NARSOL Calls Out Patch: STOP the Red Dots!
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE . . . Contact: Sandy Rozek; 888.997.7765; ext 1 firstname.lastname@example.org NARSOL Calls Out Patch: STOP the Red Dots! "Red-dotting" sex offender homes at Halloween feeds baseless hysteria Raleigh, North Carolina -- Every year as Halloween approaches, many Patch media outlets, as well as others, publish articles featuring “red-dot” maps showing addresses, and sometimes names, of persons listed on sexual offense registries. Within the last few years, this practice has been adopted by some local police departments on their Facebook pages. According to the editors and publishers of such pieces, this is done in order to help protect children who will be trick or treating at Halloween. The National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) also wants children protected and kept safe. We are in full agreement with that goal. However, there is a total lack of evidence that the publication of these addresses at Halloween keeps children safe. Indeed, the volume of evidence showing no connection at all between Halloween and sexual harm done to children is numerous and well documented. “A heightened risk of being sexually abused is NOT one of the dangers children face at Halloween. The simple fact is that there are no significant increases in sex crimes on or around Halloween. There is no ‘Halloween effect.’ There is no change in the rate of sexual crimes by non-family members during Halloween. That was true both before and after communities enacted laws to restrict the activities of registrants during Halloween.” (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) 2019) “. . . the scariest thing about Halloween today is the fear-mongering designed to persuade parents that their kids live in a neighborhood full of dangerous predators. And yet, the facts say otherwise.” (Marty Klein, Psychology Today, 2018) “Using national incident-based reporting system (NIBRS) crime report data from 1997 through 2005, we examined 67,045 non-familial sex crimes against children age 12 and younger. Halloween rates were compared to expectations based on time, seasonality and weekday periodicity. There were no significant increases in sex crimes on or around Halloween, and Halloween incidents did not demonstrate unusual case characteristics.” (Jill Levenson, ATSA, 2014) “Research shows no evidence of increased child sex abuse on Halloween. . . .” (Emily Horowitz, Huffington Post, 2014) Management practices that impose restrictions on registrants related to Halloween activities in an attempt to keep children from sexual harm do not make children or society safer. Indeed, they can actually create situations that contribute to greater risk. They perpetuate the myth of “stranger-danger,” thus diverting the focus away from where harm to children is much more likely to come. According to the Huffington Post , “. . . government data shows the vast majority (about 93%) of sex crimes against children are not committed by strangers but by family members or acquaintances.” They ignore one of the legitimate increased risks to children at Halloween, that of being injured or killed in car-child accidents. “Children are three times more likely to be fatally injured by a car on the [Halloween] holiday, and the risk grows to 10 times for kids 4 to 8.” (Washington Post, 2019) They further target and ostracize all who live in the home featured as a “red dot” or whose address is printed as belonging to one labeled a “sex offender.” As many registrants are married with children, this puts those children at risk for ridicule, vandalism, and harm to property and person. The Patch publications, as well as others, justify this continued practice by responding that it is what their readers want. Journalism must always represent non-partisan truth telling. It must never cater to political correctness or advocate for any practice merely because it is consistent with public popular opinion but contrary to the facts based upon reliable data. Communities rely on Patch for information they can depend upon without reservation. This petition presents an opportunity for bringing the truth to Patch’s readers and reinforcing the integrity of journalistic ethics. NARSOL and its affiliates, along with all of the other undersigned, call for an end to the publication of the names and/or addresses of persons registered as sexual offenders at Halloween under the guise of “public awareness” or “child protection.” This campaign to reduce harm and to cease a hurtful publication practice that has no positive effect at all on child protection or public safety is endorsed by all of the following. National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) -- sponsor One Standard of Justice (Connecticut) – co-sponsor Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) R. Karl Hanson, Ph.D., C.Psych, Carleton University and Ryerson University Elizabeth J. Letourneau, Ph.D.,Director, Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (The opinions expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Johns Hopkins