No sex offenders in Delridge Supportive Housing project, says DESC

March 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm | In DESC Delridge project, West Seattle news | 33 Comments

One longrunning point of contention related to the 66-unit DESC Delridge Supportive Housing project is finally settled.

Not long after DESC went public last June with news of its proposal to build the project to house formerly homeless people, many living with challenges such as mental illness and/or substance abuse, the question was asked: Will sex offenders be among the residents? As we reported on June 27th, DESC executive director Bill Hobson said they would not be allowed in the building’s population “if that’s what the neighborhood wants.” The request had not been formally made by any group representing the population, however, and the issue’s status came up in a mail-group discussion over the past week. That discussion concluded with Vonetta Mangaoang of the Delridge Alliance, a member of the project’s Advisory Committee, reporting late today:

Just this morning, Bill Hobson, in response to my request to have the issue of sex offender exclusion placed on tomorrow’s neighborhood advisory committee agenda, resolved the issue by simply stating that DESC will exclude sex offenders from their Delridge supportive housing facility. His quick and decisive action hopefully resolves neighbors’ concerns.

Thank you to each of you who pointed out the importance of this issue. I encourage neighbors to continue to actively communicate with your neighborhood representatives on DESC’s community advisory committee (e-mail alliance@ndnc.org).

That committee meets again tomorrow night, 6:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center; the agenda is here.

33 Comments

  1. Why would they even consider building a home for such a dangerous group? Especially when they are opening the new S.T.E.M school. These people with severe mental health issues will be on the bus, and near the school with young children. Why not move the house downtown, away from all schools.

    Comment by Concerned — 10:13 pm March 26, 2012 #

  2. I find it amazing that the City took no stance on this, while a halfway house for non-homeless sex offenders would have never for a moment been allowed less than two blocks from an elementary school.
    .
    In a weird way, I can see the City encouraging children to better understand the “at risk” homeless by placing a school nearby a DESC building, but the “community” should never have had to “formally ask” that sex offenders be excluded, and it should have never been Bill Hobson’s decision to make.

    Comment by Mel — 11:32 pm March 26, 2012 #

  3. Frankly, unless there’s something in writing we only have the word of Mr. Hobson who has obfuscated on this issue before.

    Comment by MyEye — 6:32 am March 27, 2012 #

  4. OH! Well if he says so, it must be true!

    Comment by Danny — 6:42 am March 27, 2012 #

  5. It is in writing – in e-mail sent to various people including North Delridge neighborhood leaders who have been active on this issue. That e-mail was forwarded to the North Delridge list by one of those leaders, so I’ve seen it, but my request for permission to republish it hasn’t yet been replied to – TR

    Comment by WSB — 6:56 am March 27, 2012 #

  6. For God’s sake get a backbone, Bill Hobson!

    So the neighborhood doesn’t want sex offenders in the housing project – and you say, OK. Now what? Is it better to have transient offenders wandering the streets with no way to track them? Or, what about the fact that lack of stable housing has proven to be the highest predictor in higher recidivism rates?

    At some point, you have to stop being so desperate for public approval. When it starts to impede public safety would be a good time. Like now. Do your job and educate these uninformed residents. Public policy based on emotions and assumptions is as bad as no policy at all. Just as ineffective.

    Comment by Shana Rowan — 6:59 am March 27, 2012 #

  7. Concerned,
    There are many more school kids downtown than at Boren, with thousands of school goers busing through downtown. There are currently more than a dozen homeless shelters downtown. There are also many schools downtown, so there is no way for shelters to be, “away from all schools.” Besides the school issue is just voicing ignorant hysteria that has no basis in reality.
    -
    Mel,
    Perhaps you are not aware that sexual offenders do live in the neighborhood, as is their right.
    -
    My Eye,
    as you know, DESC has repeatedly pledged to screen for and decline sexual offenders from their Delridge housing. The community groups were asked to make a formal written request. They have never done so. Talk about obfuscation, the various Delridge groups charged with submitting a letter never have despite months passing. Why? And now when DESC unilaterally makes that decsion, you attack Bill Hobson for it?
    Incredible!
    -
    Shana Rowan,
    Thanks for cutting to the bone. These opponents to housing the homeless so easily express their ignorance, bias and prejudices, it is truly appalling. But it is nearly impossible to educate people with such strong prejudice and blinding ignorance.

