The Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) has determined that referring to people who commit sexual crimes as “sex offenders” isn’t “person-first” language.
Instead, rapists, flashers, peeping toms, and other perverts will be called an “Adult who commits sexual offenses.” According to Denver Post writer Alex Burness, “Those who supported this change feel the ‘sex offender’ label is not nuanced enough and can impede rehabilitation.”
Woke linguistics! I’m almost as sick of the world of woke, as I am of covid. https://t.co/1WCNYXucw5
— Colorado Conservative ⛪️ 👩❤️👨 🇺🇸 ⛰ 🏕 🏈 🏌️ (@COS_Conservatve) November 20, 2021
Leaving aside the documented fact that most sex offenders will re-offend and rehabilitation is a waste of time, what could these people be thinking?
“This language in the committees I’ve been on seems to be the most supported of these options. … It highlights the active reason why someone is in treatment, and it doesn’t assume the behavior is over,” SOMB member Carl Blake said.
“Victims advocates, therapists, law enforcement that I’ve spoken with, along with all of the DAs I represent, are not in favor of replacing this term,” SOMB member Jessica Dotter said.
The changes are not final. There will be a 20-day comment period for the public to weigh in before the board meets again in December.
Apparently, sex offenders are offended about being referred to as an offender.
Derek Logue says he shouldn’t have to carry the label for life, “Referring to me by a label for something I did half my life ago is inappropriate and downright offensive.”
He argued “client” would be a better term.
Public Defender Kathy Heffron agreed, “It takes into consideration the uniqueness of individuals who are receiving treatment.”
How about changing it to “inhuman monster”? Would that do?
“I think this strikes a balance that honors the impact to victims and recognizes the current and ongoing impacts of sexual assault but also avoids the labeling term that has negative impacts on those who commit sex offenses.”
Jessica Dotter with the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council worries the change won’t end with the Sex Offender Management Board, “I’m concerned that the use of person-first language generally is an intent to remove accountability from offenders and to diminish the experience of the victims”
And we all know the absolute last thing any of us wants is for any sort “labeling term” to have a “negative impact” on a rapist.
Stupidity appears to be at epidemic levels in the Colorado justice system.
Last year, lawmakers considered a bill that would have, among other things, eliminated the term “sexually violent predator” from statutes but they ended up pulling it. Meanwhile, a task force charged with sentencing reform is considering asking the legislature to change terms like “defendant,” “convict,” and “felon” to “justice-involved people.”
And the irony of ironies: the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board won’t be able to drop “sex offender” from its name. Only the state legislature can vote to alter the board’s name.