Author Topic: How many sex offenders live near you?  (Read 8508 times)

Offline delalluvia

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How many sex offenders live near you?
« on: June 13, 2010, 01:22:30 pm »
On another board I go to, someone asked this question.

Curious, seeing as I just moved to my mother's neighborhood and some of my neighbors look scary, I went to check the registry of sex offenders.

There are 5 registered sex offenders within two blocks of my mother's house.

 :P

Offline Mandy21

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2010, 03:29:51 pm »
Hey Del, hope things are getting a little easier or more comfortable at your mom's house?

I'm curious -- what is the website where you can check this stuff out?
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Offline delalluvia

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2010, 10:10:55 pm »
Hey Del, hope things are getting a little easier or more comfortable at your mom's house?

I'm curious -- what is the website where you can check this stuff out?


Just google "registry of sex offenders".

Offline Brokeback_Dev

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2010, 05:09:49 am »
Just google "registry of sex offenders".

Oh my!  We have 32 sex offenders living nearby.  Thats scary.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2010, 10:32:57 am »
We have 47 within the area shown on the map. The closest one is more than 30 blocks away, though.

In the photo, the guy looks like someone sent by Central Casting to play a sex offender.


Offline Mandy21

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2010, 10:36:24 am »
Yeah, I've got 3 rapists either living or working within a couple miles of me, but that doesn't make me any more cautious than I already am.  Guess if I had children, I'd be a little more wary and attentive to these kind of stats.
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2010, 10:47:37 am »
I haven't checked the registry and I don't know if I really want to.  I think it would just freak me out.  Mandy, I think it's a really good point that folks should be careful/cautious/alert no matter what.  I think it goes without saying that there are probably some number of sex offenders in any given community.  

What benefit do people get from looking up info on the registry?  I ask this out of genuine curiosity.  I think it's a good thing to have the information available... but, then what do folks do with that info?  I think it does almost automatically generate some sense of fear for most people when they see the stats like that spelled out.  And, it's even more scary when you realize that it's just the registered sex offenders list there... not all the rapists and molesters that go unreported and unarrested.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 01:09:45 pm by atz75 »
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2010, 01:14:06 pm »
What benefit do people get from looking up info on the registry?  I ask this out of genuine curiosity.  I think it's a good thing to have the information available... but, then what do folks do with that info? 

I think that if an offender lived within a few blocks of my house I would want to know about it, especially if I had small children. Otherwise, who knows, I might unwittingly hire the person as a babysitter or something.

But knowing that a bunch of offenders live within a 20-mile radius, or whatever the map shows, isn't much help, IMO. In fact, I think you can safely assume that if you live in a heavily populated area there will be some offenders and other dangerous people living somewhere around you, whether you can find them on a website or not. I can't think of a situation where detailed information about specific individuals would be all that helpful. Unless maybe you have some direct involvement with a person you are concerned about, and want to check on his/her background.

BTW, I realized after posting that the reason I have no offenders living in my immediate neighborhood is probably that my immediate neighborhood contains an elementary school and a middle school.

Also, coincidentally, my local paper today ran a story about sex offenders. In the comment section, some people pointed out that "sex offenders" can include 18-year-olds who date younger teenagers. And one commenter posted that s/he has a friend who was arrested for peeing in someone's yard while walking home from a bar. Apparently, at least in that person's community, that qualified as indecent exposure, thus a sex crime. So the hapless urinator is now classified as a sex offender and has to register, introduce himself to neighbors as a sex offender, etc.


Offline oilgun

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2010, 03:18:56 pm »
I think that if an offender lived within a few blocks of my house I would want to know about it, especially if I had small children. Otherwise, who knows, I might unwittingly hire the person as a babysitter or something.

But knowing that a bunch of offenders live within a 20-mile radius, or whatever the map shows, isn't much help, IMO. In fact, I think you can safely assume that if you live in a heavily populated area there will be some offenders and other dangerous people living somewhere around you, whether you can find them on a website or not. I can't think of a situation where detailed information about specific individuals would be all that helpful. Unless maybe you have some direct involvement with a person you are concerned about, and want to check on his/her background.

