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USA FAIR Asks Senator Schumer and Congressman Bishop to urge Parents for Megan’s Law to remove misleading statistics from website

USA FAIR, Inc. calls on Senator Schumer and Congressman Bishop, financial supporters of Parents for Megan's Law, to address misleading statistic on group's website

Families of Sex Offenders Ask Senator Schumer and Congressman Bishop to urge Parents for Megan’s Law to remove misleading statistics from their website


USA FAIR, Inc., a national advocacy organization formed by the family members of people required to register with the sex offender registry, today publicly urged Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Congressman Timothy H. Bishop (Dem-1,NY) to assist in its efforts to get Parents for Megan’s Law Executive Director Laura Ahearn to take down misleading statistics from their website that reinforces the myth of high sex offender recidivism. The organization is based in Rep. Bishop’s Congressional District in Stony Brook, NY.


“According to the Parents for Megan’s Law website, Senator Schumer and Congressman Bishop each are responsible for their organization recieving grants in excess of $50,000.  As recipients of public funds they have a responsibility to report fair and accurate statisitcs and not the blatantly misleading statistics they currently present.  This is particularly important now because Parents for Megan’s Law is being considered for a contract with Suffolk County to be active participants in the management of sex offenders in the county.” said Shana Rowan, Executive Director of USA FAIR.


USA FAIR has made fighting the myth of high sex offender recidivism its number one priority for 2013 becasue so many of the laws impacting law abiding former sex offenders are based on the falsehood that former offenders are likely to commit a new sex crime.  According to the U.S. Justice Department and numerous other agencies and institutions that have researched recidivism, sexual offenders have one of the lowest recidivism rates in the criminal justice system (www.usafair.org/studies.)


“While we applaud Parents for Megan’s Law for their mission to protect children, as an entity that is funded in part with public funds, they have an obligation to not mislead the public through the misuse of statistics, such as presenting a study of a sub-set of dangerous recidivists and presenting those findings as representative of the entire population of former sex offenders,” said Rowan.


In a letter sent to Parents for Megan’s Law on December 6, 2012, USA FAIR raised objections to statements made on their website, including claims that the “typical” offender against children had committed an average of 280 crimes and has between 360 and 380 victims in his lifetime.  USA FAIR pointed out that the sample of this study was not “typical” of former offenders and that even among this subset of high-risk offenders,  a small percentage of the subjects were responsible for a disproportionately high number of offenses, which significantly skewed the “average” numbers.  In fact, according to Rowan, “When you look at the median numbers of this very study it reveals that half of the subjects committed four or fewer offenses and had three or fewer victims.  So even the “typical” subject of this study did not have the number of victims that Parents for Megan’s Law claims.  And while three victims is three too many, it is a far cry from the 360 to 380 that their website presents.”


Rowan announced that USA FAIR decided to ask for the assistance of Senator Schumer and Congressman Bishop after letters, emails and phone calls to Executive Director Laura Ahearn have gone unanswered.  “Ms. Ahearn has every right to disagree with USA FAIR on policy issues, but as long as she takes public money she should present this important issue with facts and not false fears.  Right now Parents for Megan’s Law is misleading the public and Senator Schumer and Congressman Bishop need to be made aware of that.” said Rowan.


A 2010 survey by the Center for Sex Offender Management of the U.S. Department of Justice found that 72% of Americans believe that the sex crime recidivism rates are 50% or higher, with a third believing it is more than 75%.  Only 3% believe it is less than 25% - even though actual recidivism rates are considerably below 25%.  New studies are constantly confirming low recidivism, with the latest being released last month showing a recidivism rate in four states of 10% after 10 years, with rates dropping sharply with years of offense-free tenure in the community. (https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/240099.pdf)


Rowan concluded, “As the loved-ones of people who are required to register, we know that the vast majority of former sex offenders are today law abiding citizens who are just trying to rebuild their lives and be good providers for their families.  Once the myth of high sex offender recidivim is firmly dicredited, it will allow us to end our one-size-fits-all approach to sex offender laws and focus our policies on targeting the truly dangerous.”


A copy of USA FAIR’s letter to Laura Ahearn is available here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/usafair/pages/69/attachments/original/1355332797/USA_FAIR_Letter_to_Laura_Ahearn.pdf?1355332797

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JeffC February 14, 2013 at 05:01 AM
Shana Rowan is engaged to Geoffrey Boudreau, who is registered and classified as a sexually violent offender by the state of New York (raping a 6 year old). According to "eveil unveiled" she is a member of The New NAMBLA (North American Men Boys Lovers Association), serving as one of their Minutemen, and running the facebook page for the New York chapter of The New NAMBLA. She aligns herself with those who harm our most vulnerable, our women and our children, and decided to take on the world and try to change their view of sex offenders. For that, she gets the spotlight and adoration she obviously desperately needs for herself on youtube, facebook and other places, from criminals and supporters of sex offenders. Though she was warned by one of our volunteers that she was indeed in bed with NAMBLA via RSOL, she has continued her attacks on normal people. She wants to try to change legislation, and the public opinion of pedophiles, so that her fiance` will not have to be on the sex offender registry, even though he can't even follow the law after release and is serving 3 years probation for failure to change his address on the registry (sentenced in September, 2011). Though she says she barely graduated high school, she presents herself as an expert on crimes, statistics, and even psychological profiles of sex offenders. You can find it all on the evil unveiled website.
Larry Levine March 02, 2013 at 06:57 PM
The following is an excerpt from Marc Klaas' article, "The Re-Victimization of Innocents: Criminal Justice Run Amok!." Shana Rowan is the Executive Director of USA FAIR, a non-profit organization she founded that is dedicated to defending the indefensible: registered sex offenders. According to her official biography, Shana’s passion for registered sex offenders is personal and very close to her heart. She is engaged to marry a registered sex offender named Geoff. His support gave Shana the strength she needed to leave a long-term abusive relationship. Now his past is making it impossible for them to move on with their lives. In her biography Ms. Rowan recounts his criminal behavior and portrays her fiancé as the true victim and she totally dismisses the very young half-sister that he serially abused. She argues that she and Geoff are victims of bad policy, and that sex offender registration and community notification laws (Megan’s Law) punish hundreds of thousands for crimes that a very small percentage of people might commit. She forgets that each and every person on the sex offender registration list has been convicted of, not committed as there is a vast distinction, at least one sex crime, almost always against a child or a woman. Citing studies that demonstrate that sex offenders have a very low recidivism rate Ms. Rowan ignores the best known study of all....read the rest of the article at http://klaaskids.org/blog/?p=1012


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