Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Big Blind Spot in the Prison-Overcrowding Conversation

The prison-overcrowding issue continues in Nebraska. And public policy-makers continue to walk on tip-toe around one major issue: Needless incarcerations of former sex-offenders.

We'll connect the dots.
DOT: The latest report from the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSGJC) says Nebraska's prisons are bulging because, among other things, too many people are being returned to prison for technical violations.
DOT: Nebraska's "hammer-the-sex-offender" law is based on the incorrect assumption that registered citizens represent a high risk for re-offense. The truth is that most do not represent such a risk. 
DOT: Nebraska's confusing and convoluted law basically and erroneously brands all registered citizens as predators and imposes dumb community notification and monitoring punishments. For instance, a registered citizen who is away from home for 73 hours without telling the local sheriff about it commits a crime and will go to prison if convicted. (A young Lincoln mother was taken away from her child, cuffed and carted to jail, accused of such an offense).
DOT: Statistics from the CSGJC itself show that about 95 percent of registered citizens will not commit another sex crime. But because Nebraska law deprives registered citizens of jobs, homes and family life, there is increased likelihood of technical violations of the notification/monitoring punishments. Your life has to be extremely stable and organized to comply with Nebraska's Big Brother law. That's the law that makes your life unstable and disorganized.
Sad to say, Nebraska politicians are shy about acting on any of this because some voters are crazy, vengeful haters. Nebraskans Unafraid politely reminds politicians that many registered citizens, their friends and their family members are voters, too.

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