The Advocacy section is one of the newer areas being built into our site. In this section we will provide information how to restore your civil rights (allowing offenders to vote again), as well as providing information related to the fight to abolosh offender restrictions that provide no additional safety for the community such as sex offender residency restrictions and sex offender registration.
In addition to sex offender specific restrictions, H.O.S.T. supports all offenders, not because we support the crimes that may have previously been committed but because we support the right to a second chance, when the offender has fulfilled all legal obligations mandated by their sentance.
Most offenders, sex offender or not, eventually get released from prison. Their success not only benefits them but even more importantly keeps the entire community safer. When offenders have a means of legally living and working safely in a community without harrasment they have far less motive to reoffend. Offenders given no other legal options to survive will turn to illegal options. What other choice do they have?
Insisting that shame or that more punishment than legally allowed benefits communities and keeps them safer is a false security tactic. Only by allowing the already released offenders to live a productive life is going to keep neighborhoods safe.
We realize this is a contreversial issue, and not everybody will agree, but H.O.S.T. encourages opponents who feel differently to fight that battle with their legislators who make the laws that determine sentancing guidelines and not direct their efforts at offenders who made a mistake, but paid for that mistake, and are currently abiding by the law.
There are currently almost 800,000 registered sex offenders across our nation. California and Texas have over 80,000 each.
These numbers do not imply in which state the problem is worse. It only reflects that a higher populated state will ultimately have more sex offenders.
Since our site is generally still specific to Florida, here are some Florida stats:
Florida has over 60,000 sex offenders.
There were almost 1500 sex offenders released from Florida prisons alone in 2013.
There are currently over 5000 offenders in Florida on sex offender probation.
While these numbers are alarming, they are also misleading. These are not the numbers of offenders likely to offend a sex crime again. It is the number of offenders labled as a sex offender based on their previous conviction. The fact remains that the liklihood of a non offender committing a crime for the first time is much higher than an offender doing so again.
One simple fact that most don't aways realize is that sex offenders weren't sex offenders before they commited a sex offense. Sex offender registries do not list potential offenders only previous offenders. Previous offenders are less likely to commit another crime than a first time offender. They have possibly been incarcarated and either completed or are currently under supervison such as parole or probation. Many from this group realize the severtity and reprecussions of their previous mistake. First time offenders have not yet learned that lesson.
Prevention remains the best tool, but prevention applies to everybody, not just those currently labled and offender restrictions and regulations only moniter previosuly labled offenders.
Recidivism is the terminolgy used which simply means reoffenses. It is an important number because it tells the liklihood that an offender may reoffend. It is not a term specific to sex offenses but it applies to sex offenses as much as any other category.
It remains a contreversial figure because there is no way to accurately predict crime and the numbers are always based on studies where a select group of people were followed when the only accurate method is to follow the entire group. Nevertheless the numbers actually favor sex offenders because the rates that have been calculated are far lower than the public is under the impression of.
You will always find conflicting reports as to the actual numbers for recididivism however, whichever report you use the numbers usually remain below 5% for sex offenses and usually much less. Many times that number is inflacted because a sex offender is again arrested, but not for a sex crime. A sex offender who gets a speeding ticket is not the same thing as a sex offender who commits another sex crime.
So while one crime is one too many, reports show that at least 95% of sex offenders will likely never commit a sex crime again. Meanwhile first time offenses are commited far more often by non offenders that were never subject to the registry or any other sex offender restrictions.
Following the patterns of current sex offenders is not nearly as productive as crime prevention.
There is just no reason to assume that all sex offenders will commit another sex crime. No other group of felons is treated this way. Why is there not the same concern for murderers who will reoffend? At least 95% of sex offenders will likely never offend again, yet we treat an entire group based on the chances of what a small 5% may do, without ever taking into account the even higher liklihood is that the next sex crime just may be committed by a first time offender that wasn't even labled a sex offender.