Tuesday December 4, 2012

As a registry reform advocate and fiancée to a registrant whose crime was committed as a minor, I was pleased to read that the publisher of the Times Argus is standing by his decision to hire a former sex offender.

Extensive research (and common sense) dictates that the more stability a former sex offender has in their life, the less likely they will be to re-offend. Without a job, it can become nearly impossible for former offenders to attain basic needs such as housing, access to treatment, and supporting their families.

Mr. Blaisdell - who has an education and background in journalism - has managed something many former offenders can’t: get a job, support himself and become a contributing member of society. If even the most successful former sex offender can’t move on with his life without his name, photograph and conviction published throughout the country, what incentive do others have to do the same?

I applaud R. John Mitchell for doing what so many others in the media would rather not, and I wish Mr. Blaisdell success in his position. Hopefully this is the beginning of a media interested in the truth instead of popularity, from which we will all benefit.

If the media still wants to talk about "ethics", let’s start with their persistent interest in perpetuating myths and hysteria about sex offenders.

SHANA ROWAN

Executive Director USA FAIR Inc.

Washington, D.C.