    Comment by DESC = Compassion — 8:43 am March 27, 2012 #

  8. Yes, I agree with Shana. We should set public policy by ignoring the public’s wishes. Who are the public to go around trying to influence public policy anyway? Can’t people that know better just tell us all what’s best for us and just get rid of all this pandering to the public? Don’t even get me started on vocal minorities. Vocal minorities don’t even represent the majority of the public (whom we should also choose to ignore), the vocal minority should be squashed under the boot heel of the silent majority whenever they have the temerity to voice their opinions. If we do that often enough, maybe they will just shut up.

    Comment by MAS — 9:13 am March 27, 2012 #

  9. Shana Rowan: Just curious, do you live anywhere near the Delridge site? I will be able to see the new building from my living room window. I find that many of the people who are so vocally critical of us “ignorant” Delridge residents don’t live anywhere near here, and I find myself wondering how many of them would change their tune if the project were in their own back yard.
    I have done my own research, and it looks to me that DESC project areas don’t have any higher crime rate than other areas. I’m not overly concerned about safety, and I don’t really have a problem with the DESC project. What I have a problem with is my neighbors being disparaged for voicing concerns that I believe any neighborhood would have if this project were proposed there. So I just ask, would you be so non-chalant and understanding about the sex offender issue if it were next door to your house, or is it only okay with you as long as it’s in someone else’s neighborhood?

    Comment by Ronnie Applewhite — 9:25 am March 27, 2012 #

  10. DESC != Compassion,

    Which group does DESC recognize? They won’t even put this issue on the agenda of the committee that Bill sits on.
    .
    I still don’t understand why you are assuming that people with concerns about this project are against housing the homeless. Frankly, that’s not based in reality. I believe many like me have concerns about the site, concerns about the process, and concerns regarding the leadership of DESC.

    Comment by MyEye — 9:50 am March 27, 2012 #

  11. Just to clarify, since I saw the entire “back-and-forth” to which my copy briefly alludes: If Bill Hobson hadn’t made this commitment, this would apparently have been on the agenda of tonight’s Advisory Committee meeting, with the Delridge Alliance subgroup voting to formally make the request. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:00 am March 27, 2012 #

  12. Ronnie,

    Apparently Shana Rowan does not live anywhere near Delridge.

    http://www.blogger.com/profile/16126155782902141924

    Comment by Lily — 10:22 am March 27, 2012 #

  13. My Eye,
    If you have read the reporting or attended the meetings, you would know that any of the recognized Delridge neighborhood groups could have submitted the letter of request.
    -
    And at this point after all valid “concerns” have been long addressed, opposition to this project is clearly against housing the homeless for those who still deny simple NIMBYism.
    -
    Go ahead My Eye and others, please list your “concerns.” If you do so we can all examine them for what they are.

    Comment by DESC = Compassion — 10:27 am March 27, 2012 #

  14. DESC != Compassion,

    What about the problems of concentrating poverty? How has that been addressed? The neighbors had to fight tooth and nail just to get the very valid point that the original building design (which Bill said was as small as they could go) would increase the poverty level for the neighborhood over city siting limits. So instead we’ll just go right up to the line. What about transportation? Simply saying that one van will be able to provide transportation for 66 units doesn’t seem like we’re attached to reality.
    .
    What about concerns over how the location was sited in the first place? What about the dysfunctional way this project was brought to the public’s attention and the lack of any real accountability from DESC.
    .
    Perhaps, if you lived closer to Delridge you would see why the neighborhood is concerned about the burden of poverty.
    .
    And personally, this housing first model doesn’t seem likes it works from the studies I’ve seen. As I have pointed out to you before, taking someone down from 15 drinks to 11 and giving them essentially free housing isn’t and shouldn’t be viewed as success.

