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Is your neighbor a sex offender?

http://www.us-sex-offenders.com/map.aspx

I found this link from the abc news website and I decided to look up sex offenders in Provo; I was shocked to find 58 offenders in a 3 mile radius around my house! Can you believe that?! After looking over other towns in Utah, it seems that Provo has an extraordinary amount of sex offenders living here. What is even more disturbing are the amount of these offenders living next to elementary schools. If you do a search in Provo, you will find them gathered around the schools in groups. Just crazy.

Thank goodness this site is there for us to search. I wonder why Provo has so many more offenders here than any other city in Utah?

I know this is a serious

I know this is a serious story and concern, but I have a pretty funny related thought:

A couple of years ago, a neighbor girl was interested in a particular guy in our ward. We wanted to play a prank on her, so we copied the source HTML from one of the sex offenders on the page Jared referenced here, then made just a few changes, like the picture, name, offenses, and so forth. We had a pretty good list. We changed the convictions to bestiality, lewdness with a senior citizen, and a couple other made-up crimes of grossness. Then we started calling this young man by his aliases listed on the page. One night while the girl was over at our apartment, we, "just happened to stumble upon," the website. We ran a local search, and while she wasn't paying too much attention, called up our created HTML page. Boy, the look on her face was worth all the effort.

I wonder why Provo has so

I wonder why Provo has so many more offenders here than any other city in Utah?

Lots and lots of horny young adults who have no outlet for their sex drives without a massive heaping of guilt associated with it? Just a thought.

once a sex offender always a sex offender?

Let's not forget about repentance and forgiveness.

Personally I wish I had not looked at that list a few years ago. Because I learned that the older brother of one of my good friends was listed as a sex offender. I had met this older brother a few times.

What did he do? Underage sex -- he was 19 and she was 17.

What are they doing today? Well, they got married and they have three children now. The sin happenned over 10 years ago.

Let's not forgot that many do completely repent and are forgiven, washed clean and given a new heart and mind.

Yes, some sadly never change but let's not automatically prejudge people based on sins that happenned decades ago.

Other than that, I think the website does more good than harm -- I just question the wisdom of keeping long-ago sex offenders on the website for the rest of their lives -- only because of the example above of my good friend's older brother and wife. God forgets -- why shouldn't we?

There is a problem with the data

Back in July, an Orem company put up a website showing the locations of registered sex offenders in Utah. The company took down the site when the Utah Department of Corrections informed them that two-thirds of the addresses in the state database were believed to be incorrect.

Here's the DesNews story

So when you look at the maps, you can assume that 2 out of 3 of those points are not where they should be. You just don't know which 2 out of 3 are no longer where the map says they are, and you don't know where those people might live right now, and neither does the State of Utah.

You also don't know anything about the people who haven't made it into the system yet.

I wonder why Provo has so

I wonder why Provo has so many more offenders here than any other city in Utah?

Lots and lots of horny young adults who have no outlet for their sex drives without a massive heaping of guilt associated with it? Just a thought.

That's making a pretty big connection that these offenders have LDS moral convictions. It implies, "Hey, I can't look at porn like I want to, so instead I'll go rape someone."

funny...?

while funny, I call that unusual cruelty to a brother from another mother. :)

you're right

"Other than that, I think the website does more good than harm -- I just question the wisdom of keeping long-ago sex offenders on the website for the rest of their lives -- only because of the example above of my good friend's older brother and wife. God forgets -- why shouldn't we?"

Of course we should forgive. But let's not be stupid. Your personal anecdotal evidence is fine, but it would be a mistake to then say that all of the sex offenders are in the same circumstance as your friend.

How could this website do harm?

Informing people that their next door neighbor is a sex offender helps us to protect and preserve the defenseless, the kids. Let's not sweep over their sins with a blanket of charity to the point that we allow the offenders to live across from an elementary school. Don't you agree?

too bad

"the company took down the site when the Utah Department of Corrections informed them that two-thirds of the addresses in the state database were believed to be incorrect."

That's a shame. It's not like it was 100 percent inaccurate. I'd settle for a third, if that meant I had more information in front of me to find out who the bad guys were. What's cool about this site is that it gives pictures to the offenders, so it's much easier to identify them. Heck, I found out that an offender works at a local tacobell here in town; I order from him about once a week. You just never know.

That's making a pretty big

That's making a pretty big connection that these offenders have LDS moral convictions. It implies, "Hey, I can't look at porn like I want to, so instead I'll go rape someone."

Let's see... Provo is like what, 95% LDS? It stands to reason that the majority of the sex offenders are most likely Mormon as well. To assume that the sex offenders are restricted to the 5% non-Mormon population of Provo is just asinine and naive. And to promote the stereotype that Mormons are by default "safe" and that non-Mormons are the ones you have to watch out for is just asking for trouble. It teaches people to judge a person by the religious label he wears as opposed to real personal integrity and character.