University.) Dr. Jill Levenson, PhD, LCSW, Professor of Social Work, Barry University Fred S. Berlin, M.D. Ph.D., Director, National Institute for the Study, Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Trauma Ira Ellman, Charles J. Merriam Distinguished Professor of Law and Affiliate Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Arizona State University Catherine L. Carpenter, Professor of Law Chrysanthi Leon, JD, PhD, Associate Professor, Sociology and Criminal Justice Alissa R. Ackerman, PhD David S. Prescott, LCSW, LICSW, Editor, Safer Society Press Maggie Ingram, MHS, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health Emily Horowitz, Ph.D. Professor J.J. Prescott, University of Michigan Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D., UCLA School of Law Erin B. Comartin, Ph.D., LMSW, Associate Professor of Social Work, Wayne State University Prostasia Foundation Meaghan Ybos, co-founder of People for the Enforcement of Rape Laws (PERL) Heather Marlow, co-founder of People for the Enforcement of Rape Laws (PERL) Robin J. Wilson, Ph.D., ABPP, Wilson Psychology Services LLC Liam E. Marshall, Ph.D., RP, ATSAF, Rockwood Psychotherapy & Consulting, Canada Dr. Jennifer L. Klein, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Coordinator, Criminal Justice, University of Texas at Tyler Michael J. Gilbert, Ph. D., Associate Professor Emeritus (retired), Dept. of Criminal Justice & Criminology, University of Texas at San Antonio Rev. J. Amos Caley, Salvation and Social Justice, Abolition Campaign Director; Abolish the Drug War, NJ Organizer0 Joseph J. Plaud, Ph.D., M.A.T., Exec. Director, Applied Behavioral Consultants, LLC, Boston, MA Janice M. Bellucci, civil rights attorney and E.D., Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws Christopher P. Dum, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Kent State University Dr. Danielle T. Cooper, Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, University of New Haven Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL) Dr. Jean Kennedy, Kennedy Consultant Richard Resch, Managing Editor, Criminal Legal News Brian Kelmar, Chairman of LRIDD (Legal Reform for Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled) Dr. Meridith Spencer, Assistant Professor, Program Director, Criminal Justice, Fisher College Dr. Danielle Bailey, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Texas at Tyler Judge William Buhl, chair of the Professional Advisory Board to Michigan’s Coalition for a Useful Registry Ken Abraham, Founder, Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE Robert B. Chatelle, Executive Director, National Center for Reason and Justice Jefferson B. Davis, former CT state legislator and former registrant Lisa Anne Zilney, Ph.D., Montclair State University Scott H. Greenfield, Attorney and Blogger at Simple Justice Nancy E. DiZio M.Ed LMHC, Associate Clinical Director, New England Forensic Associates Human Rights Defense Center Earl Yarington, MSW, PhD, journalist, Baltimore Post-Examiner Russell Dick, MSW B4U-ACT, Inc. Prison Legal News Criminal Legal News James H. Maynard, Esq., Maynard Law Office, LLC, New Jersey, specializing in sex offense law Lenore Skenazy, advocate for rationality Mary Kay Villaverde, social media coordinator, FSDP (Families for Sensible Drug Policy) Rita Finley, CAUTIONclick National Campaign for Reform Vicki Henry, President, Women Against Registry (W.A.R.) E. King Alexander, Jr., attorney Will Mingus, PhD, Editor in Chief, LifeTimes magazine John Sloan, site manager, Women Against Registry of Florida Norm Pattis, Pattis and Smith, LLC Wayne Bowers, Executive Director, CURE-SORT Melissa D. Grady, PhD, Associate Professor Joshua Vaughn, reporter, The Appeal David Mensah Lois Pullano, Executive Director, Citizens for Prison Reform Dr. Peter P. Ventura, Golden State Bible Baptist Prison Ministry Joshua B. Hoe, Decarceration Nation Michael McKay, Editor, LifeTimes magazine and The Registry Report Marty Weiss Phil Telfeyan, Executive Director, Equal Justice Under Law Carolyn Gil Thomas Chleboski, Vice-President of Maryland CURE Tom Luettke, Esq., President, Ohio Association of Local Reentry Coalitions Alexander Taubes, Esq. Civil Rights Attorney Paul Rigney, Executive Director, Registrant Travel Action Group, Inc. Joshua Hoe, Safe and Just Michigan Rev. Patti Aupperlee John S. Santa Ohio Voices Attorney Debra Beard Bader William Canavan, Boston Release Network Hope Metcalf, New Haven, Connecticut The Michigan Center for Youth Justice Ken Nolley, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of English and Film Studies, Willamette University Christopher Zoukis, MBA, author, managing director Zoukis Consulting Group Timothy C. Moynahan, JD of The Moynahan Law Firm, LLC. Kathleen Hambrick, Lady Justice Myth Blog Christopher E. Pelloski, MD, author Leslie M Lothstein, PhD, ABPP, CGP Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com, registered citizen/civil rights advocate Kathy Williams, paralegal Michael Boyle, Law Offices of Michael Boyle Families and Individuals for Reform (FAIR – Ohio) Barbara Wright, attorney Eric Tennen, attorney Connie