Colorado officials are set to vote Friday on whether to drop the term “sex offender” to describe people who engaged in “sexually abusive behavior,” due to “negative effects,” the Denver Post reported.
“I think the biggest thing is research really shows us that assigning a label has the potential for negative effects in rehabilitation,” said Kimberly Kline, chair of the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB), according to the Denver Post. The board is considering a number of other possible terms for offending individuals, including adults “who commit sexual offenses” and “who engage in sexually abusive behavior.” (RELATED: Parents Subdue, Duct Tape Sex Offender Caught In 5-Year-Old’s Bedroom)
“The term ‘sex offender’ will continue to be used in Colorado statute and the criminal justice system, including courts, law enforcement and the Colorado Sex Offender Registry,” a SOMB spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The change being considered is limited in scope and applies only to the language used in the standards and guidelines for treatment providers who assess, evaluate and treat people convicted of sexual offenses.”
According to a draft sent to 11 News from the Sex Offender Advisory Board, it would change the term of ‘sex offender’ to ‘those who have been sexually abusive’. https://t.co/jqrmrdpXRQ
— Brian Sherrod (@Brian_vnl) November 16, 2021
The vote to drop the term follows a series of sexual assault cases across the country, including a case at Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia. Meanwhile, in New York, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned in August following allegations of sexual misconduct.
There has been pushback against the move to drop the label, according to KKTV. Colorado Springs District Attorney Michael Allen opposes getting rid of the term “sex offender,” noting in a Thursday press conference that it “recognizes the gravity of deviant sexual behavior committed against another person. This proposed change diminishes the harm done to victims of sex offenders.”
The SOMB is planning to open a meeting to the public on Friday prior to the vote, where the change will be discussed, according to KKTV. Allen stated that he plans on attending the meeting to testify against the proposed change.