...there is a vast body of evidence showing that sex offenders are less likely to reoffend if they have stable lives. Laws that make it impossible for them to live with family members or keep a job are completely counterproductive. Such legislation “contradicts decades of criminological research identifying factors associated with successful offender reintegration” into society, says University of Louisville professor Richard Tewksbury, an internationally recognized authority on this issue.None of this is news to sex offenders who struggle to find employment and suitable housing.
Unfortunately, former state Sen. George Runner, R-Antelope Valley, and his wife and successor, Sen. Sharon Runner — the lead advocates of the 2006 ballot campaign that gave us Megan’s Law — say they may sponsor strict new legislation and warn that changes made by the state are dangerous to children.California has made such positive moves toward just treatment of sex offenders that we hope the Runners get no traction. Registered sex offenders who speak up can help to make sure of that.
This denies the evidence. We need laws that are crafted sensibly, not driven by populist posturing.Instead of emotional appeals that rely on fear, it's good to hear a clear call for evidence.
Notes from the Handbasket