Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Book: Sexual Violence: Evidence Based Policy and Prevention by Elizabeth L. Jeglic & Cynthia Calkins - 95% of US Sex Crimes Last Year, This Year and Next Year Will be by Someone Who is NOT Listed on a Sex Offender Registry

Yesterday when I returned home from the Senate Courts of Justice Committee hearing I decided to start reading a book. I had 2 sitting on my desk and 3 more on order; I chose this one Sexual Violence: Evidence Based Policy and Prevention Edited by Elizabeth L. Jeglic and Cynthia Calkins (http://sorl.org/) with more than 20 contributors https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/3319445022/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

How timely it was to pick this book. 

Everything I had been telling and emailing Virginia Delegates and Senators for the last 2 months about Residency Restrictions was in this book, with all the stats to back it up. 

Since December I’ve been opposing a set of Companion Bills (HB1485 / SB1072) that was proposed by the Virginia State Police (VSP) which would retroactively expand the Virginia statues for Registered Sex Offender (RSO) proximity for residency and loitering to out-of-state, federal, military and tribal convictions going as far back as 2000. Not only did the VSP want to expand upon VA’s residency restrictions which all SO researchers have concluded is a failed social experiment but the VSP requested theses two Bills knowing that without including a conviction date of July 1, 2017:

  • The VSP will be applying the new law retroactively which means some current RSO’s residences that are legal today would become a felony on July 1st 2017, actually making some people homeless.
  • The VSP refuses to give advance notice of the change in the loitering law that would take effect on July 1, 2017 so people who are currently legally allowed to drop off their children w/in 100 ft of the school property line or athletic field will be arrested for a felony later this year or next. 
This book supports multiple Legislative proposals I’ve made over the last 9 years including eliminating our residency restrictions, moving towards a risk-based classification system and the State supporting a successful reintegration for RSO’s back into our communities which includes employment, housing and family participation BECAUSE it actually lowers the rate of recidivism meaning “no new victims” and that’s what the Legislature should be striving towards. 

  1. 1 out of 181 males in the U.S. is a Registered Sex Offender.
  2. The recidivism rate of “Sex Offenders” is not the popularly claimed 100%, it’s actually 5%.
  3. Of those Registered Sex Offenders who do recidivate, it’s more often a non-sexual offense, than a sexual one.
  4. The recidivism rate of Registered Sex Offenders declines the longer they are released, after 10 years its cut by half, that would be 2.5%.
  5. Registered Sex Offenders who receive treatment after conviction have a significantly lower rate of recidivism than those RSO who don’t receive treatment.  Upending the popular political claim that “Sex Offenders” can’t be treated. They CAN!
  6. The majority of legislation claimed by lawmakers to prevent sexual violence is aimed at released “Sex Offenders” and reactionary laws are NOT evidence-based.
  7. Sex Offender Registries and laws are targeted at stranger-danger but only 15.6% of sex-crimes are committed by a stranger, 84.4% are committed by an acquaintance.
  8. Of the sex-crimes that will be convicted this year and next year, 95% are by someone who is NOT listed on a Sex Offender Registry.

And that’s just the first quarter of the book. 

This book is expensive but if you’ve waited to read a a book that covers many of the RSO issues that I’ve been raising for years I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. This book is going in my Top 15 List. 

I look forward to finishing it and I anticipate a recommendation to all the Virginia Delegates and Senators once the GA session has ended. It certainly won’t be my first recommendation to them. Maybe one day they will take the time to read up on the issue that they all so easy grand-stand upon and they’ll learn that what they’ve been claiming all these years is not only false but is doing more harm than good. 

Mary Devoy