A recent letter in the Kamloops Daily News has caused a bit of a stir, perhaps deservedly so. There are certainly problems inherent in the sex offender registry as it currently exists in our country.
Our legal system allows people who have served their time and complied with all conditions to live a normal life. In the US, it is entirely different, once an offender you are marked for life, and the public gets notified wherever you go. Nor can offenders in the US change their name to avoid this. Ideally, we could find a happy medium between these two systems.
In the recent case of Mr. Jennings, we can thank the local RCMP detachment for removing this individual to Kamloops.
While there was an awareness about the situation, as long as Mr. Jennings complied with the conditions placed on him, there was no requirement, nor did the police have the right, to make his presence public. So it is not entirely correct to feel that Kamloops gets treated different than Ashcroft.
While the Federal Government slowly works on a working model for a proper registry, the public can do what it can with the children the offenders prey upon. Teaching children about the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching makes them less vulnerable, and makes the offender’s task eventually impossible.
We have to be aware of the most vulnerable young people. There are sex offenders everywhere, unfortunately. But there are no requirements to make their presence public as long as these people stick to the conditions placed on them. If you feel as strongly about this issue as I do, get in touch with your MP and make your voice heard. In the meantime, be responsible parents. Make sure kids know they can approach you on this subject any time, without guilt. In an ideal world, parents would be more skilled in what they do to protect their children as these perpetrators are in their methods to find the vulnerable ones.