I was walking back to my cell from the restroom this evening and noticed on the dayroom TV that Fox 28, in Spokane, was running a news story on “SEX OFFENDER WAREHOUSES”.
I could see the headline from across the room. About a dozen inmates were watching as the news anchor listed the five largest sex offender warehouses in the city of Spokane.
I am not quite up to speed on pop culture in society in 2018. I’ve never tweeted or used a smartphone, so it’s understandable that I only recently learned that “zaddy” is a new term for sugar daddy, and that “Netflix and chill” is a lot more fun than merely watching a movie and relaxing. As such, I hope you all can forgive my ignorance when I confess: I had no idea, until tonight, that a sex offender warehouse is what they’re now calling apartments where sex offenders happen to reside.
The TV station was very helpful — they took the time and effort to research, do their due diligence, and list the five apartment complexes in Spokane with the most sex offender residents. The winner, number one, numero uno…had 15, yes FIFTEEN, sex offenders.
How would the public react to terms like “anti-life warehouses” (housing large numbers of women who have had abortions) or “gay warehouses” (apartments with lots of homosexuals)? I’m guessing the reception would be much less welcoming.
Are sex offenders a protected class? Usually not. It is generally legal to discriminate against us, because people believe that doing so helps protect society (some Japanese or Muslims may relate). People stress the importance of the sex offender registry to keep society safe, but the reality is, sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rate amongst all felons. Only around 7 percent (about one in 15) of sex offenders who get released from prison will ever commit another felony. (Compare that to as high as 78 percent for certain other crimes.) It is also known that the vast majority of sex offenses are committed by a close friend or family member to the victim, not by a stranger living in one of these nearby “warehouses.” While people are consumed with worry about the offenders on the registry, it would behoove them to worry instead about their own family members living within the walls of their own home.
A large number of sex offenders are in prison because when they were 19 or 20 years old, they had sex with a 14 or 15 year old “girlfriend.” While their sexual behavior was illegal and certainly not admirable, these probably aren’t people you need to be scared of while walking your dog past their front yard.
There is no registry for murderers, or for men who beat the crap out of their kids or girlfriends. There is no registry for drunk drivers. No registry for kidnappers, burglars, armed robbers, or drug dealers. A violent criminal could be your next door neighbor and you’d never know.
According to NARSOL (the national association of rational sex offender laws), there have been no recorded instances of a sex offender abusing a child while he or she was trick or treating on Halloween night. However, numerous trick or treaters have been killed by drunk drivers.
I’m not saying we are good people. We’re not. Our clinician tells us that nothing is wrong with us, that we simply made bad decisions but that doesn’t make us shitty people, and as such, we should stop beating ourselves up so much. But you all know the truth. A drug addict or an alcoholic…they have a sickness, they need help, they can be rehabilitated, get clean, and then the entire neighborhood will throw them a party when they return home from rehab. Their friends and family will be proud of them for overcoming their challenges. But when a sex offender graduates his treatment program, he is still, and will always be, a perverted piece of shit creep who can’t keep his dick in his pants and can never be trusted. He is inventory in a warehouse…a warehouse you hope to live far, far away from.