Rep. John Atkins Takes A Tough Stand On Sex Offenders

Posted: 01/01/2010 by that's Elbert in crime, laws

This is a reprint of a letter from State Representative John Atkins (D-41st) sent to Judson Bennett. Rep. Atkins proposes making Delaware the toughest state on sexual offenders. This is reprinted as it was received.

Proposed Legislation for Sexual Offenders


a.. Recently, there has been a lot in the news about child sex offenders and their victims.
a.. Dr. Earl Bradley at BayBees in Lewes may have molested up to 100 children in a 10 year period.
b.. Dover sex offender charged with molesting a 7 year old.
c.. Sarah Foxwell’s body was found Christmas Day not far from the Delaware border.
b.. These stories are very tragic, and as a State Representative, I want to ensure that all children in Delaware are safe from sex offenders.
c.. Ultimately, I would like Delaware to be the toughest state in the nation on high-risk, repeat sex offenders.
d.. I am currently drafting several pieces of legislation that will affect high-risk, repeat sex offenders and will make Delaware a safer place for all of us.

a.. Proposed Legislation
b.. All high-risk, repeat sex offenders should receive truth in sentencing when serving time for a sexual offense.
a.. If a sexual offender is giving 20 years for molesting a child, that person should serve 20 years of jail time, not 8 or 9.
b.. Any sexual offender who is convicted of a second sexual offense will be served a mandatory life sentence.
c.. We need zero-tolerance sentencing for child molesters and other sex offenders.
c.. For all high-risk, repeat sex offenders, their driver’s license (or state ID) will be stamped with the words “sex offender.”
a.. This tool will allow law enforcement officers to better protect the public from repeat offenders.
b.. For example, a police officer in a routine traffic stop will remember a license stamped with “sex offender” and that memory may come in handy if a child is hurt or kidnapped from the area.
c.. Also, in places with large crowds like the state fair or a busy park, law enforcement officers do not have access to a computer. A stamped driver’s license will alert the officer to the presence of a high-risk, repeat sex offender.
d.. For all high-risk, repeat sex offenders, a special license plate to be designed by the Department of Motor Vehicle that must be registered and displayed on the offender’s vehicle.
a.. For too long child sex predators have been stalking our children, it’s now time we know where they are.
b.. An easy identifiable license plate will not only be a red flag for parents, but we can teach young children to avoid these vehicles and drivers at all cost.

a.. Wisconsin, Ohio, and Alabama have considered legislation requiring sexual offenders to have special license plates on their car denoting their sexual offender status.
a.. All high-risk, repeat sex offenders must register all Internet domain and chat room names with the authorities.
a.. Law enforcement officers can then monitor those domain and chat room names to ensure that the sex offender is not committing another crime through the Internet.
b.. Failure to register domain and chat room names would result in [fine? imprisonment?]
b.. Before leaving prison, all male, high-risk, repeat sex offenders that are older than 21 and have targeted a child younger than 12 would be chemically castrated.
a.. Castration may prevent these sex offenders from harming more children.
b.. For the liberal groups that will claim that this is cruel and unusual punishment; I say so is the rape and victimization of our young children. It is my job to see that children have a safe environment.
c.. Ten states have enacted or are considering enacting similar legislation. Louisiana enacted this legislation in June of 2008 and Europe is also debating this concept.
c.. It will be an additional penalty for a sexual offender to provide a cell phone to his or hers victim without the victim’s parental consent.
a.. Sexual offenders that target pre-teen and teenage girls often hook their victim by giving the girl a cell phone.
b.. There is no reason why a child should have a cell phone given to them by a non-family member that the child’s parents know nothing about.


a.. Sexual offenders, especially those involved in child molestation, often have a high recidivism rate, and are never rehabilitated. Their sex crimes often escalate to include murder.
b.. Sex offenders often target children under 2 years of age because they can’t talk very well, making it less likely for the offender to be caught.
c.. Lawmakers must stand up for kids who are victims of sexual offences because we have the power to protect them.”

Representative John C. Atkins
41st District – Delaware House of Representatives

A couple of thoughts:

Right now you can go on the state’s web site and get a list of offenders in your neighborhood and beyond. Designing a special license plate for a sexual offender might be over the top, although a license plate would make them stand out wherever they are and in whatever state they travel. In addition, there’s a chance that the car he/she drives might not be owned by the offender. The offender may be on the insurance policy only.

I’ve read somewhere that castration doesn’t remove the urge to harm.


  1. HOWARD says:

    I think it is too extreme to have a chance to pass. It also doesn’t address out of state sex offenders who drive across the line from Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia or Pennsylvania into Delaware as examples. He does mention high risk sex offenders which as you know on the Delaware Sex offender list are only the higher risk levels, there are many more lower risk sex offenders that aren’t listed.

    • comodog says:

      Hey FYI State Representative John Atkins (D-41st) was also charged with assult on his wife..hmmmmmm how about a license plate for that…..

