Sunday, May 10, 2015

Collateral Damage

The Sex Offender. The boogeyman du jour, so evil that untold law enforcement man hours are spent tracking their every movement, so uncontrollable that they're not allowed within hundreds (sometimes thousands) of feet of anywhere children are, so different from the rest of society that their every detail must be listed on a website for all to see.

Sometimes, the desire to identify and mark as different means that it's not enough to list them on a public website. No, in the name of safety, we must identify them in other ways, such as special license plates for their vehicles, or special markings on their drivers licenses. So, what happens when the wrong box gets checked off by a bored and inattentive clerk, resulting in being identified as a sex offender when you are not?

"It reminds me of 'The Scarlet Letter,'" said Phillips, referring to the 19th century literature classic about a woman ostracized for having a child out of wedlock in Puritan Massachusetts. "This is the worst thing you can call a person."
The Scarlet Letter. Marking a mistake for all the world to see. It's wrong, and it needs to stop.


  1. Hi, I'm a graduate film student in Conway, AR. I'm making a short documentary focused on the life experience of sex offenders. I'm interviewing all related parties, but I'm having trouble getting direct contact with willing participants who are sex offenders. I'd love to have a conversation if you'd like to know more about it.

    1. Hi, Mikki. I would be interested in talking to you. In the interest of not disclosing my identity here, please send an email to with more information on how to contact you.

    2. Hi, Mikki. With your lack of response, it's no wonder you're having problems getting in direct contact with willing participants. I have been monitoring the address for a message from you, but haven't seen on yet. I'll continue to monitor, but not as vigilantly as I have been. Best of luck on your documentary.