The U.S. Marshals Metro Fugitive Task Force Lincoln Division announced recently that the vast majority — about 90 percent — of the former sex offenders that it checked on are in compliance with the law. The remaining roughly 10 percent didn’t happen to be around when law enforcement showed up, so the compliance number could very well be more than 90 percent.
A news release from the U.S. Marshals Service says that the Task Force checked on 94 registered citizens in Custer, Sherman, Valley, Nance, Boone, Howard and Greeley counties. Of those, 85 are exactly where they are supposed to be, doing what they are supposed to be doing. The release says nine “weren’t contacted,” which could mean they were at work, or at the store buying milk or out walking the dog when law enforcement banged on their doors.
The news release says this activity tied up personnel from more than a dozen law enforcement agencies.
The news release failed to mention that a recent University of Nebraska-Omaha research study found that a tiny fraction of Nebraska sex offenders are likely to reoffend. The year-to-year reoffense rate for former sex offenders is less than 1 percent.
The release also failed to point out the fact that despite the alarmingly high rate of reoffense for convicted drunken drivers (something like 33 percent), no similar home-invasive technique is employed to make sure those people are not drunk. (We don’t necessarily believe the people who say that’s because so many politicians have DUIs).
The release did not say how much taxpayer money was expended on an effort that targets a lot of people who are not and likely will not be lawbreakers.
None of the news media organizations that printed the news release almost verbatim as they received it asked any questions about why law enforcement is wasting its precious time and our tax dollars on tracking down problems that do not exist.