February 14, 2012

Virginia risks a backwards step in the fight to reduce sexual victimization

2-14-2012 Virginia:

I recently became aware of two pending bills in Virginia that contradict nearly everything we know about sensible sex crime policy. I wrote to each legislator urging caution, see excerpt: (similar version submitted as a letter to the editor, not selected for publication)

Attention: Empirical Evidence Opposes HB624/SB127 & HB973, HB1271 and SB436

As a mother, scholar, and feminist, I must caution you... decades of empirical research oppose the pending bills that would mandate juveniles to register as sex offenders and mandate prison time. Instead, all research points to the necessity that we maintain the ability to focus criminal justice and correctional resources on the most dangerous, which requires science-based differentiating among offenders.

Law enforcement officers across the country have expressed frustration at the dilution of their efforts and resources that is caused by these proposed bills overly broad approach. Instead of improving public safety, these bills would remove much-needed discretion and instead lump the majority of youth who will not re-offend sexually into the category of “sex offender.” This benefits no on! ..Source.. by Prof Chrysanthi Leon

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