Monday, May 16, 2005

Real Reporting and the Saratogian

Recently ADK Almanack reported on the offensive, ignorant, undemocratic and slanderous reporting of local sex offenders by the right wing-nuts at the Saratogian. Last week the alternative weekly Metroland chimed in with an intelligent and fact-based look at the issue. Unfortunately, for reasons we simply don’t understand, Metroland doesn’t have a proper archive for their site (only this strangeness) so the story is here only until Thursday. Highlights of the article include the following facts drawn from the US Justice Department’s Center of Sex Offender Management:

  • Strangers rarely commit sexual assaults. Ninety percent of adult victims of sexual assault had a prior relationship (family member, intimate or acquaintance) with the offender.

  • Not all sex offenders reoffend. In fact, sex offenders are less likely to reoffend than other criminals.

  • Fewer sexual-offense crimes are happening each year. According to statistics from the FBI, the arrest rate for all sexual offenses dropped 16 percent between 1993 and 1998.
  • 30 percent of adult sex offenders were sexually abused as children. However, approximately 40 to 80 percent of all juvenile sex offenders, who commit for 20 percent of all rapes and 50 percent of all child molestations, were sexually abused.

  • It’s not cheaper to keep sex offenders in prison. A single year of high-level supervision and treatment in the community costs between $5,000 and $15,000 for each offender. A single year of incarceration, without treatment, costs approximately $22,000 for a single prisoner.

John Warren

John Warren has been exploring the woods and waters of the Adirondacks for more than 45 years. After a career as a print journalist and documentary television producer he founded Adirondack Almanack in 2005 and co-founded Adirondack Atlas in 2015.

John's Adirondack Outdoors Conditions Report can be heard Friday mornings across the region on North Country Public Radio and on WSLP Lake Placid.

He is also on the staff of the New York State Writers Institute and edits The New York History Blog. He is the author of two books of regional history.


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