimes
The sample size is petite, talkative, bold, brightly colored, rock star’s hair and powerful voice, and seems to speak a different language when it comes to sex offenders, because she takes time to listen. Over the past five years, she has visited more than 130 former sex offenders and welcomed them to the office of the United Nations office. She collects her own life history to see why they don’t defend it again. I know they’re a little less than I expected. They are far less than most people think.
“What we’ve done over the years is just the worst of the worst. Child sex offenders who rape and murder are very rare. That’s why it produces news, “said the sample.
UNO colleagues, she says, a recent study shows that in Nebraska, about 5% of the convicted criminals repeatability of humanity, which means that about 95% of the registered person won’t make sex crimes. Another study published this spring – researchers from Johns Hopkins university and the university of wisconsin-madison – had a slightly higher ratio nationwide. The study focused on 7,000 criminals. Overall, after five years, about nine percent of people wander. The study’s title is “once sex offenders are not always sex offenders”.
So what makes sex offenders stop defending?
“There are a lot of people at some point in their lives that can be really bad,” says Sample Said. “surprisingly, humans have changed over time. “Our decision today is different from that of 18. They are no exception.”
Private interviews with ex-offenders led her to believe that many sexual assaults were a “episode” under the stress of their lives.
“At the time of the crime, a lot of people were in this situation, everything was terrible – their marriage, their work. They lack intimacy. They are lonely and can have a more introverted and closed personality type and say: “sample.
It’s important to note that these factors are no excuse for offense. There is no excuse to offend. These situations are when the Sample reports to an innocent child, their emotional state.
Samples say positive social bonds can help prevent sex offenders from recommitting crimes. Sample said, however, that many public sex-offender registry by doing some of the so-called “public humiliation” criminals, obey the time, to treat and display sincere regret, to the extent of their crimes to prevent and to cut off the social ties. It’s hard for all felons to get a job. Join a sexual assault, and many end up homeless.
“All my time, job search, no, no, no,” a former criminal was released from prison after five years in prison. She spent her time applying for work and stopped at the grocery store, so she wasn’t hungry. She said she was deeply sorry for the crime of fifteen years ago. She was being treated and apologized to her victims.
The sample did not hesitate to listen to another subject, as if she had heard the story 100 times before.
A few weeks later, I would learn that the woman was hired for a decent job in her field, a desk job that had nothing to do with children. But when the company did a background check, it dropped the offer.
The sample says not all sex offenders are the same. That’s why she’s in the state council on judicial behavior, trying to get the assessment to be reeligible for parole and probation so that all sex offenders are not treated as the same.
For children under the age of 12, said the data sexually assaulting, implementation of violence to the stranger, for boys and girls are special sexual offender, must have the highest level of monitoring. She said those who see children as fit partners should also be held accountable.
“They are definitely in the register,” she said. , she thinks, Nebraska, need to go back to a risk-based system, allows the distribution of personal assessment and risk level, so that the lowest risk of offenders are constantly insulted, punished for life. In addition, the Sample says social relationships reduce risk factors.
The district court in two parts of the United States agreed. A federal judge recently ruled that Colorado’s sex-offender registries are not fair to sex offenders, calling it cruel and unusual punishment. Another ruling said that Michigan could not retroactively apply its sex-offender laws to those convicted of registering “all” offenders in the country’s registry. Nebraska registered for registration in 2011.
“I think it should be punitive. Omaha women development center director Amy Richardson (Amy Richardson) said, she said, the goal of the registry is to identify the communities at risk, but she said everyone was pressed together. It was not clear who was violent.
Who should we be afraid of?
Crime experts tell me that we should care most about the people we know, who are always there for our children. The sample said that the first sex offenders who knew our children were more likely to grope, touch or sexually assault a child than a stranger who had already been punished and treated.
A former religious man, a friend and family member, is unlikely to redefend the sample because they have a healthy relationship and they have been punished. And this is shocking: one criminologist told me that 90% of the most affected children know the person who mistreated them. This is a sad part: most of these cases have not been reported. So really, the 5200 on the Nebraska registry is just a small fraction of the offending people. The rest were not discovered at all.
Build healthy relationships
It was a Wednesday night, and a huge wooden table at the restaurant in downtown Omaha was set for the party. There are twelve places on the table.
Jay arrives with his baby. In the busy kitchen, roast beef and potatoes cook in the oven. A cheerful woman at the counter garden tomato slice and a few gentlemen visit and chat. A woman with long hair with black hair rolls up a crescent roll, and jay’s baby is taking a bottle.
A man named Ken hosted the weekly dinner. When he put the pan on the table, they shook hands and prayed.
“Dear Lord, we thank you for your kinship and let you accept all of us,” he continued.
Ken is a convicted sex offender, and so does most of his family. They call it “Wednesday dinner.” That’s part of what they call the “fearless” support group in an advocacy group called “Nebraskans Unafraid.” The group’s goal is to abolish sex-offender registries, saying that they have been discriminating against and making people hate targets for a long time after serving their sentences. Nebraska is not afraid
I asked them what they were not afraid of. And then I realized, this is me, and everyone outside of us is afraid of them. Their goal is to tell us. This is to tell us that they have changed. This is to prove that they are not labeled “monsters” after being arrested and convicted.
Ken spent his time as a sex offender, volunteering in his church and running a family business.
“When we understand why we did something wrong, and how we feel, it’s the biggest reason why people like me never regret it,” he said.
My wife, who is in her 30s, is preparing dinner, and I wonder why she lives with her husband, who admits that he has done something terrible for his children?
“We are all christians and we realize that god has forgiven us,” Allen said. She also told me that she took her marriage vows seriously.
The couple rented a small basement apartment because they left the prison and had nowhere to go. So far, they have received four men, each staying one year under the condition of the state. Only one of the 100 sex offenders has a place and a man back to jail. Ken and Ellen took their former criminals to their side and told them to leave home and go to church and shop.
“The most important person in the prison told me, ‘don’t let them isolate’,” Allen said.
This group is connected to the outside world. This is a place where they admit mistakes and talk about making up for it. The sample says the group is a social connection that keeps them from being quarantined and recommitted.
An interesting woman sat at the table. She was devout and cheerful. Judith James told me that she lived in the couple’s apartment when she divorced a few years ago. She revealed that she had met Ken and Ellen in church and felt that their home would be a place to heal her. Judith has a unique point of view sitting on a sex offender’s desk. She told me that she was an incest survivor, abused from age four to thirteen, and recently forgave criminals.
“When I was 13, I put the dresser on the door of my bedroom. When he tried to get in, I told him, “you touch me again, I’ll tell my mother,” James said to the people at the table.
James told the group that the sex offender registry would not protect her. The man who often comes to her bedroom is not in the registry. ‘we’re fooling ourselves if we think the registry is keeping us safe,’ she said.