“TANK”Talks about Sex OffendersAnd how important it is toprotect Our Kids From Bad People Author/Activist: Valerie Cheers-Brown Illustrations by: CA
“Tank” thinks that sex offenders should still facepenalties after they have served their sentences.In Illinois sex offenders have to register theirwhereabouts with police and are not allowed to livewithin 500 feet of schools or other public placeswhere children gather—making it hard to find aplace to live. Miami Beach, Iowa City and manyother cities and states have similar laws.The state of Illinois created a new registry fornon-sexual violent criminals. The fact that sex
offenders are subject to even more intensescrutiny than murderers demonstrates just howseriously lawmakers are taking the problem of sexcrimes against children.It is more like banishment than a zoningrestriction and there isn’t any other group insociety where we banish them, is it? What do youthink? Who really wants this kind of person livingnear them?Some of the layers of sex-offender laws passedover the past decade do seem to conflict with eachother. For instance, the recent rigid zoningrestrictions are leading some sex offenders to lieabout their whereabouts or to drop off lawenforcement’s radar entirely, undercutting theeffectiveness of registration and community-notification requirements.But once anti-sex-offender legislation comes to avote following an emotionally charged crime, thevoices of skeptics are barely heard. “Everyoneknew some parts of the bill were flawed,” saysRepublican Georgia state Rep. John Lunsford,
referring to the state’s new zoning restrictionspassed in April, parts of which have already beenfound to be unconstitutional. “Once it reached thefloor, you were either voting for the perverts orvoting for your constituency.”Tough, new sex-offender laws tend to passunanimously, or nearly so. If there are flaws insome of the approaches, advocates for the get-tough approach say, that is only more reason tokeep working to strengthen them.If many sex offenders are slipping between thecracks, for instance, that makes it all the morenecessary to ensure compliance through GPS orother methods.Do you think it would be a good idea for a sexoffender to have to wear a GPS device at alltimes?If someone stole your car, wouldn’t you want toknow where it was right away? I know these bothare not the same, but the situations are somewhat
comparable on the importance of knowing wheresomething or someone is.The new federal law makes failure to register afelony and offers states money to buy GPSsystems. “We track library books better than wedo sex offenders,” complained Republican FloridaRep. Mark Foley, one of the bill’s sponsors. And if most sex offenders are family members orother close acquaintances of children, that’s stillno reason not to try to protect children againstviolent and predatory criminals, such as the onewho killed Jessica Lunsford.“It’s not about the overall rate, it’s about wantingto make sure that events like this don’t occur,”says Lieb.Should sex offenders be allowed to live nearchildren?In May, Jim L’Etoile lost his job as director ofCalifornia’s Parole and Community Services Divisionbecause of his handling of sex offenders. It’s notthat he lost track of too many of them, or that
they committed new crimes under his supervision.His mistake was placing 23 “high-risk” sexoffenders – those considered most likely to commitrepeat crimes – in hotels and motels within a fewmiles of Disneyland.That placement showed “a total lack of commonsense,” says Democratic state Rep. RudyBermudez, a former parole officer. “When youplace high-risk sex offenders where children are,you’re almost violating the laws by putting childrenin harm’s way.”Communities around the country don’t want sexoffenders living anywhere near children. They maynot have attractions as glamorous as Disneyland,but 17 states and dozens, if not hundreds, of localgovernments have banned registered sexoffenders from living near public places wherechildren can be expected to gather, such asschools.As Democratic Miami Beach Mayor David Dermerputs it, “If you have a child, do you want a
registered sex offender living next to you? Do youfeel comfortable with that?”His city passed an ordinance to block sexoffenders from living within 2,500 feet of anyschool, public bus stop, day-care center, and park“or other places where children regularlycongregate.” For all practical purposes, no sexcriminals can live anywhere in the city. “The wholecity is basically covered by this, “Dermer says. “Asfar as I’m concerned, it worked well.”Because of such concerns, 11 of the 17 states withproximity laws offer exemptions to those who livedwithin the buffer zones before the new laws werepassed, according to Wayne A. Logan, a lawprofessor at the College of William and Mary.Even critics of the residency restrictions agreethat convicted sex offenders should not be allowedto work in jobs, such as teaching, that would bringinto close proximity with children. It’s dangerouswhen predators are able to establish relationshipswith children and build a level of trust that they
can exploit. Most sex crimes, after all, areperpetrated by someone known to the victim.But offenders’ ability to establish suchrelationships has nothing to do with where theylive, critics of the restrictions say. Criminals don’thave to live near arcades or playgrounds to visitthem. “Schools, parks and playgrounds aren’t afactor in most sex-abuse-cases,” says Jill S.Levenson, a human-services professor andresearcher at Lynn University, in Fort Lauderdale,Fla., who has coauthored studies of sex-offenderresidency restrictions.“It sounds good in theory,” Levenson continues,“but the big problem with residency restrictions,aside from the fact that there’s no evidence thatthey work, is that they push sex offenders fromcities into rural areas so they’re more difficult totrack and monitor and are farther from socialservices and psychiatric services.” Those arefactors associated with increased recidivism, notlower recidivism, Levenson says.
