Colorado Board of Sex Offenders Ceases to Use the term “Sex Offender”

DENVER (KDVR) – The Colorado Board of Sex Offenders wants to stop using the term “sex offender”.

The board is responsible for treatment, control and monitoring of adult sex offenders in the state. On Friday, the board held a meeting to review what these offenders should be called, focusing on “person-first language.

They reviewed a list of five new possible terms, but eventually voted to use “Adult who commits sexual abuse.”

This would not change the concept or definition of a sex offender in state law.

While the change triggers some controversy in communities working closely with victims, board members said the expression they embraced remains correct.

“This language in the committees I have been on seems to be the most supported of these options.… It highlights the active reason why someone is in treatment and it does not assume that the behavior is over,” said SOMB member Carl Blake.

“Advocates for victims, therapists, law enforcement that I have spoken to, along with all the DAs I represent, are not in favor of replacing this period,” said SOMB member Jessica Dotter.

The changes are not final. There will be a 20-day comment period for the public to take a position on the board meet again in December.

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