by Michael McKay
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. For those who say that being on the sex offender registry is simply a minor administrative inconvenience for registrants which allows law enforcement to better track their whereabouts and activities, here are a few pictures to refute that notion.
Imagine becoming the target of these “good neighbors,” after your incarceration has been completed, after your fines and victim compensation have been paid, after you’ve served your probation, been through your SO treatment program, and made peace with your family, friends, associates, and your God.
Like anyone who has paid an awful price for you crime, you just want to move forward and build a good life for you and for your family. Supposedly, that’s what society wants, too. Re-integrating former offenders back into society to live a productive, crime-free lives is the stated goal of our criminal justice system.
But then this sort of thing happens…
The next door neighbor of a Robinwood, Alabama sex offender resorted to erecting this sign in an effort to force the registrant to move out of the neighborhood in November, 2016.
In Nassau County, Florida, the local Sheriff’s Department erects these red signs in the yards of known sex offenders during Halloween season.
A woman in Marion County, Florida put signs in her front lawn and on telephone poles on her street to warn everyone that a sex offender lived six houses down the street from her.
One Arkansas father discovered his 16-year-old daughter was having a sexual relationship with a 21-year-old man. But when the concerned dad brought his findings to the police, there was nothing they could do because she was over the age of consent. So he did this:
This registrant was sentenced by a local judge to walk up and down the main thoroughfare of his town in Petersburg, Indiana wearing a sign that said, “Registered Sex Offender Who Bought Alcohol for Kids.”
What, exactly, do these “good neighbors” expect will happen as a result of their actions? Human beings and their families don’t just go *poof* – disappearing, never to be seen again. They continue to exist, perhaps not on your street, but on someone else’s street, somewhere else. And you’ve created an entire caste of people – including the spouses and children of offenders – who may become bitter, unemployed, or homeless as a result. Hopeless people are dangerous people.
If you’re one of the people helping to create this growing body of social lepers in our society, you’ll have only yourself to blame for the unintended consequences of your insane short-sightedness.