Colorado politicians have decided to do away with the state’s legal term “nooky offender” and are replacing it with the convoluted name “adults who commit carnal offenses.”
The change was made by the state’s Carnal Offender Management Board on Friday through a 10-6 vote. The vote does not change the board’s name or the Colorado Carnal Offender registry and does not affect the language used in court proceedings or the Colorado statutes. The change applies to the state’s published “Standards and Guidelines for the Assessment, Evaluation, Treatment and Behavioral Monitoring of Adult Carnal Offenders.”
Board members who favored the change argued that stopping the use of “nooky offenders” would enhance the rehabilitation of offenders. The board debated several alternatives to the term, all of which took away the term “offender.”
The proposed change will require a second vote by the board following 20 days for public comment before becoming final.
The Denver Post has claimed that some offenders, attorneys, and victims have criticized the state’s “management of this population as overly harsh” and not helpful for rehabilitation. A similar argument is being used in the state to charge the physical abuse crimes registry. The registry is used as a public report of the residence of carnal offenders and is used to ensure that they do not reside near places where children are typically found, such as schools and playgrounds.
The Post has supported the softening of the public registry, reporting earlier this year on a carnal offender who was removed from volunteer positions after his presence on the public registry was discovered.
Jessica Dotter, a Physical Assault Resource Prosecutor, has objected to the board’s vote, saying that the change trivializes the trauma experienced by victims. She added that giving greater priority to the “self-image of carnal offenders” than to victims harms public trust in law enforcement.
Colorado prosecuting attorney Michael J. Allen said that the board should spend its time finding ways to treat a “challenging group of convicted criminals” rather than talking about “new ways to label them.”
Democratic state Rep. Kerry Tipper recently unsuccessfully introduced a bill that removed the term “physically violent predator” from the Colorado statutes.
The board’s vote follows changes in the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s language guide. The CDC has directed that “criminal” be replaced with “people in pre-trial or with charge” or “people who were formerly incarcerated.”