Young public registrants can tell their story

A national radio program airs in early 2017 about young people placed on the sex offender public registry. The producer, Lucy Greenwell, asked our nonprofit agency, Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform, to link her with people she can interview in a fair and honest way. 

Chances like this to tell our side of this issue are pretty rare, but here is one of those chances. If you would like to be part of the radio series, please give me your contact information and I’ll forward it to the journalists working on the project.  The email message below describes that effort. 

Chris Dornin, co-founder
Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform


Hello there, 

I'm a radio producer working with the New York Times best-selling writer Jon Ronson on a major audio series commissioned by Audible/Amazon. The series will go live early 2017. The series will tell a number of true stories, and we are very keen to shine a light on the issue of young people being put on the sex offenders registry - perhaps unjustly. 

I wonder whether you can help me find someone who would be willing to tell us their story. Like many people, we didn't know the full horror of what life on the registry means day to day. Furthermore, we didn't realize that there were so many instances of young people being put on there for misdemeanors such as sexting, or posting photos of themselves online, or receiving photos from their boy/girlfriend. It seems that there's a real disconnect between the technological advances, and the justice system. What is perfectly normal teenage behavior is being treated as something quite different in the courts, and it's this that we'd like to explore in this series. 

One other thing to note; we are also looking for stories (if they exist) of young girls being put on the registry for disseminating child porn after underage webcamming. 

I am sending this email to all the RSOL affiliated state reform groups, in the hopes that one of you might know of, or know personally someone who might be keen to help bring this matter to the mainstream consciousness by telling us their story.  First off, we'd love to talk to them on the phone, to introduce ourselves, explain more about our series, and hear their story. Then we can both decide whether we should record an interview. Jon is a very sensitive interviewer, and it wouldn't be a big time commitment. If you don't personally have any thoughts on possible contributors, perhaps you could put me in touch with someone you think might. There are plenty of stories such as these in the news - but I'm after direct contacts if you have them. 

I hasten to add, we have a huge amount of experience working with young and vulnerable contributors when making Guardian and BBC programmes, so please know that we will treat these contributors with great care, empathy and sensitivity. It's vital to reiterate; we are on your side with this, and want to bang the same drum for reform. 

The reach of our series will, we hope, be pretty big. Audible alone has 40million subscribers and Amazon Prime subscribers will also have free access to this series. Jon Ronson himself has a very big and growing fan base for his books and radio series, so this story could add nicely to the great efforts you are all making to reform these laws. 

If you have any ideas, please do get in touch ASAP.  I really look forward to hearing from you, 

With very best wishes, 

Lucy Greenwell, Producer