When you ostracize these individuals, they’retaken away from social-network support, jobopportunities and family,” says Logan, who ispreparing a book on offender-registration laws. Inone instance, 21 sex offenders wound up groupedtogether in a cheap motel outside of Cedar Rapid,Iowa, because they had been, in effect, banishedfrom within the city limits.  The fact that somesex offenders are being forced either intohomelessness or into living arrangements withtheir ostracized peers may make them less likelyto stay on the straight-and-narrow.“Yes, it’s an inconvenience – some folks will have tomove,” said Republican state Rep. Jerry Keen,majority leader of the Georgia House and sponsorof the state’s proximity law. “But if you weigh thatargument against the overall impact, which is thesafety of the children, most folks would agree thisis a good thing.” The foundation for residency restrictions on sexoffenders was laid more than a decade ago, in1994, when Congress required states to compelconvicted sex offenders to register their
addresses with local police. The requirementhelped parole and probation officers supervise andmonitor their charges. Two years later, “Megan’sLaw” required communities to provide citizens withinformation on sex offenders in their midst. Thelaw was named in honor of Megan Kanka, a 7 yearold New Jersey child who was raped and murderedin 1994 by a convicted sex offender who livedacross the street, Jesse Timmendequas.But some critics of the proximity law – includingsome prosecutors and law enforcement officials –are not worried that the buffer-zone approachalso may erode the effectiveness of the registryand community – notification requirements. If itbecomes too difficult for sex offenders to find anaffordable place to live, they may changeresidences without notifying authorities, registerfalse addresses or simply disappear, making itharder for law enforcement to do its job.In Chicago, for example, more than 75 percent ofthe addresses given by 81 sex offenders werefound to be bogus.  In Iowa, the number of sexoffenders who are unaccounted for on the state’s
list of 6,000 offenders has doubled since astatewide residence law took effect in September2005. “You have to be very careful with those sorts oflaws because we don’t know if they’re going to help,and they may hurt,” says Carlos Cuevas, anassistant professor at Northeastern University’sCollege of Criminal Justice.Although a Gallup Poll found that more Americansare “very concerned” about child molesters thanviolent crime in general or even terrorism, therates of sex crimes against children have actuallydropped significantly since the early 1990’s. What’s more, such crimes are far more likely to becommitted by a family member or someone elsepreviously known to the victim than by a stranger.In fact, strangers are responsible for only 7percent of reported cases of juvenile sex crimes,according to the Justice Department. Thirty-fourpercent are victimized by their own families, and59 percent of cases occur among friends. According to the National Center for Missing and
Exploited Children, only about 115 out of 260,000children kidnapped each year are snatched bystrangers. Should sex offenders receive harsherpunishments?James Jenkins says he’s “all for castration forcertain sex offenders. It would do a lot toprevent recidivism and [reduce] the amount ofmoney we have to spend on treatment centers.”Jenkins should know. He was sent to a sex-offender treatment center after he molestedthree young girls. Before being sent to theinstitution, Jenkins castrated himself with a razor.“Castration has done precisely what I wanted it todo,” Jenkins said. “I have not had any sexual urgesor desires. My mind is free of the deviant sexualfantasies I used to have about young girls.” Eight states allow either for chemical or surgicalcastration. It’s one sign among many that over thepast decade states and local communities havedecided they need to toughen their laws againstsex offenders.
