The Bernalillo County sheriff is blasting an unusual letter, which offers to help hundreds of Albuquerque-area sex offenders.
A group wants to provide emotional support along with help finding housing and jobs.
Some convicted sex offenders say they can't escape punishment for their crime because they have to appear on public sex offender websites. Many claim they can't get work or find a place to live because of the stigma.
But that's where the group "Citizens for Change" is stepping in. The group is now offering to help sex offenders find housing and employment, along with emotional support.
East Mountain resident Alice Benson is sending out the letters. Her late husband was a pastor who counseled a sex offender, and she plans to continue his work.
She says the group is working to reform public registries. For instance, Benson says only violent sex offenders or serial pedophiles should be required to appear on public websites.
She says if someone molested a child years ago and has been crime free for years, they should be taken off the site.
Other members say public shame isn't the best way to keep the public safe. They say that can be done by successfully re-integrating sex offenders back into society.
Sheriff Darren White says the group is offering sympathy to the sex offenders, almost like they're victims.
"If this is an inconvenience for them, too bad. It pales in comparison to what they have done to their victims," Sheriff White said.
Benson says of the 500 letters sent out, about 20 people have expressed interest in learning more about the group.
Tags: sex, sexual, offender, issues, sex offender, sexual offender, new mexico,
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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