Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Good News, Bad News, and a Level 3 Predatory Offender

There's good news, and there's bad news this week.

First, the bad news: a rapist is moving into town, by courtesy of the Minnesota state government.

Now, the good news: these days, we're allowed to know about the situation. Before the chap hurts someone else.

I appreciate the Minnesota Department of Corrections providing a page where folks can determine whether a Level 3 (or "Level III" - Minngov writes it both ways) offender is living near them. (Level 3 Predatory Offender Information) It levels the playing field a bit. There are links to some "Community Safety Information" on the page, too.

Awfully sporting of them, I think.

Paranoia? Hysteria? I don't Think So: But I'm a Trifle Concerned

A page on the Fridley, Minnesota, website made a good point:
"...This notification is meant to provide information and alleviate fear, not create it. The most important factor to consider is that people who commit predatory crimes have always lived in our communities. The difference is that since the 1990's, Minnesota statutes allow local police departments to inform citizens of certain offender's general whereabouts...."
As I said before, letting the common folk know when a rapist is released is awfully sporting of our state leaders. And shows a remarkable trust that 'The Masses' won't go charging after offenders with torches and pitchforks.

A "Level 3" Offender? How Bad Can That be?

You might think that "Level 1" offenders were the most dangerous - 'top of the list.' Or, you might think that "Level 3" offenders are third on a scale of one to ten - going either direction.

I wondered just what "Level 3" meant - and noticed how careful the easy-to-find online resources and announcements were, about not saying what the "Level" system meant. After a little digging, I found this:
"...The committee shall assign to risk level I a predatory offender whose risk assessment score indicates a low risk of reoffense. The committee shall assign to risk level II an offender whose risk assessment score indicates a moderate risk of reoffense. The committee shall assign to risk level III an offender whose risk assessment score indicates a high risk of reoffense...."
(Subd. 3.End-of-confinement review committee, (e) "244.052 PREDATORY OFFENDERS; NOTICE., 2009 Minnesota Statutes, Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes)
Okay, now I know: the town my family and I live in will be playing host to "an offender whose risk assessment score indicates a high risk of reoffense."


Well, at least we're allowed to know about the situation these days. That's an improvement.

Protecting People Who Don't Hurt Other People: What a Concept!

I think what we're seeing is a process that Minnesota - and American - leaders are going through, where they're adjusting to the idea that people who don't rape other people deserve the sort of care and consideration that's given people who are accused of crimes.

I don't want to live in a society where someone is guilty until proven innocent - or broke. And I do appreciate the intention, if not the results, of an earlier generation's concern for the welfare of people who don't behave.

Eventually, I hope that processes and maybe technologies can be developed for doing more to protect the innocent, than (it seems) telling a community that a rapist will be moving in with them, and asking the rapist to be nice.

This isn't the 'Wobegon Trail' Rapist

The Level 3 offender, according to the Sauk Centre Herald, is Dustin Gene Ayres, 27. He "...has a history of sexual contact with female victims age eight to 16...." And, so far, he's known his victims.

Yeah, I feel sorry for him, and hope he'll decide to stop being naughty. I'm also concerned about the folks who could be his next victims.

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