There’s a saying, “You can roll a turd in glitter, but it’s still a turd” and that seems fitting for the Sex Offender Management Board in Colorado, who are about to rebrand sex offenders, because sex offenders, apparently feel offended by being called – sex offenders.
Instead, they would like (pretty please) to be known as “adults who commit sexual offences”. So, essentially they still want to be called sex offenders, but in a round about way.
As ridiculous as this sounds, the board passed the decision after a 10-6 vote on November 19th.
The vote, for all intents and purposes, is about as worthless as a broken light bulb, as the vote will not change any official language currently being used by the Colorado Sex Offender registry, criminal justice proceedings, or the name of the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board itself.
The only thing this new phrase does apply to is the “standards and guidelines for the Assessment, Evaluation, Treatment and Behavioral Monitoring of adult sex offenders”, with some on the board saying that the rebranding would help aid rehabilitation.
The alleged reason for wanting the rephrasing is to “reduce stigma” because some of those on Colorado’s Sex Registry, complained that they had been treated poorly by Colorado’s management of them.
The sex crimes registry itself has been criticized because sex offenders names and place of residence are listed there and are available publicly. Sex offenders are required to live away from places where children regularly frequent, like schools and playgrounds.
Sexual Assault Resource Prosecutor Jessica Dotter, criticized the move and stated that the change, “minimizes victim experiences and trauma,” continuing to note that “If the self-image of sex offenders is prioritized over the devastating impact on victims’ lives, we are concerned that would negatively impact public trust.”
Colorado district attorney, Michael J. Allen also spoke out against the change, stating during an interview with KOAA that:
“The Sex Offender Management Board should spend its valuable time on finding effective ways to treat a challenging group of convicted criminals, rather than coming up with new ways to label them,” noting that “there is no reputable study in existence that shows that such a change in terminology will have any measurable effect on the successful treatment of sex offenders and recidivism.”
Some have said this is just another attempt to use language to downplay serious offences, with the CDC recently releasing a ‘woke’ guide to patrol language urging people to refer to inmates or prisoners as “people who are incarcerated or detained,” while calling criminals “people in pre-trial or with charge” or “people who were formerly incarcerated.”
According to the Denver Post, who seemed to have a great deal of sympathy for those on the Sex Offenders registry, said that the “change is being made because sex offenders have faced “harsh” treatment and that is “counterproductive to the goal of rehabilitation.”
There was also a recent scandal involving an assistant professor Allyn Walker, who was employed at Old Dominion University, until he advocated for pedophiles to be called “minor attracted persons” to “destigmatize” pedophilia and that an adult being sexually attracted to a child, wasn’t necessarily “immoral”.
Walker has since been placed on administrative leave after the University experienced a huge amount of backlash at his comments.