    Comment by MyEye — 12:11 pm March 27, 2012 #

  15. They could not house sex offenders there by law if it is within the vicinity of a school. Not sure why no one knows that. So I am sure it was easy for them to say they wont

    Comment by Nick — 1:02 pm March 27, 2012 #

  16. Nick – The law appears to be less restrictive than you think. I am looking it up and trying to wade through but hoping someone else has a quick link as I am way behind on other things and have to move on. I am finding the “community protection zones” law from 2005, which seems to be very specific on particular crimes AND that it only affects offenders who are still on probation (“community custody”), and at that, specifies 880 feet from schools. Anyone else, please chime in with specific laws and restrictions, if you know them … I may not get another block of research time for some hours – TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:24 pm March 27, 2012 #

  17. Just to clarify… DESC is NOT building a facility in our neighborhood for sex offenders. They are building housing for chronically homeless individuals with severe addictions.
    .
    The whole point is to get them out of the dangerous environment of Downtown.
    .
    DESC’s Bill Hobson volunteered information at the summer meeting that these individuals sometimes are also suffering from mental illnesses, and that someone could be a sex offender. That led to the above statement.
    .
    There are CURRENTLY nine registered sex offenders residing within one mile of the STEM school. We also have a number of residents addicted to alcohol and drugs in the neighborhood. That is simply the reality of life.
    .
    I had thought like Nick above, but, TR, that is what my research for the neighborhood turned up as well. There are no restrictions in Washington state unless an offender is still under supervision by the Department of Corrections.

    Comment by Mickymse — 1:33 pm March 27, 2012 #

  18. Nick, not true. I called King County to discuss this issue, and there is NO law about released sex offenders living right next door to a school. Once they do “treatment”, they are permitted to live anywhere they wish. The only requirement is that they remain “registered” so that their address is known by the police and public at all times. This means that an offender who has committed a known offense against a child, even violent offenders & those who are LIKELY TO REPEAT THEIR CRIME (level 3), can live next door to a school — as long as they undergo treatment, and we all know how effective that is. Since the laws don’t effectively protect children, the full burden is placed on the parents — hence the vocal outcry against sex offenders living near schools. It may seem like irrational, shrill protest to some (especially those without kids), but the old adage “better safe than sorry” holds true.

    http://www.kingcounty.gov/safety/sheriff/SOSearch.aspx

    Comment by evergreen — 1:55 pm March 27, 2012 #

  19. Mickymse — most parents are already aware of the number of registered offenders living within a mile radius of their own homes. And yes, we totally understand that most offenders are trusted people in our lives & that the majority of homeless are NOT offenders. However, a portion of the offenders are within the homeless population (ie. look it up online, it is difficult for many offenders to re-assimilate into society, many end up homeless). I can’t speak out against single-home offenders from living next door to a school, but I will insist a complex screen since they are/were willing to accommodate that request.

    (And just by the way, offenders level II can be designated as such b/c lifestyle choices such as “drugs and alcohol” can increase their likelihood of recommitting an offense, per the King Co website. I saw that at least 11 offenders currently live w/in a 1 mile radius of Boren, including 3 with offenses against children. Ok, I’m done with this issue, and thankful to DESC for screening…)

