Colorado board to reconsider decision to eliminate sex offender label

Colorado’s Sex Offender Management Board is reconsidering its decision to remove the use of “sex offender” from its standards and guidelines.

The board voted on Friday to table the language change after receiving in excess of 400 comments from the public, stakeholders, elected officials and the governor’s office.

Under the proposed change, the board would use the phrase “adults who commit sexual offenses” rather than sex offender. “We must be wary not to normalize violent acts of sexual aggression or even give the appearance of normalizing such unacceptable behavior,” Gov. Jared Polis wrote to board Director Kimberly Kline the day before the vote.

“I hope that the Board will re-evaluate its previous decision to allow for additional discussions with the wider community, including carefully examining potential trauma to victims and ensuing that a clear message continues to be sent to the general public that non-consensual sexual aggression is not acceptable or tolerated in Colorado.”

The board passed the language change in an initial vote in November. On Friday, it asked its adult standards revisions committee to conduct further research on the impact of the potential language change. The committee will present its findings at a later date, officials said.

Following the subcommittee’s presentation, the board could vote on the matter again; however, the board have indicated that this is unlikely to happen in the near future.

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