Beginning Sunday, November 23, the NebraskaFACTS blog will begin posting a seven-part series that is a first-person account by the wife of a registered citizen who is incarcerated. More than 10 years ago, when her husband was 18, he had consensual sex with his girlfriend and as a result ended up on the sex offender registry. Now married and the father of a 2-year-old daughter with his wife, this man likely will not be free until his daughter is 10 years old. That is not because of any new sexual offense, but because he was in technical violation of convoluted registration laws. His wife and daughter are refugees in Nebraska, surviving despite a political / law enforcement / criminal justice system that is designed to expose them to public hatred and destroy them. Theirs is one among many similar stories.
The story pulls no punches and makes no excuses – the couple accepts responsibility for their poor decisions. The story also lays bare the destructive conduct of parole and probation officers, law enforcement and others who believe sex-offender laws give them license to destroy more lives. The story asks: “How much longer can we afford sex-offender laws that force people out of homes, make it impossible for them to find work, and provide no protection to our children?”
Refugees USA: Families Destroyed by the Registry begins Sunday, November 23.