    Comment by evergreen — 2:02 pm March 27, 2012 #

  20. My Eye,
    Thanks for for replying with your “concerns.”-
    -
    1) Concentration of poverty. It is true that Tanya uncovered a technicality regarding the timing of arcane census data that related to concentration of poverty. Since the size of DESC has been reduced to the technical level (with a dozen more people left on the streets to perish), there is no longer that argument. Interestingly none or few of the advocates fighting the homeless shelter in Delridge are the Delridge poor. These mostly educated white middle class new Delridgians
    have leveraged and exploited their poor neighbors who they can’t get to attend meetings.
    -
    2)Transportation. You must not have been at the meeting where METRO announced a new direct line to and a stop at Westwood Village, several times per hour. Delridge gets a bus improvement. Besides that DESC will have a van to transport small groups and pick them up. Of course, all of the people living there would not depart at once or even during one day. Remember how debilitated these people are.
    -
    3)”Concerns” about how this project was brought to the community. Once again, originally DESC received histrionic reaction to the way they presented, but that was long ago. And since then DESC opponents have received and continue to receive extraordinary attention from DESC, the city, DPD and all other agencies involved with many special meetings that no other project has received.
    -
    4) Lack of accountability for DESC. You make this statement just after DESC unilaterally banned sex offenders because the community could not get it together to submit a request. And after DESC has alloweed a selfish neighbor to butcher the design concept and compromise the living spaces?
    -
    5) I live at Seattle’s High Point , so I don’t reside in Delridge. But I do own several properties within NDNC boundaries. And I have been familiar with Delridge back to the 1960s when I played basketball at the new Louisa Boren Jr. High.
    I can say that I am not concerned that the presence of homeless housing will affect my developments. There,.. I don’t know where My Eye lives, but even if he does not live in Delridge,
    I believe he has the right to express his opinion.
    Once DESC facilities are established and they meld into the neighborhood these “concerns” disappear.
    -
    6) My Eyes can certainly express his belief that the nationally acclaimed award-winning program of DESC is a failure in his eyes, but experts in the field overwhelmingly contradict him.
    And when he starts tossing about drink statistics, he is absolutely missing the Big Picture, the Big Picture being keeping those most at risk from being assaulted, raped and murdered homeless on the streets…and that is a true service.
    -
    This is why I always try to get people like My Eye to define their “concerns.” Once they are voiced, they can be dealt with in a rational manner.

    Comment by DESC = Compassion — 4:14 pm March 27, 2012 #

  21. I wouldn’t want to live in a neighborhood with sex offenders … but I did … and as a child I was molested … no one believed me because “the men{yes, two} were family men! Of course this was over 50 years ago … Maybe having a known offender is better then not knowing. But still scary to me anyway.

    Comment by rmp — 10:43 am March 28, 2012 #

  22. Dear,DESC

    Downtown does not have elementary schools. there is however a lot of businesses. Sure Queen Anne and surrounding areas do but not “downtown”.

    Second… Are you a sex offender? Suffer from a severe mental health issue? You seem to think this is a safe situation for small children.

    I do not live near Delridge, however this Stem school is open for everyone and sadly we don’t get this information sent out to our homes. I am not aware of any of this information being provided to families when they were encouraging families to send there children to this new wonderful school.

    I have compassion for both homeless and people suffering from mental health issues. That doesn’t mean I want a large home built next to a elementary school.

    What happens when they stop taking their meds? Will someone be there 24 hours a day to supervise?

    This is my opinion, I wouldn’t send my children to that school now!

    Comment by Concerned — 12:23 pm March 28, 2012 #

  23. DESC != Compassion,

    You sure like using words with connotations. Since the beginning you have treated all comments against DESC as “concerns.” The fact that you use words like arcane, exploited, histrionics, and NIMBYism (ironic since you don’t even LIVE in the area) are proof that you simply don’t care for the people currently living in the neighborhood. They are proof that you can’t/won’t look beyond whatever is motivating you on this to see legitimate points being brought up by the neighborhood.

    But let’s talk a bit. 1) It’s not arcane and not a technicality. It was a fact that the level of poverty in the neighborhood would be above the limit set by the city. It was based on information that was available to ALL before the site was bought. It was enough of a concern that they had to receive a waiver, based on old information, before it was realized that the level of poverty in the area has actually gotten worse. It’s still an argument. Should developers who build in higher income areas be allowed to fund housing which effectively concentrates poverty in a depressed area? Should DESC target low income neighborhoods for development of these projects?

    2) Super, and no I wasn’t. But what’s the point of your argument? That these super low income people are now going to have access to an expensive supermarket or that DESC is now going to enforce the “no panhandling” aspect of their guidelines at westwood as well?

    3) It’s not ancient history and it’s not histrionics. Histrionics would be someone getting upset at whether a path or steps is getting built at a park near their house. http://westseattleblog.com/2008/10/orchard-street-ravine-new-plan-old-idea-wasted. Although, I can imagine someone showing up with a vastly different approach to what you want access to your park to look like on short notice is much more important than someone showing up with a plan to concentrate poverty in your neighborhood. To be clear, histrionics is not a neighbor standing up after someone shows up with a months notice saying we’re building a controversial facility, cope. You say attention I see damage control. None of the organizations are open and the advisory council is chaired by Bill Hobson (of DESC) and a guy who lives in Pigeon Point.

