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UPDATE: On 50% of sex offenders re-offend, a claim made by Watch Systems

11-18-2009 National:

Yesterday I posted a commentary about a hot Internet topic: “50% of sex offenders re-offend.”

SexOffenderIssues found many law enforcement agencies making this claim across the nation. These same agencies are using Watch Systems’s software called “Offender Watch,” and through that product those agencies are spreading the erroneous claim that “50% of sex offenders re-offend.”

If you will look at my commentary NOW, you will see a portion highlighted in RED. That shows the absurdity of Watch System's claim. Simple logic tells you their facts are mistaken; purposely done? A marketing ploy? Who knows! What we do know is, they are wrong!
Does anyone remember the Watch Systems screen where the 50% appeared, if so, what else was on that screen. I’ll bet most folks haven’t a clue without looking at the screen again. What folks will remember is the one item (50%) in the middle of other facts about sex offenders. Whoever designed that screen was smart, smart in the sense that they got their point across and whoever sees the screen will remember the 50%. Such claims get peoples attention in today’s climate.

We need to empower folks to contest statistics put forth by public officials, the media and others. Just because a stat has a qualified source, or sounds good, doesn’t mean it is being used correctly, or that it is factual.

SexOffenderIssues has begun contacting the law enforcement agencies using that stat in an effort to get them to change it. This is what needs to be done with any misused stat whether it is from a politician or the media.

Absurd claims are at the heart of today’s legislation where RSOs are concerned, and these absurdities need to be challenged when they arise. Challenge professionally, do not allow emotion to control challenges, and avoid a lawsuit over libel or slander; be smart. Finally, do not expect that you will always win, there will be those who oppose you, and I see SexOffenderIssues has one agency opposed to changing the 50%. OK, move one, maybe the next one will change.

Everyone needs to empower folks to challenge misused or false statistics.


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