Should you think that I am soft on violent and sexual crime, let me assure you that there is a dark painful part of my soul that wants people who hurt other people to never take another comfortable breath. However let us be intelligent. Given that we are a society of law, let us demand that the laws we do enact achieve their intended mission. Let us stop creating a false sense of security and wasting our precious resources on laws that simply do not work.
-Andrea M. Casanova—Co-Founder, ALLY Foundation
The mission of the ALLY Foundation is to be a transformative and innovative force to end sexual violence by advancing evidence-based research, best practices, education, prevention and awareness to significantly improve lives. The ALLY Foundation was established in memory of Alexandra Nicole Zapp who was murdered by a repeat sex offender on July 18, 2002. The Ally Foundation was founded and run by Ally’s mother and stepfather to celebrate Alexandra’s memory with the same charitable and compassionate spirit that guided her throughout her short life.
Like so many families whose children have been taken from them by convicted sex offenders, Andrea and Steve first set out to fix the specific loophole that may have prevented Ally’s death. While working to solve the gaps in Massachusetts’ civil commitment law, they soon realized that the entire way we deal with sex offenders is too fragmented and inconsistent to be effective. It was clear that a piecemeal approach had been taken towards sex offender management and that no one had ever stepped back to develop a well-thought out system. Such variable procedures do not set consistent standards for offenders and cannot hold them accountable, increasing the risk to the community.
Sex offenders cannot be cured but we can do an infinitely better job at managing them once they are in the system. The Foundation works to prevent known offenders from re-offending by creating a dynamic national infrastructure, implementing evidence-based practices nationally, and informing federal, state and local legislation.