    4) DESC only “unilaterally” banned sex offenders after it was requested to bring it up in a public forum. This had the added advantage of it not being on the agenda. Since it wasn’t on the agenda people don’t get to comment on it. Neat! From my limited understanding is that there is a diverse range of opinions on this facility within the neighborhood organizations and a minority of stakeholders were responsible for holding up the drafting of a letter. It shouldn’t have taken a letter from the first meeting it was clear that the neighborhood did not want to attract sex offenders. period.
    .
    5) The fact that you don’t live in Delridge should temper your constant accusations of NIMBYism. I also don’t live in Delridge and the property I own is closer to highpoint than Delridge as well. But this project is just plain screwed up. It’s not fair to that neighborhood. It’s not a good project.
    .
    6) DESC is really good at giving people free housing and not having them turn it away. Good job? This is my eyes is not a “cure” for homelessness. They are a glorified holding facility that does a very, very poor job at any kind of rehabilitation. When the experts look at retention rate they are looking at a very, very limited view of success. Bad news, if you live on the streets and are addicted to alcohol and drugs you are at a vastly increased risk of being assaulted, raped, and/or murdered. It’s the sad fact of living on the streets. I will happily join you in supporting a project to help protect the homeless and vulnerable when we aren’t attacking a neighborhood with the project.

    Comment by MyEye — 7:31 pm March 28, 2012 #

  24. My Eye,
    1) DESc does not target low income neighborhoods a as proven where their existing Housing is, overwhelmingly in the high priced downtown area. Fact.
    -
    The downsized project now meets all low income criteria. Fact. And a dozen more people may perish on the streets to meet this technicality.
    -
    2) The fact that you don’t attend meetings to hear the facts and hurtle around claims that are factually wrong does not help your case. The transportation to groceries issue was huge until METRO reps attended a meeting months ago to address this issue. Unlike you and me, residents of Delridge lack a direct bus route to supermarkets so this is a win for the community.
    Your response with this information is, big deal, “an expensive supermarket.” I assume you have never been to Target’s new grocery section, good prices there and a choice and competition to QFC. Of course, if transit were provided directly to a Safeway you could claim “a crappy supermarket.” Whatever, the problem has been addressed and long ago.
    Now there is the new possibility of a grocery store in the DESC commercial space, but since you did not attend the meeting last night, you can deny that.

    3)Fine. Call it what you want, damage control, attention or community outreach. Delridge groups have received a great deal of special and unique attention from many agencies all on the tax dollar. You are wrong to claim that “none of the organizations are open,” as they all are. I have been to many of them. Oddly, you seem to be the only one making this claim and you don’t live in the area, work there or own property there. Even though you are not a stakeholder, you are welcome to all of the groups.
    Your attacks on Pete Spalding are hurtful, in that Pete has worked tirelessly for years behind the scenes all along Delridge. I see no one in the current group of Delridge activists who have been around half as long or done half as much for this community. The fact that Pete lives in Pigeon Point one block away from the North Delridge line along the ridge does not alter the fact that the Pigeon Point Neighborhood and Delridge overlap. Pete is largely responsible for the terrific commercial building outcome at Dakota and Delridge.

    4) Months ago, DESC pointed out at a meeting at Delridge Library that less than 1% of their prospective clients are sexual offenders. As such, a facility fo this size (66) would typically not have any offenders. Nevertheless and at the same meeting, DESC offered to screen for and reject any offenders if requested by any of the community groups. The groups never performed, but you somehow blame DESC? No neighborhood “wishes to attract sexual offenders” and other DESC facilities have less than the population at large with 24 hour supervision. How is that worse than the half dozen sexual offenders already living in the community un-monitored?

    5) The fact that you don’t live in Delridge should temper your constant accusations of NIMBYism. My daughter attended primary school 2 blocks from a mental institute. The DESC project is located in a neighborhood that I work and have invested heavily in, for those reasons I could be a NIMBY against DESC. Since you don’t live in the neighborhood or attend neighborhood meetings, I wonder why you feel it is ok for you to be so outspoken? As an admitted outsider, who are you to say what is “fair” to that neighborhood?