  2. Lmom says:

    You’ve got a lot to comment on here.
    1) This politician obviously does not believe he needs to get real facts. Recidivism (repeat sex offenses) varies from one study to the next, but recent studies all agree that sexual re-offending is very low, sometimes even under 1%.
    2) The purpose of letting a felon out on probation/parole is to re-integrate them into the community and assure that they receive such things as treatment. In the case of sexual offenders, this has been shown to drastically reduce the chance that they will re-offend.
    3) If a second offense receives a life sentence, what is the purpose of the rest of these? This has obviously not been thought out.
    4) “Sex offender” on the driver’s license does nothing but embarrass the person whose license it is on. Many of these have committed a very minor crime in another state and now wish only to put their crime behind them.
    5) Car license plates may be on a car being driven by someone who is not a former offender, and only encourages vigilantism.
    I could go on. This is a really poorly thought out idea.
    However, let me conclude with the thought that we should put more emphasis on prevention, and the stability of those who have committed such offenses is the best way known to prevent future offenses. This does neither.

  3. Brian Shields says:

    He is also facing a tough reelection campaign. Adkins has to face the party he ditched, and if I predict correctly, a formidable opponent. Atkins is kissing a** in a preemptive campaign strike.. he doesn’t even have the legislative written yet, just press released a draft.

    On the topic, if you want to make a splash, change the life imprisonment for a second offense to the death penalty, and dare someone to lower it.

  4. Brian, that is an excellent point. As I recall there was some things he did last year that showed he had sold his soul to the Dems. Talk is one thing; actions are another.

    Most of us would like to see something happen on the sexual offenders legislation front, but more than likely he’s using this as a ticket to ride in the next election.

    If we have the same prediction for his opponent, then yes, it will be a tough election for him.

  5. V. Holler says:

    Why is it politicos who find themselves embroiled in a fight choose fear as their weapon of defense? Really, is his policies so weak he has to jump on the ole stand-bye scare the heck out of the voters to get them to vote on me cause I’m tough train? How about forgetting the 2% and start looking at other felonious issues like gangs, and street violence. You’d think that with something running as rampant as that, that would be a good choice. How about something silly like, well growing the local economy, strengthening families, you know…real issues!?! Come on, if your so scared of losing you turn to sex offenders, maybe your not the right person to fill the position!

  6. Carl Spencer says:

    Think you are talking out your ***. Good luck trying to get these bills past . Lets put a special decal on everyone;s plate for what ever crime they had committed , Also, cutting their [testicles] off is not going to stop it you dumb *** . Its not about the Sex,its about the power . Read about it !! Stop jumping at the throat . Thought those in politics had some education! Get Smart or Shut – Up !

  7. Valerie Parkhurst says:

    Your a good man for taking the bull by the horns..and I have also proposed to my “Florida” lawmakers to suspend “gain time” early release and any other term they want to use for allowing offenders reduced sentences. You might want to also look at “Interstate Compact Laws” they are dismal and outdated. I have more sex offenders here in Florida for no other reason than the weather. Our immigration laws and enforcement protocols have way too many weasel clauses. I have a boatload of convicted sex offenders with muliple offenses under their belts and cant deport them because of get this? “No formal relations” or “Bi-lateral” relationship clauses with certain countries. This insanity needs to stop. If we cant deport them, dont release them! It been documented by the Institute of Crime, criminal aliens commit four times the crimes than a US citizen does (including sex crimes) and have the highest number of absconders. We have a ton of laws with new ones everyday, but local LE is the first line of defense, and they woefully fall down on the job on a daily basis. Agencies recieve billions of dollars in Federal grant money and yet your hardpressed to find a street cop who will run a database on a “suspicious person” on any given day. Your department of Probation can be your worst enemies by steering offenders into affordable high rental areas with the most amount of children. Offenders are indeed our enemies, but if Law Enforcement doesnt hold up their end by keeping a short leash on these freaks,and enforcing the laws that have already been written with the blood of our kids, then all the laws, ordinances and proposed legislation in the world isnt going to help us..But I applaud you for your efforts..

  8. Valerie Parkhurst says:

    Oh and before I forget..this forum goes straight to sex offender and their advocates web can pretty much determine the responses from THOSE people…any new efforts to control these offenders is met with fierce opposition and they frame their opinions as if it comes from the general public, dont be swayed..they troll from one site to another trying to “turn the tide” of the topic and opinion in their direction. Just remember one thing, us Law abiding, taxpaying, citizens without “sex offender status” are pleading with the “powers that be” to bring the hammer down on these crimes and the people who commit them.

  9. gay bowen says:

    in delaware a predator if arrested can make bail before appearing before a judge. why? that needs to change. is there a cure? if not put these men in a place and let them stay there! if let out their crime only continues again. 3
    strikes you are in to stay for a very very very long time!!! if a predator kills then it should be a first degree murder chg for him too—nothing less!