Sex offender asks for fair treatment

Published 8:57 am Wednesday, January 26, 2011

To the Editor:

I reach my hand out to my community asking for fairness, a chance to resume living a productive life. We all deserve a chance to change from the past that haunts us. I recently spoke on how our elected leaders refuse to acknowledge the mistreatment of sex offenders.

As I sit in jail now, I’m affected due to the corruption and discrimination toward sex offenders — to have to serve time for a crime, to be released and still be discriminated against.

Our forefathers built this country with the hopes of fairness and established a constitution that meant all men would be created equal.

As I struggled to seek help for my drug addiction, doors were slammed in my face. To whom can a man lean on when his past has become scarred?

I’ve reached my hand out, pleading for help, but my cries have gone unheard. How can one begin to transform one’s life when the obstacles that lie ahead are so challenging?

I’m living proof that you can ask for help, and the more you ask, the more you’re denied.

As I write this letter, I know I may be bashed for asking to be treated as a human being. Due to the alarming number of sexually violent crimes, it leaves a void that needs to be filled. Sex offenders should be punished if they continue the unjust act of re-offending.

We the people should not condone the behavior that lacks the helping of others, but the unity and the uplifting of all men should be implicated in all our hearts.

It’s wrong for the state of Virginia and its elected leaders to allow the wrongdoing, to willingly know that a minority of people have been blackballed and held back to let me know the system has failed.

How can we begin to ask for help when there is no one to turn to?

Our elected officials have focused on certain issues like how our unemployment rate has reached an all-time high, how their next campaign will get funded, but neglecting post-release programs for inmates.

If working-class employment has declined and working class families struggle to find work, where in fact does that leave convicted felons’ and sex offenders’ chances to succeed?

It seems as if the system is designed to fail. I’m just one person asking to be heard, but there are so many other lives affected by an unjust system.

I ask that we the people as a whole take a good look at a system that has given up on helping but is willing to fight a war based on lies. As people fight for the rights of animals, let’s not forget that I am a father, brother and son, and yes, I am somebody, too.

Adrian C. Cook
Southampton County Jail