    6) It is clear that you disagree with experts and professionals in your “flat earth” attacks on the DESC program. If you had bothered to attend some meetings, visited or even read about other DESC projects, you would realize that these projects have very little effect on the neighborhoods they are in. Many people don’t even know that these are homeless housing facilities.

    Comment by DESC = Compassion — 9:15 pm March 28, 2012 #

  25. There’s a great deal of ignorance being posted in this forum. Fact: less than 5% of registered sex offenders reoffend. Fact: Most children who are sexually abused are abused by a family member of close family friend. Fact: The distance a registered sex offender lives from a school does not increase or decrease his chances of reoffending. Fact: It is more likely that a child will be sexually abused by a family member than by a registered sex offender. Fact: Homelessness and being outcast from society increases the chances of reoffending. Fact: being a registered sex offender does not automatically mean you are a child molester. Fact: Many things that will get a person on the sex offender registry do not even involve sex. Fact: Society does not have the right to decide whose civil rights is protected and whose are violated. Fact: A person who does not feel he is part of the community in which he lives has no reason to want to protect it and respect its laws. Fact: Most people get their information about sex offenders from the media. Fact: The media is in the business of making money. Fact: The media knows that any story with sex offender in the title gets more attention. Fact: the media’s reports of sex offenders are usually full of myths and outright lies. Fact: a person does not have to live in the town this story is about to know the facts.

    http://www.corrections.com/articles/24500-facts-and-fiction-about-sex-offenders
    http://www.coveprep.com/myths.asp
    http://www.vnews.com/sexcrimes/
    http://www.casomb.org/docs/M0309_Final%20Quiz%20for%20facts%20about%20sexual%20offending.pdf

    Read the facts. Then make your comments as an educated person, not someone who is just repeating the myths they have been taught.

    Comment by Moses Gilbert Jr — 7:49 am March 29, 2012 #

  26. One more fact: Sex Offender Treatment does work. Those who suggest it does not work are showing their ignorance of the facts.

    Comment by Moses Gilbert Jr — 7:57 am March 29, 2012 #

  27. STEM school is a wonderful idea. Do you all know realize the location? Have you ever spent anytime in that location? I was so excited about the school until I found out where it is located. I am sorry to say this….

    Comment by denise — 8:28 am March 29, 2012 #

  28. DESC != Compassion

    Your arguments are quite frankly a stretch. The fact that DESC has a majority of it’s locations downtown where the concentration of homeless is greatest does not mean that they aren’t targeting impoverished neighborhoods. Could it be that Downtown Emergency Service Center got it’s start downtown? A majority of the recent developments have targeted depressed neighborhoods. Rainer, Aurora, and Delridge. Being a developer yourself it sounds like you are ok with the model of funding of developers being able to pay to receive low-income housing tax credits they would have otherwise received by building those units in their own development. Seems scummy to me but to each their own.
    .
    I’m really glad to FINALLY hear you admit there were significant problems in the initial planning of this development. Poor transportation that was a concern from the get go was dismissed by you as NIMBYism. The fact that is was being designed to a level above and beyond standing siting requirements regarding poverty was dismissed by you as NIMBYism. The idea that Delridge as a neighborhood has already born the burden of providing a place for the impoverished (including the Navos site) was described by you as “evidence they can handle it.”
    .
    Your pollyannaish attitude toward DESC is cute. The difference is I’ve read the research on housing first and many of those available on DESC’s site and found two things. First, they are very good at retaining the homeless. Second, they only define success but that outcome (and almost universally stop tracking after two years). We need to have better outcomes for these programs than just a perpetually holding place. We cannot build enough buildings. It is not a sustainable solution. But how you and I define a successful program doesn’t really factor into the apparent issue at hand which is why are they concentrating poverty in poor neighborhoods.
    .
    At the end of the day there are better places for this facility than Delridge. The way the site was chosen was flawed and the way it is being handled and has been handled is largely behind closed doors. Cheers to you and your “developments” but they are as applicable as you sending your daughter to a preschool near a mental institution. They have no bearing on whether or not this was an appropriate site for this facility.