BTW, I realized after posting that the reason I have no offenders living in my immediate neighborhood is probably that my immediate neighborhood contains an elementary school and a middle school.

Also, coincidentally, my local paper today ran a story about sex offenders. In the comment section, some people pointed out that "sex offenders" can include 18-year-olds who date younger teenagers. And one commenter posted that s/he has a friend who was arrested for peeing in someone's yard while walking home from a bar. Apparently, at least in that person's community, that qualified as indecent exposure, thus a sex crime. So the hapless urinator is now classified as a sex offender and has to register, introduce himself to neighbors as a sex offender, etc.



Excellent point.  I was going to ask what exactly does Sex Offender mean?  There's a big difference between someone who gets caught having consensual sex in a public washroom or park(or peeing on someone's lawn) and a rapist or child molester.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2010, 03:29:15 pm »
Excellent point.  I was going to ask what exactly does Sex Offender mean?  There's a big difference between someone who gets caught having consensual sex in a public washroom or park(or peeing on someone's lawn) and a rapist or child molester.

This locator site http://www.familywatchdog.us/Search.asp offers brief descriptions of the offenders it pinpoints.  I only looked at the one closest to me (again, about three miles away), which said

"Offender has a history of sexual contact with juvenile females.  The contact includes penetration .  The offender was known to the victims."

But that could involve anything from molesting small children to having consensual sex with a teenage girlfriend.

I didn't get far enough to find public consensual-sex offenders or urinaters.


Offline oilgun

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2010, 04:28:35 pm »
I sometimes feel that these sites do more harm than good by creating an atmosphere of fear and suspicion.  Expecially when people who commit relatively benign 'sexual offences' are lumped in with those who commit serious sex crimes.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2010, 04:32:55 pm »

I agree that they create an atmosphere of fear.  But, that the same time, I also think it's a good idea to have those lists available for folks who what them.  I think that in some ways they may create a false sense of security if one doesn't see a lot of offenders listed on one's own neighborhood or near a school, etc. (as K mentions).  Any unregistered sex offender could be living anywhere.

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Offline Monika

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2010, 04:35:19 pm »
I sometimes feel that these sites do more harm than good by creating an atmosphere of fear and suspicion.  Expecially when people who commit relatively benign 'sexual offences' are lumped in with those who commit serious sex crimes.
I very much agree.

What´s next? How many arabs live near you? or How many gay people live near you?

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2010, 04:49:19 pm »
What´s next? How many arabs live near you? or How many gay people live near you?

I agree with oilgun's point that the label "sex offender" can be very unfair. I can even understand arguments against registering and mapping offenders in general. But I have real problems with this analogy.

Convicted rapists and child molesters have committed serious violent crimes, have a psychological problem that often resist attempts at treatment, and may be a danger to others. As groups, Arabs and gay people have not committed crimes and aren't dangerous. The sex-offender registry may be highly flawed, but it's not about some baseless prejudice and it's not a slippery slope to other kinds of discrimination.





Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2010, 05:11:15 pm »

I agree K.  As far as I understand... folks on the sex offender registry (and I'm sure the nature of the list varies a bit from state to state) are all convicted of something whether it's the worst-case scenario rapist or child molester or someone arrested for something more "trivial."

I agree also that things like public urination may indeed be trivial (and fall way below the level of the serious criminals), but I also think that folks having sex with underage "girlfriends" have serious problems (again maybe of a different variety from violent rapists)... but statutory rape is still a super serious offense IMO.

 
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2010, 05:22:52 pm »
I also think that folks having sex with underage "girlfriends" have serious problems (again maybe of a different variety from violent rapists)... but statutory rape is still a super serious offense IMO.

Just to clarify, I'm not talking about older men with underage "girlfriends." I'm talking about, say, an 18-year-old guy with a 16-year-old girlfriend -- a couple who might have even been legal when they first started dating. Many high schoolers have friends and boy/girlfriends a couple of years younger/older. And in many states, the age of consent (the age below which it's illegal for someone to have sex with you) is 17 or even 18. Though in some cases, I think, there are exceptions if the couple is close in age.