Cooper, retired special education teacher Hallie Liebermann, sexual issues historian and journalist Eden Koz, owner Just Be®, LLC Susan. G. Figge, Behind Bars and Beyond Interfaith Working Group, Wooster Vanita L. Nevis, program coordinator, ARCH (Returning Citizens with Hope) Ministry Barbara Allan, founder, Prison Families Anonymous -- 50 YEARS OF HEALING FAMILIES Phil Taylor, LPC, Dallas, TX Glenn Gerding, attorney Rory Fleming, attorney and advocate Nebraskans Unafraid Jeanie Mezger, Board of Directors, Nebraskans Unafraid Stacey Borden, founder/president, New Beginnings Reentry Services, Inc. Carol Tierney, SOPRI Leonard A. Bard, Ph.D., forensic psychologist Alice Benson, Director, Titus House Ministries Alex Tischenko, Director, Revosys, Inc. Martha Barbone, DVM, CPS, retired USAF officer Sex Offender Solutions and Education Network (SOSEN) Maria Laskowski, officer, OSJ, Connecticut Tiheba Bain, Executive Director, Women Against Mass Incarceration Beatrice Codianni, Executive Director, SWAN Marty Klein, Ph.D, certified sex therapist, qualified forensic expert in human sexuality Dr. Kate Sutton, Ph.D. Rahisha Bivens, MSW social worker Charlotte R. Simpson Tatyana Manos Dan Swern, Producing Director, coLAB Arts Bill Himelhoch Carol Tierney, SOPRI Rosario Guzzi, Paralegal John M. Campbell, Member, Texas Voices Frank Bertram, Ph.D. Eric Miller, concerned citizen Noah Ford, law-abiding citizen Tony Caruso, registrant since 1993, married, father of three, ages 5, 5, and 3 Sara Gonzalez Efrain Morales, Jr Tony B. Nelson Jorge Guzman Amanda Redfern Jim Cornelio Frans D. VanderBerg Mr. and Mrs. Paul Laskowski, parents of a person listed on the sexual offense registry Linda Quinet Alan Wulff John Crossley Deborah Galasso Jeffrey Scheckwitz NARSOL AFFILIATES, ADVOCATES, AND CONTACTS Advocates for Change, Colorado Arizonans for Rational Sexual Offense Laws Arkansas Time After Time Coalition for Sexual Offense Restoration (CSOR-CO) Families Advocating Intelligent Registries, Maryland (FAIR) Florida Action Committee (FAC) Idaho Sex Offense Awareness & Reform (ISOAR) Illinois Voices for Reform Indiana Voices Liberty and Justice Coalition, New Mexico Michigan Citizens for Justice Michigan’s Coalition for a Useful Registry NH Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform North Carolinians for Rational Sexual Offense Laws Ohio RSOL Oklahoma for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (OKRSOL) Oklahoma Voices Oregon Voices Pennsylvania for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (PARSOL) Restore Georgia Safer Virginia Sex Offender Policy Reform Initiative (SOPRI-MA) Tennessee4Change Texas Voices for Reason and Justice Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform West Virginia for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (WVRSOL) Paul Shannon, NARSOL board member and chair; executive committee, Sex Offender Policy Reform Initiative of Massachusetts Allan Marain, attorney, NARSOL contact, New Jersey Joseph Beaudoin, IT professional, father, NARSOL contact, Louisiana. Mike Wilson, NARSOL advocate, Michigan David Garlock, NARSOL board member Ken Roberts, NARSOL contact, Mississippi Patricia Borden, NARSOL advocate, Arizona Terry Borden, NARSOL advocate, Arizona Jeff Goetz, NARSOL contact, Kentucky Jeff Miller, Victims Against the Registry, NARSOL advocate, Utah Brenda Jones, NARSOL board member and executive director; executive director, FAIR; NARSOL advocate, Maryland Jan Nolley, M.S.W., NARSOL advocate, Oregon Michael Shimkin, NARSOL board member; executive board, SOPRI; NARSOL advocate, Massachusetts Theresa Robertson, Ph.D., NARSOL contact, Pennsylvania Robin W. Vander Wall, NARSOL board member and vice-chair Timothy R. Burgess Advocate / Mediator, Vermont Janna Tippits, NARSOL contact, Idaho Margaret Hawkins, E.D., Assc. for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (DARSOL); NARSOL contact, Delaware Bart Holt, NARSOL advocate, Montana Casey Peppin, NARSOL advocate, Washington State Janna Tippens, NARSOL contact, Idaho Larry, NARSOL board member Travis Hardy, NARSOL contact, Wyoming Dave Frank, NARSOL advocate, Wisconsin Don Thurber, NARSOL advocate, South Carolina Richard Earl, NARSOL board member; NARSOL advocate, New Hampshire Lori Hamilton, Executive Director, OK Voices, NARSOL advocate, Oklahoma Dwayne Daughtry, NARSOL board member Susan Walker, Director/Regional Coordinator, CSOR and NARSOL, NARSOL advocate, Colorado Cindy Prizio, E.D. One Standard of Justice, NARSOL advocate, Connecticut Sandy Rozek, NARSOL board member; communications director, NARSOL ### NARSOL is the nation’s largest civil rights organization advocating on behalf of registered citizens and their families. NARSOL opposes dehumanizing registries and works to eliminate discrimination, banishment, and vigilantism against persons accused or convicted of sexual offenses through the use of impact litigation, public education, legislative advocacy, and media outreach in order to reintegrate and reconcile affected individuals and restore their constitutional rights. Copyright © 2020 NARSOL All Rights Reserved. PO Box 25423 Raleigh, NC 27611