There are no more sex offenders in Colorado.
They’re now “adults who commit sexual offenses,” according to a vote last week by the Sex Offender Management Board of the Colorado Division of Justice.
Board chair Kimberly Kline told the Denver Post it’s about that nasty label: sex offender. “I think the biggest thing is research shows us that assigning a label has the potential for negative effects in rehabilitation,” she said.
“If we’re talking about how someone speaks about themselves … that can increase risk,” she continued. “Ultimately it is victim centered if we’re reducing risk.”
Victim-centered? Not according to board member Jessica Dotter in her dissent at a meeting Friday about developing the new term.
“Prosecutors are not in favor of this change generally,” said Dotter, who represents prosecutors as Sexual Assault Resource Prosecutor at the Colorado District Attorneys Council.
“Victim advocates, therapists, law enforcement that I’ve spoke with along with, all of the D.A.s that I represent, are not in favor of replacing this term.”
“In having met with victims for years and years, their generally most common requests are to be believed — that they were offended on and they were sexually assaulted by a person. They want their offender to be held accountable and to be known as a person who — as an offender, as a person who’s committed these crimes.
“They had to convince 12 members of their community or get a plea deal done to actually have a conviction f