The point I was trying to make is that when people are forced to repress their sex drives because they have no outlet for it that isn't "sinful" or includes an $10,000 wedding and a lifetime commitment some of them will snap and do something totally crazy and illegal. The higher the concentration of people who are actively repressing normal biological urges, the higher the concentration of the few who snap. I'm not suggesting that the majority of Mormons are potential sex offenders because I believe the majority of Mormons are decent people who want to do what is right. We are talking about a very small minority here.

But if you want to look at corollary evidence you have to take a logical approach. To account for higher sex crime incidents as opposed to the national or state average you have to see what other things are either higher or lower than state and national averages. The one that jumped out in my mind was the higher rates of religious conviction and extremely low rates of college students getting down with each other. I mean, please, be logical for once instead of a knee jerk "must defend the church and its culture from criticism at the expense of reason" reaction. If you have another reasonable suggestion on what the correlation might be, by all means throw it out here for discussion.

yeah

"It stands to reason that the majority of the sex offenders are most likely Mormon as well. To assume that the sex offenders are restricted to the 5% non-Mormon population of Provo is just asinine and naive"

I think you are on to something here; whatever moral actions authority makes illegal tends to become more enticing to a certain stratum of individuals in any given community. Heck, the ancient chinese would orgasm over the sight of a woman's ankle or elbow, so I think it has a lot to do with the current value system perpetuated by the establishment.

"If you have another reasonable suggestion on what the correlation might be, by all means throw it out here for discussion."

Myself, I think it could be due to Provo's low rent prices for single bedrooms, and the transitory nature of the town, which probably adds to the amount of sex offenders. That's just a guess, but I don't see many sex offenders where they would have to rent or purchase a house in an established neighborhood. What really freaks me out is when you look on that map, they are all collected around the elementary schools. I'm not joking. Shouldn't we put a restraining order on them saying that they can't live within a mile of any school? Doesn't that make sense? Guess not.

I mean, please, be logical

I mean, please, be logical for once instead of a knee jerk "must defend the church and its culture from criticism at the expense of reason" reaction.

1. Find a single thing I said, ever, that was in defense of the church or its culture.
2. Show me how I wasn't reasonable in my critique of your immediate cause-and-effect statement between church teachings and sex offenses.
3. You make this connection between the high number of sex offenders in this area (which, after repeated searches through half a dozen areas on the webpage, I did not see Provo as being higher than average), the high LDS population, and the moral values the Church teaches. If these things are all true, it is still incredibly biased and lacking evidence of you to suggest there is definite causation.
4. Please provide some empirical evidence that high moral teachings have ever led a person to, "snap," and rape someone, or a similar sex-offense.
5. I never said anything about all the offenders being in the 5% of non-Mormons here, so your criticisms about being naive or asinine are invalid. If this area is 95% LDS, then it would stand to reason that 95% of the sex offenders are LDS, though I would hope the latter figure is actually lower.
6. I never suggested, in any way, that religion could be considered a label in judging people.

I do not have a reasonable suggestion on what the correlation might be (as opposed to your well-thought out and highly objective connection) because I don't see any correlation to begin with. If such a connection exists, I don't think religious conviction could possibly used to suggest that the learned moral values of an offender contributed to his crime. And I think another thing to keep in mind when discussing any sort of crime in this area is the police presence. I bet that jaywalking here, in proportion to a city like LA, is substantially higher. We have more cops to sit around and wait for crimes to happen.

I don't remember who said it, but he/she was right. You never have anything positive to say here. But the least you could do is lay off the personal insults.

mormons or not

I work with the state correctional programs. Provo/Orem is home to many "group homes," "proctor homes," "independant living sites" and other correctional facilities that house recovering sex offenders. Provo/Orem welcomes so many of these offenders from all over the country because there are so many good, forgiving people in this area that are willing to work with these children for the low wages that the state pays them. A lot of these workers are not mormon, but this area has a lot of good people regardless of religion.

Some of the people that are in these programs are no doubt registered on the site. A lot of the people, once released from their programs, having been rehabilitated, stay in the area because they now have jobs, friends, etc. A lot of these offenders may come from Mormon families, but that doesn't make them of the Mormon faith. An alarming amount of these offenders do re-offend and that goes on their adult record. They usually do not move away even after the embarrassment this may cause. I feel that this accounts for the high number of offfenders in the area.

What really freaks me out is

What really freaks me out is when you look on that map, they are all collected around the elementary schools. I'm not joking. Shouldn't we put a restraining order on them saying that they can't live within a mile of any school? Doesn't that make sense? Guess not.

That's a very valid concern. I know there are laws (though I'm unsure of the jurisdiction of them) where sex offenders cannot live within a certain radius of an elementary school.

