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Under pressure from the governor and the state’s public safety director, Colorado’s Sex Offender Management Board has reversed its controversial November decision to scrap the term “sex offenders” in its own guiding principles in favor of “adults who commit sexual offenses.”

The board, commonly referred to as the SOMB, voted 16-2 on Dec. 17 to “table” the language-change matter and refer it back to a subcommittee. It’s possible the board votes again to change terminology in the future, but the tabling means it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

This decision followed a 10-6 vote by the board in November to stop using “sex offenders” in its own principles and policies. The board controls treatment standards for people convicted of sex offenses, and changing the language in this way would not have affected treatment or management policies. But it was hailed by supporters as an important step away from labels and toward “person-first” language that research shows can improve rehabilitation prospects.

After the November vote, however, the board opened a public comment period. That’s where things went off track.

The language change had gotten coverage on talk radio, on Fox News and in The Daily Caller, in addition to various Colorado outlets. More than 400 people submitted comment on the matter, an overwhelming number for a state board that tends to generate little public attention.

Public defenders and people who’ve committed sexual offenses, plus their family members and advocates, were supportive of the change. But comments from victim advocates and members of the general public were by far in favor of no language change. Law enforcement leaders have also opposed the change from the start.

“The coddling from some of the offender-affiliated representatives was repugnant,” tweeted Colorado sex assault survivor and motivational speaker Kimberly Corban, two days after the vote on a language change. “This shift is offensive for those of us who have experienced victimization at the hands of sex offenders who don’t like their ‘label.’”

This content was originally published here.