In the wake of the community-notificationrequirements passed a decade ago, nearly half thestates now have passed versions of Jessica’s Law,which requires more aggressive tracking of sexoffenders though use of GPS (global positioningsystem) technology.“You see the continual need for more pieces of thepie – tougher law enforcement and greatercommunity awareness,” says Rumenap, of StopChild Predators. ‘WE NEED TO KEEP OURCHILDREN SAFE.”Oklahoma became the fifth state to impose thedeath penalty for sex crimes against children andnow South Carolina had enacted it law one dayearlier.The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1977 that thedeath penalty was disproportionate in casesinvolving the rape of adults, and thus amounted to“cruel and unusual punishment,” which is banned bythe Eighth Amendment. The court has not ruled on
a death penalty case involved an offense against achild. Lieb, of the Washington State Institute for PublicPolicy, says the new laws serve an importantpurpose – not just by imposing harsher sentencesbut in raising public awareness about sex crimes.“Personally, I think it’s a very valuable change inour society. It’s recognition of the harm,” shesays. “There’s no doubt, looking at sex offenderswho have committed horrific crimes and gottenout, the thing you would most wish for is that theyget a longer sentence.”But Lieb questions laws that raise the level ofpunishment for sex offenses above those formurder, as in Washington. “There’s been researchthat shows if you set mandatory sentences toohigh, then prosecutors won’t file those charges,and judges and juries won’t convict,” she says.It’s not only a question of whether the legalsystem will apply the most rigorous penalties, saysR. Karl Hanson, a psychologist and a correctionsresearcher with Public Safety and Emergency
Preparedness Canada, that country’s main publicsafety agency. Victims invariably find the courtprocess a challenge, he says, and they aresometimes especially reluctant to press chargeswhen the perpetrator is a relative or someoneknown to them, as is the case more often than not.Studies from the 1990’s showed that 73 percentof molestation victims don’t report the crime ifthe perpetrator is a relative or step-parent, while70 percent don’t report an acquaintance.Children sometimes fear further harm as a resultof reporting.Others warn that longer sentences or even thedeath penalty won’t act as a successful deterrentto crime. “People think it’s effective because theyconfuse deterrence with retribution,” says MurrayA. Straus, a sociologist the University of NewHampshire. “That doesn’t mean that punishmentnever works as a deterrent. It does – but it has avery high failure rate.”“Offenders are going to become more aware thatsociety doesn’t want to deal with them on thestreet,” says Christopher J. Murphy, deputy chief
of the adult probation and parole department inMontgomery County, Pa. “But the majority of sexoffenders that I’ve dealt with didn’t think theywere going to be caught to begin with.”“We tend to put all sex offenders under oneumbrella, and these laws are applied to themequally,” says Terry, of the John Jay College ofCriminal Justice. “We often apply the resources tothe punishment rather than to the treatment,” shecontinues. “Personally, I think that there shouldbe more of a focus on treatment.”Can sex offenders be rehabilitated?Many of the most disturbing violations of childrenin recent times have been perpetrated by repeatoffenders. The suspect in the case of JessicaLunsford, the Florida girl whose kidnap, rape andmurder has prompted half the states to passstricter tracking requirements, is a previouslyconvicted sex offender who had failed to registerwith police.The idea that someone could molest children andthen be set free to commit the same crime again –
or an even more violent crime – is a centralmotivation behind the current push toward morestringent punishments and tracking.Even those who believe that most sex offendersare unlikely to strike again concede that suchcriminals will never entirely shed their destructiveimpulses. But they say the behavior of many sexoffenders can be managed, just as incurablediseases such as diabetes can be managed.“We don’t talk about it in terms of a cure,” saysLevenson, of the Center for OffenderRehabilitation and Education. “Some may always beattracted to children, but they can certainly learnto control that and not act on it.”Cycles of ConcernThroughout the 20th century, the legal and politicalresponse to sex offenders has evolved through aseries of cycles. At certain junctures, horrificcrimes have sparked stepped-up efforts to combatthe problem. Over time, however, as tensions ease,more liberal approaches come into fashion, such as
