September 03, 2006

Abolish parole for sex offenders

According to a Study by the U.S. Department of Justice titled "Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994," 9,691 male sex offenders were released from 15 states, including Maryland. Of this population, 4,295 were documented as released child molesters. Some of the facts gleaned from that study are as follows:

Released sex offenders were 4 times more likely to be rearrested for a sex crime compared to non-sex offenders released from State prisons.

The more prior arrests the offender had, the greater the likelihood of his being rearrested for another sex crime after leaving prison.

Sixty-percent of the children involved were age 13 or younger.

On average, these men served only 45% of their prison sentence before being released.

I can't help but share the outrage of some of your readers who have written The Sun with their own opinions. You are to be commended for your continued coverage of this issue.

While I applaud the recent efforts of some legislators to pass Maryland's version of Jessica's Law, I am troubled by the availability of parole for child sex offenders. These criminals need to be sent to prison and kept there. How blind are our legislators to ignore the data on recidivism that includes Maryland prisoners? How many more years need to go by before another study tells us that this type of criminal will act again and again and again? How many more children will die victims of these monsters before Maryland's Senators and Delegates get courageous enough to put them away for good? Maryland should mimic the efforts of our Floridian counterparts and abolish the possibility of parole for child sexual predators. Maryland legislators need to take heed and voters need to take a stand. We can't sit back and think that our present law is enough. Studies show it isn't, current events concur, and the recent arrests of Melvin Jones, Jr. and Brian Dotson prove we still have work to do in Annapolis.

Donna Stifler

The writer is a Republican candidate for the District 35A seat in the Maryland House of Delegates.

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