Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sex Offender Housing Supports Recovery: Isn’t That What We Want?

Kudos to Avendora of Offender Rights for bravely addressing the Washington State Legislature last week. The public hearing was about House Bill # 1430, which would essentially make it more difficult for registered offenders who have served their sentence to reside together in Washington State.

Avendora cited the situation that occurred in Everett last summer, when a compassionate landlord, knowing that former sex offenders need stable housing, mental health services and jobs in order to recover, ran into strong opposition from the neighborhood, as described in this Seattle Times article.

Avendora presented studies which clearly show, in numerous ways, how former offenders that reside together are much less likely to re-offend, not more likely, as the general public fears. If people truly want greater safety, they’ve got to get beyond this “not in my backyard” mentality and start supporting the healthy recovery of ex-offenders, not the isolation, unemployment, homelessness and hate that only supports re-offense.

Please contact your representatives, Washington residents. Vote No on Bill 1430 for the good of everyone.