Stop the Sex Offender Registry Panic

[Note: Friends of Justice is a personal blog. I speak only for myself.]

“How did you arrive at taking up reform of the sex offender registry as a cause?

“Well, I’m interested in keeping kids safe and I’m also interested in when our fears don’t match reality. That began when I let my son ride the subway and everyone told me, “Don’t you watch ‘Law & Order’?” I was called “America’s worst mom” for trusting him on the subway, even though from my own personal experience, both as a New Yorker and as a reporter, I knew it’s really quite safe. So then I started hearing about other things that we worry about that are actually a lot safer than we think — for instance, in the suburbs, parents are driving their kids to the bus stop. Then I looked up the statistics and it turned out that only between 11 and 13 percent of kids are walking to school anymore — which, I walked to school when I was a kid. I looked up whether it’s really dangerous to wait at the bus stop and, in fact, the No. 1 way that kids die is as passengers in cars. So it seemed strange that we were obsessing about kidnapping and predators and such when the biggest danger to kids is putting them in the car and driving them to the mall.”

Read the interview with Lenore Skenazy in Salon.