a greater focus on rehabilitation. But then somenew and shocking event shakes society’scomplacency, and tougher laws again sweep theland.“Failure to require actual conviction on a specificcharge reflected the therapeutic assumption thatno real harm could come from merely beingdiagnosed and treated medically, and the socialassumption that merely being chargeddemonstrated that a person was a troublemaker ofsome kind,” writes Philip Jenkins, a historian andreligious studies professor at Pennsylvania StateUniversity, in his 1998 book Moral Panic. “Moral degenerates are easily discoverable withoutwaiting until acts of violence put them in thecategory of harming children.” New LegislationThe pace of sex offender legislation has neverbeen quicker than it is today. In 2005, 45 statespassed more than 150 sex-offender laws,according to the National Conference of StateLegislatures. That was the most ever passed in a
single year and twice the amount of legislation in2004.States have kept up the pace, joined by federallawmakers. Congress passed the Adam Walsh ChildProtection and Safety Act. And recently ClaireMCaskill wrote me and thanked me for regardinglegislation to protect children from sexualpredators and other criminals. With her fullsupport, the Senate passed and the Presidentsigned into law, the PROTECT Our Children Act of2008. This legislation requires the AttorneyGeneral to create and and implement a NationalStrategy for Child Exploitation and Prevention,establish a National Internet Crimes AgainstChildren Task Force, and create an Internetdatabase for crimes against children and stiffenpenalties for child exploitation. In addition,Senator McCaskill supports the Child ProtectionImprovements Act of 2011 (s.645), which wouldrequire the Attorney General to Strengthenbackground checks for applicants to child-servingorganizations by establishing an applicantprocessing center that works with the National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children as wellas state and federal law enforcement.Greenblatt, A. (2006, September 8). Sex offenders. CQ Researcher, 16,721-744. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/cqpac/Senator McCaskill along with “Tank the Dinosaur”urge parents and concerned citizens to visit theNational Sex Offender Public website athttp://www.nsopr.gov to learn more aboutprograms aimed at protecting our children.
Tank the Dinosaur thanks you for reading the information he found for you and hope this book can help remind you howimportant all people are, but our children are our future and without them, the older generation cannot survive. The End
Footnotes “The Greatest Fear,” The Economist, August 26, 2005, p.24. Howard N. Snyder, “Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to LawEnforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Charateristics,” Bureau ofJustice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, July 2000, p.10; available atwww.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf. Tara Bahrampour, “Discovering a World Beyond the Front Yard,” TheWasington Post, August 27, 2006, p. C1. Wendy Koch, “States Get Tougher With Sex Offenders,” USA Today,May 24, 2006, p. 1A. Lee Rood, “Residency Law Creates Clusters of Sex Offenders,” DesMoines Register, January 29, 2006, p. 1A. Jenny Jarvie, “Suit Targets Sex Offender Law,” Los Angeles Times, July2, 2006, p. A24. Charles Sheehan, “Sex Offenders Slip Away,” Chicago Tribune, March 31,2006, p. 1 Ellen Perlman, “Where Will Sex Offenders Live?” Governing, June 2006,p. 54. Monica Davey, “Iowa’s Residency Rules Drive Sex OffendersUnderground,” The New York Times, March 15, 2006, p. A1. Candade Rondeaux, “Can Castration Be a Solution for Sex Offenders?”The Washington Post, July 5, 2006, p. B1. Adam Liptak, “Death Penalty in Some Cases of Child Sex is Widening,”The New York Times, June 10, 2006, p. 9. The case is Coker v. Georgia, 433U.S. 584 (1977). Terry, op. cit., p. 17.
 Quoted in Philip Jenkins, Moral Panic (1998), p. 37. Ibid., p. 37.
This is Tank’s place where he goes to think when he“Tank” the dinosaur lived for helping people and he wants our little people or our children to be protected at all times. What would the future be like orwould take care of us when we get old if we did not have young people. Tank does not watch television because he is afraid that there will be another child missing. WE HAVE GOT TO PROTECT OUR KIDS SO THAT THEY WILL PROTECT US!!!TANK DOES NOT WANT CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE TO BECOME EXTINCT LIKE HIS ANCESTORS DID, SO WE HAVE GOT TOPROTECT THEM STARTING RIGHT NOW, OK?
Tank the dinosaur is not a medical doctor and this isonly showing what and how you can eat healthy to stay healthy. The endReference Material by: Alan Greenblatt