I often listen to NPR on my way to work. My ex-cubemate Rich got me into that. He might say their stories are too left-wing for him now, I’m not sure. I know he, like many of my friends, are staunch republicans. It seems so much harder these days to communicate and relate to each other.
But I digress.
While listening to NPR last week, driving into work, I heard something about persons who live on the western edge of a time zone are more likely to…. I honestly don’t remember what the next line was – I think they found it adversely affects ones physical health. But I was very surprised that someone had done a study on such an odd idea – what are the different physical effects of living in different areas within a time zone? It seemed a strange thing to study to be sure.
It hit me even stranger as I have recently completed work with the WA state SOPB (Sex Offender Policy Board). Some advocates from CAGE, myself included, have been working with legislators, through this board, to bring awareness to these proactive stings – specifically that they are targeting, inducing, and entrapping innocent men across the country. And during these last six months of advocacy it has become crystal clear that, although there is a plethora of research done on recidivism, there has never been a study comparing proactive to reactive arrests. Even less than nothing on proactive arrests garnered through adult websites! Yet we know proactive stings have been happening from at least around the turn of the century!
A man from Tacoma was just in the news having been arrested from a reactive tip. According to the police they managed to save two youth from his criminal plans. To my knowledge no actual youth was ever rescued by a proactive sting, certainly not one on an adult website, where they men were clearly NOT looking for children at all.
So here I am contemplating how one goes about making effective change. We had started by trying to explain that the police had alterior motives. No one cared. We pointed out how the prosecutors twisted, lied, manipulated the truth – how the judges played dumb even though this cannot make sense to them. No one cared. Some of the defense lawyers get it but most do not, in truth I think they just don’t care. The public in general is ignorant of these truths. Would they care? I think many would. The legislators we’ve spoken to say they care – of course it’s impossible to know if they are being honest – they are after all politicians.
But where we have now landed is back to data and scientific studies. If we can get studies performed that show empirically that men caught in proactive stings prove to have no more criminal need than Joe Public….well then the focus shifts away from our men, and back to where it belongs – all those other entities that don’t really care. And should.
We have reached out, and are reaching out, to universities, researchers, psychologists, and all that this entails, to perform studies on this unique and specific idea. To date, everyone we have presented the idea to has been encouraging in their response. Again, most of the public does not know what has happened to our men, and are shocked when faced with our now persuasive evidence. We hope to be able to get at least a few studies started in 2023. This is not a short term project – studies take years, even decades to complete.
But I feel, maybe more so than ever before, that we are now on the right path.