By Mark LaRue
I have followed Ed Meads' series on the sex offenders and I'd like to respond by offering critical support for what he has said. By that, I mean to say, I see no reason for sex offenders to be locked away in S-wing and it wouldn't bother me personally if they were free to roam the general prison population with everyone else. After all, prisoners here are going to associate with who ever they want to and they're definitely not required to associate with a sex offender from S-wing.
As you may have guessed I don't like sex offenses. And I don't believe there's any way to justify those crimes. I point this out because other crimes can be justified, i.e., sodomy, adultery, prostitution, murder in self-defense and even theft. I also believe it's important to understand the difference in these crimes.
As I see it the sex offender discriminates because his victims are mostly women and children. As Ed pointed out there are a few women sex offenders as well, but their numbers are really insignificant when compared to men.
In view of the discriminatory character of their crimes, I'm not so sure SSB-6259 is such a bad idea. This does not mean of course that I support the entire bill. But I do believe it's a good idea to keep a close watch on a sex offender who is released back into the community.
Some may not like the way that sounds but I would take that position regardless of whether I was incarcerated and no matter where I was living on the outside. It's important to know who you're dealing with in order to avoid being victimized yourself. And to protect other people you love from being victimized as well. This, of course, is particularly true for people who are dealing with prisoners.
As a rule, prisoners are not the crazed killers, muggers and rapist the media leads people to believe we are. But there are those among us who have committed terrible and unforgivable crimes. And it's a mistake to overlook that when you're dealing with prisoners. Ed Mead probably knows that better than most because he had a girlfriend who was robbed and raped here at the penitentiary while trying to lend her support to the cause of prisoners rights. Needless to say, she was raped by another prisoner who had a known reputation for that type of activity.
It goes without saying that Ed and other prisoners deserve support. Ed in particular since he is a political prisoner and has always done his best to help women and men alike. Be that as it may, however, I do believe we should tread carefully with known sexual offenders regardless of whether they're inside or outside of prison. Any other course of action will only invite more sexual abuse. And none of us wants to contribute to that by overlooking the sexual offenders' crimes. In this sense, SSB-6259 will help us prevent just that by notifying the public of their offense so they can keep track of his activities.
In my view there's nothing wrong with that and I would give it my support even if I didn't support the entire bill.
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