VICE News Report on Rehabilitating Sex Offenders Ends Awkwardly


A news report released by VICE focusing on rehabilitating sex offenders ended with an unexpected moment.

Earlier this month, VICE published a video on YouTube titled, “Why Some Sex Offenders Never Get Out Of Prison.”

The description of the video claims “much of what our society considers common knowledge about sex offenders is currently under debate — from the efficacy of the registry, to housing restrictions, to what treatment, if any, works.”

It continues, “One of the most controversial practices is ‘dead time’ — where sex offenders stay in prison for years beyond their sentence, simply because there is no where else for them to go.”

VICE News reporter Alice Hines spoke with a convicted sex offender named Aishef.

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Toward the end of the video Hines asks Aishef, “Are you hopeful for your future?”

He replied, “I’m definitely hopeful.”

Aishef continued, “I like the position I’m in. I ain’t fixin’ let stuff stop me. Not even this or — or DNA, or a person’s opinion. Like, we all out here in this world and we all gotta make it happen and it ain’t none stopping me. So like, I’m very hopeful and confident.”

Watch the video below:

The video took a turn when Hines provided an update following her interview with Aishef.

“After this interview, Aishef sent a picture of his penis to our producer. He later said through his lawyer that he sent it by mistake,” Hines said.

She added, “Cyber flashing is illegal in Chicago by city ordinance.”

During a follow-up interview with another VICE reporter, Hines shared whether it was difficult deciding whether to include that information in the piece.

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“We went back-and-forth a lot about it because on the one hand you could argue that it’s not relevant to the story of the injustice that Aishef faced at the hands of the state,” Hines said. (00:40:50)

She continued, “All of the years of dead-time that he served. You know, that’s really what our story was about. His lawyers would argue that, you know, the fact of the dick pic isn’t relevant.”

Hines explained they “wanted to basically give the full story to our viewers in a piece that’s also about what it means to reintegrate successfully and unsuccessfully. As someone who’s on the sex offense registry, this seemed like an important fact to note about Aishef who is a complex person, and this is part of his complexity.”

Several Twitter users mocked and laughed at the moment.

“I’M CRYING,” one user tweeted with a laughing emoji.

Conservative commentator Liz Wheeler wrote, “OHHHH no hahahah.”

Check out more reactions below:

During the interview, Aishef was also asked how he is living with the label of sex offender.

“It makes me feel misunderstood,” he said. “It doesn’t represent who I am, but it don’t change who I am.”

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