Offline Mandy21

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2010, 06:03:24 pm »
I think so far we pretty much have a consensus -- these sites are somewhat good, especially if you have children you're trying to protect, but they're also slightly flawed in terms of how they designate who's an offender and who's not.  I was taught as a child to distrust everyone until I knew them well.  I watched a whole lot of slasher/killer-type movies as a child, so that was also helpful in teaching me a fair amount of caution and distrust towards strangers.  I never forgot that lesson.  Anyone you meet, ANYONE, could be an offender of some kind.  Until you get to know them enough to feel the trust between you, reciprocated, it's best to be cautious of everyone.
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Offline oilgun

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2010, 07:00:54 pm »
This maybe somewhat off-topic but I think it's related.   There's a case right now in Ottawa where a man has been charged with several counts of aggravated sexual assault for not disclosing his HIV status to his sex partners.

I don't know the circumstances but I think it's pretty disturbing.  These guys had casual consensual unsafe sex with people they met on line.  And they get all freaked out when they find out that some of them were HIV positive and didn't tell them?!    It's the responsibility of all individuals involved to practice safer sex and one should always assume that the person(s) they are having sex with is HIV  positive.   I'm appalled with the men who are pressing charges.

There's another kind of sex offender for you.

Offline Monika

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2010, 07:40:52 pm »
I agree with oilgun's point that the label "sex offender" can be very unfair. I can even understand arguments against registering and mapping offenders in general. But I have real problems with this analogy.

Convicted rapists and child molesters have committed serious violent crimes, have a psychological problem that often resist attempts at treatment, and may be a danger to others. As groups, Arabs and gay people have not committed crimes and aren't dangerous. The sex-offender registry may be highly flawed, but it's not about some baseless prejudice and it's not a slippery slope to other kinds of discrimination.






I think it is a slippery slope because if we are gonna start registering and mapping sex offenders, why wouldn´t some people want to register and map other groups? You might not think that Arabs and gays are dangerous, but there are people that do think that.

And besides, ísn´t the point of a prison sentence, that once you get out, you have paid for your crime?

Offline Marina

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2010, 07:44:51 pm »
Hmmm ... not sure how I feel about this one.

I realize that rape and child molestation are among the most serious and reprehensible crimes we have, can be resistant to treatment, and I realize that society needs protection from these special crimes, especially for children.   But a national registry is dangerously close to civil rights violations IMO.   I guess the benefit to society outweighs the harm.  :(
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2010, 08:10:41 pm »

I think it is a slippery slope because if we are gonna start registering and mapping sex offenders, why wouldn´t some people want to register and map other groups? You might not think that Arabs and gays are dangerous, but there are people that do think that.

Well, there are people who think just about anything. IMO, there are some perfectly valid arguments both for and against registering sex offenders, but the slippery slope argument doesn't apply here any more than slippery slope arguments apply in same-sex marriage debates. Not everything is a slippery slope.

Quote
And besides, ísn´t the point of a prison sentence, that once you get out, you have paid for your crime?

Yes and this is a strong argument against the registries. The reasoning on the other side is that sex offenses are one crime for which the recidivism rate is extremely high. A high-profile rape and murder of a young woman in my state a few years ago was committed by a man who'd recently been released after 23 years of incarceration for abduction.


Offline delalluvia

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Re: How many sex offenders live near you?
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2010, 06:52:19 pm »
What crayons said.  Rape and child molestation are crimes that are usually repeated which is why I think such registries are important.

As for a slippery slope, it's not quite the same thing.  These people have committed a crime, been found guilty and have served or are still serving their time (parole).  This is all public information.

You'd be hard-pressed to find the justification for a registry on innocent Arabs or Jews or whatever.  These kinds of things are brought up from time to time, but are usually challenged quite successfully in court - see the Oklahoma attempt to make women who have abortions give out personal information.