Having said that, I think the nature of the crime is also important in determining that kind of stuff. I read this story about a guy who was driving through a neighborhood and some 14 year old girl jumped out in front of the street. He slammed on his brakes, but angry that she was so irresponsible, he called out to her to yell at her. By the way, this guy had no prior record at all. Anyhow, she ignored him and kept on walking, so he got out of his car and grabbed her by the arm to turn her around. Neighbor called the cops, and this guy was charged and convicted with a sex crime for grabbing a minor or something like that. Now, for the rest of his life, he's gotta tell all his neighbors he's a convicted sex offender, he has a felony on his record, can't live within a certain area of schools, etc. So, that sucks, and I would really hate to see our justice system abused that way. Not all sex offenders are predatory or a threat to society.

1. Find a single thing I

1. Find a single thing I said, ever, that was in defense of the church or its culture.


See what you just posted in #2. You just admit that your response was a critique of my cause-and-effect connection between the LDS church and sex-offenses. I would think of that as being a "defense." But in general, whenever I make any statement that would cast the church in a less than favorable light you always are ready to take me on and call me out to back up everything I say with facts, etc. If you do not do this in an effort to defend the church and the culture, what do you do it for?

2. Show me how I wasn't reasonable in my critique of your immediate cause-and-effect statement between church teachings and sex offenses.

Um, I already did, man. "Hey, I can't look at porn like I want to, so instead I'll go rape someone." is hardly the implication I was going after and I explained it in my follow up post. If you want to rebutt those statements, please do so. If not, quit asking me to explain myself.

3. You make this connection between the high number of sex offenders in this area (which, after repeated searches through half a dozen areas on the webpage, I did not see Provo as being higher than average), the high LDS population, and the moral values the Church teaches. If these things are all true, it is still incredibly biased and lacking evidence of you to suggest there is definite causation.

Let's look at what I said, shall we?

Lots and lots of horny young adults who have no outlet for their sex drives without a massive heaping of guilt associated with it? Just a thought.

I never said I had evidence or anything related to that. I admitted that my take on it was just a guess. Also, I never claimed that Provo had the higher sex crime rates. That was Jared in the original article. I simply added my thoughts on his conclusion. I never implied a direct link nor a a definite causation. It was simply an offhand guess on my view of the situation.

4. Please provide some empirical evidence that high moral teachings have ever led a person to, "snap," and rape someone, or a similar sex-offense.

Gee, let's see here? You know who else has "high moral teachings" coupled with a call for chastity? Catholic Priests. But that didn't stop a disgusting amount of sexual crimes from being commited, now did it? Maybe something a little bit closer to home? What about the underage sex and forced marriages of Fundamentalist Mormon sects? Do those not count as sex crimes? But the polygamists don't even have to "snap" to commit sexual assault. In fact, it's condoned by their "high moral teachings." But of course, those example probably won't make you happy so how about a scientific study instead? That's got to be more valuable than simple untested empirical evidence, right? Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'

5. I never said anything about all the offenders being in the 5% of non-Mormons here, so your criticisms about being naive or asinine are invalid. If this area is 95% LDS, then it would stand to reason that 95% of the sex offenders are LDS, though I would hope the latter figure is actually lower.

But you expressed this mocking increduility that a Mormon would couldn't look at porn (not wouldn't because of personal convictions) would go out and rape someone as an alternative. The implication was that it would be ludicrous to suggest there might actually be a connection. It was a ridiculing dismissal of my suggestion.

6. I never suggested, in any way, that religion could be considered a label in judging people.

And I never said you did, but the implication was there in your silly response.

I don't remember who said it, but he/she was right. You never have anything positive to say here. But the least you could do is lay off the personal insults.

Actually they said I never had anything nice to say. But it doesn't matter. It's essentially the same thing. You are both equating my criticisms of the LDS church and the rank-and-file member as being somehow mean spirited and worthless de facto. Which is the main reason I criticize. I want to bring debate, logic and reasonable discussion to a group of people who are seriously indoctrinated with group-think and inflexible, dogmatic illogic. And I am not a mean person. I simply don't just sit idly by without stating my opinions and calling people on their BS. If being nice and positive means simply agreeing with everyone and going with the flow even when it's wrong then I'll be "mean" then. Just because I think you are wrong and you have a lot of silly, ill-informed conclusions about a lot of things and I say so does not mean that I insulted you or anyone else on here. Insults are like "Hey, Farker! Your mom is ugly!" or something worthless like that.

sex kills

"Provo/Orem is home to many "group homes," "proctor homes," "independant living sites" and other correctional facilities that house recovering sex offenders."

That's rather interesting. Thank you for the comment, dennison. There is a mental health facility near BYU, and I thought that may have something to do with it, but apparently there are many more than I was aware of; guess I won't be staying in Provo after I graduate :-)

"An alarming amount of these offenders do re-offend and that goes on their adult record."

Right. So tell me, does it make sense to allow them to live so close to elementary schools? Do you know of any laws that prohibit sex offenders to live so close to the schools? If you take a look at that map, there seems to be an alarming presence of the offenders that live right across or just down the street from elementary schools. Is this a good thing?

I'm all for forgiveness, but this seems crazy that they would be allowed to be there. Should we be worried?