FACT: More people are now listed on sex-offender registries than are currently in jail in the US. It’s an amazing statistic that illuminates one of the darkest corners of our criminal justice system: our fear-based approach to dealing with sex offenders.
So why do we have these massive lists? Are they fair? Do they keep us safe?
Untouchable, the award-winning documentary that takes an unflinching look at sex offenders, the laws used to punish them, and the people behind the making of those laws, will be available for personal streaming January 15th, on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. Look for it also at your public or institutional library that subscribes to Kanopy.
This award-winning documentary (Tribeca Film Festival – Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award) explodes conventional thinking on this topic with data showing that current sex-offender laws and systems of punishment aren’t making us any safer.
It’s the first documentary to challenge deeply help public perceptions with new and compelling social science research. A few of the facts it reveals:
· Our system of punishing sex offenders through forced isolation and extreme stigmatizing doesn’t make us or our children any safer.
· More than three quarters of a million people are on sex offender registries. In Oregon, 1 in every 88 adult men is a registered sex offender.
· Contrary to public perception, only a tiny percentage of sex offenders are likely to reoffend. Actual same-crime recidivism numbers for sex offenders is in the low single digits.
· Once released from prison, registrants can be subject to over 100 separate conditions.
· Over 90 percent of sex offenders are returned to prison not because they committed another sex crime, but rather because of a technical parole or probation violation.
· While passing extremely punitive laws can make lawmakers appear tough on crime, many of these laws create inhumane living situations for those being punished, and fail to make us safer.
· Some of the people who have been most profoundly hurt by sexual predators actually support a more evidence-based system of treatment rather than severe punishment
What drives these laws? And what benefits do they really provide? Untouchable takes you deep into our criminal justice system to reveal the complicated truth behind the explosive growth of what has become one of America’s largest punishment systems.