    Comment by MyEye — 12:00 pm March 29, 2012 #

  29. http://innocentjustice.org/2010/25-recidivism-rate-%E2%80%93-really/

    Moses — I could paste several links that contradict your statements, but will not do so on WSB (wrong forum for this discussion). There is an abundance of academic literature that both lists percentages & discusses study design flaws in research about pedophile recidivism rates.

    Comment by evergreen — 2:16 pm March 29, 2012 #

  30. Evergreen: Please, just don’t even try. You can find “statements” that contradict low recidivism, if you patronize the right websites. But the overwhelming majority of respected research indicates that sex offender recidivism (not all sex offenders are pedophiles, remember?) is extremely low.

    I don’t reside anywhere near Delridge, but this issue and the attitude that goes with it is a nationwide problem. I happen to be passionate about the topic of widespread misconceptions about sex offenders and sex crime as this puts the public in direct danger. If this were happening down the street from me I would feel the same way – because I have taken the time to learn about the issue independently of the media. You should too.

    Comment by Shana Rowan — 4:22 am March 30, 2012 #

  31. Shana, I won’t try. No time to search through all of the literature, and it’s not my field. Obviously people just as invested in this topic can come to very different conclusions than your own, and the research is not conclusive.

    But just want to point out that the King Co registry defines the type of sex crime committed & the likelihood of re-offending. Level II= often grooms victim, generally more than one victim, long-term abuse, predatory, position of trust = this is the category that includes family members or teachers. Level III = high risk to re-offend, often acts of violence, cruelty to victims, minimizes own acts. The website clearly lists and defines the crimes against kids (ie. rape, molestation, which degree, the age difference b/twn perpetrator and victim).

    As to the papers on your website — I did search through a few, and the numbers/rates are variable. Some claim a high rate for child molestation recidivism, others a very low rate. Notice that the time periods are very different — some are looking at 3 years, some 5, etc… I cited the prior website only to present arguments about the current research. There is contradictory evidence, and lots of criticism about study design (ex. study subjects are not followed for a long period of time). Child molesters have powerless/voiceless victims, so of course only a fraction will recommit in a way to get caught (one major argument). Anyway, the point was, every statement made by Moses can be contradicted b/c the evidence is not consistent.

    Comment by evergreen — 2:15 pm March 30, 2012 #

  32. This tiny little comment is buried up amongst the others, and it may be the most important of all:

    “I wouldn’t want to live in a neighborhood with sex offenders … but I did … and as a child I was molested … no one believed me because “the men{yes, two} were family men! Of course this was over 50 years ago … Maybe having a known offender is better then not knowing. But still scary to me anyway.”

    This is the crux of the matter. Where registrants do or do not live is of very little importance and has virtually no impact on where children are molested. Depending on the age of the child, between 95 and 98% of molestation cases are committed by family members and close family friends, people who are not on the registry. If a child is being molested, there is close to a 50% chance that his molester lives in the same house or apartment that he does. Keeping registrants from certain areas seriously harms their families, their children, and their chances of making up for what they did and moving on, but it does nothing at all to stop sexual crime against children.

    Comment by Shelly Stow — 7:49 am March 31, 2012 #

  33. Few hopeless shelters anywhere in America take sex offenders even in very cold climates. Every state publishes as a minimum their name, crime and home address on the Internet. Many post where they work too. The direct result is high unemployment among this unpopular group. Long term joblessness grinds them down unless they have a strong family to support them. Most unemployable sex offenders slowly or instantly lose that safety net. Our policies thus create a permanent class of homeless, bitter lepers, and they know it. Put yourself in their shoes. If you say they deserve it, that’s an important moral question. For the sake of argument, let’s even say you’re right. But does it make the world safer? Deal with that. You’ll find a lot more information on that issue at this website I write for. http://www.ccjrnh.org.

    Comment by Chris Dornin — 8:21 am March 31, 2012 #

Sorry, comment time is over.

All contents copyright 2014, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^